Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Schwedes v. Romain case brief

Schwedes v. Romain case brief summary
587 P.2d 388 (1978)


CASE SYNOPSIS
Appellant buyers sought review of an order of the District Court of Flathead County (Montana), which granted appellee sellers motion for summary judgment in an action brought by the buyers to obtain either specific performance of an alleged contract with the sellers for the sale of land, or damages for breach of such contract. The buyers appealed the grant of summary judgment and the refusal to alter or amend the judgment.

CASE FACTS
The buyers claimed that there was a valid, enforceable contract for the sale of the land and that they were entitled to specific performance because they had partially performed the contract, which took it out of the statute of frauds.

DISCUSSION

  • The court affirmed the grant of summary judgment to the sellers. 
  • The four essential elements of a contract are legally capable parties, their consent, a lawful object, and consideration. 
  • There was no evidence that any consideration moved from the buyers to the sellers. 
  • A mere oral promise to pay was not sufficient consideration to support a contractual obligation. 
  • There was no writing, memorandum, or note binding the buyers. 
  • Acts undertaken in contemplation of eventual performance of the contract did not constitute part performance to remove the operation of the statute of frauds. 
  • Where a case was clearly within the statute of frauds, promissory estoppel was inapplicable, therefore, the sellers were not estopped to deny the validity of the contract. 
  • There was no evidence upon which the buyers could establish a valid, enforceable contract and they could not obtain specific performance.

CONCLUSION
The order granting summary judgment was affirmed.

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