Monday, January 6, 2014

Nessralla v. Peck case brief

Nessralla v. Peck case brief summary
532 N.E.2d 685 (1989)

  • The plaintiff, a buyer, had brought an action against the defendant sellers, seeking specific performance of an oral agreement to convey a tract of land.
  • Judgment was entered by the trial court which favored the sellers.
    The buyer sought review by the appelate court. 
  • The Appeals Court in MA vacated the judgment of the trial court and remanded the case for a new trial. 
  • Afterwards the sellers sought review of the appellate court's decision.

In this case, the buyer orally agreed to act as a strawman in order to assist the sellers in purchasing land. In exchange for this favor the sellers agreed to also act as a strawman in order to assist the buyer in purchasing the farm that adjoined his property.

The buyer completed his transaction as a strawman, however, the sellers purchased the land adjoining the buyer's property and refused to sell and convey it to him.

Afterwards, the buyer brought an action that sought specific performance.

  • The court found that the appellate court had erred in vacating the judgment (in favor of the sellers.)
  • The court also had determined that the findings of facts of the trial judge were indeed valid since they had been written while he still had the authority of a trial judge. 
  • The court found that the statute of frauds was a full defense to the action of the buyer because he had failed to establish that he (the buyer) detrimentally relied on the sellers' promise to sell him the adjoining property. 
  • Further, a constructive trust here was not applicable to the facts outlined in the case because there was no fiduciary relationship existing between the parties. 
  • Also, a resulting trust is not applicable in this case because the seller had paid nothing at all towards the purchase price of the adjoining property.

Judgement was found in favor of the sellers.

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