Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Radke v. Brenon case brief

Radke v. Brenon case brief summary
134 N.W.2d 887 (1965)

Defendant sellers sought review of a judgment of the Ramsey County District Court (Minnesota), which found for plaintiff buyers in an action for specific performance of a contract for the sale of real estate owned by the sellers.

The buyers and sellers were neighbors of adjoining lots. The seller purchased a strip of land located nearby and following the purchase he sent a letter to the buyer and the eight other neighbors offering to sell them the irregular parcels that separated their lots from the lake. The seller stated that he had no desire to make any profit if everyone was willing to buy their portion and to divide the cost equally among all including himself. The seller did not sign the letter, but his name was typewritten thereon. About two weeks after the buyer received the offer he orally accepted it. Sometime later, the buyer learned that two neighbors declined to purchase, but although he was agreeable to pay the increase, he did not immediately inform the seller. The seller revoked the offer to sell.


  • On appeal, the court held that even though it could be argued that the formal requirements contemplated by the statute were lacking, when all of the evidence was taken into account, the letter was a sufficient memorandum. 
  • The court held that the variation in the dollar amount listed in the letter and the amount paid rendered the letter's expression of consideration insufficient.

The court affirmed the judgment of the district court.

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