Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Gresser v. Hotzler case brief

Gresser v. Hotzler case brief summary
604 N.W.2d 379 (2000)

Appellant sought review of judgment of the Scott County District Court (Minnesota), which held that purchase agreement signed by appellant and respondents for purchase of real property was invalid.

Appellant submitted purchase agreement to respondents for purchase of real property. Respondents signed and returned the agreement. Appellant then changed closing date to a date that was approximately six weeks later than initial closing date. Appellant initialed change and returned agreement to respondents with earnest money. Respondents received another offer and accepted the new offer. Appellant sued for specific performance and alternatively for breach of contract. The district court held that contract was not legally binding.


  • The court affirmed. 
  • The court held that exception to the mirror-image rule for immaterial variations did not apply to the date change. 
  • The court held that date change was a material change and directly affected appellant's performance obligation. 
  • The court also held that appellant had not asserted facts sufficient to support equitable estoppel claim because record did not indicate that realtor consulted respondents about the change or that respondents had actual notice of change.
Court affirmed judgment of the district court, holding that date change was a material change to the contract and that respondents could not be equitably estopped from denying the validity of the purchase agreement.

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