Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Perfect v. McAndrew case brief

Perfect v. McAndrew case brief summary
798 N.E.2d 470

SYNOPSIS: Plaintiff buyer filed a complaint against defendant sellers for specific performance of a contract to sell real property. The Dearborn Circuit Court (Indiana) granted specific performance to the buyer. The sellers appealed.

-The parties entered into a contract by which the buyer was to purchase a tract of land containing 81.1 acres.
-A survey indicated that the property contained 96.2815 acres, and the sellers attempted to renegotiate.
-The buyer rejected the new proposals.
-On appeal, the sellers argued that the trial court erred in finding that the parties intended an "in gross" sale because, inter alia, the property was discussed in terms of 81.1 acres and the parties' actions demonstrated that the sale was based upon a price per acre.


The appellate court found no evidence that the estimated acreage was the controlling inducement in the contract.


-The evidence indicated that the parties contemplated a sale of the entire tract for a lump sum.
-The sellers also argued that the trial court erred in finding that there was no mutual mistake.
-The appellate court disagreed, finding that there was no evidence that the parties were mistaken about the actual tract of land to be sold.
-Finally, as to the seller's contention that the trial court's judgment improperly added a provision, the appellate court disagreed, noting that the trial court interpreted an ambiguous term with the aid of extrinsic evidence.

RULES:-In general, where property is sold in lump, and for a gross sum, such that "it appears by words of qualification, as "more or less," that the statement of the quantity of acres in the deed is mere matter of description and not of the essence of the contract, the buyer takes the risk of the quantity so long as there is no fraud, concealment, or misrepresentation.
-However, where property is sold at so much per acre, and there is a deficiency in the number of acres conveyed, the purchaser will be entitled to a compensation

OUTCOME: The judgment of the trial court was affirmed.

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