Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Steve Hendricks v. Eugene Behee case brief

Hendricks v. Behee case brief summary

-Plaintiff was the escrowee of $5,000 paid by defendant Behee as a deposit accompanying Behee's offer to purchase real estate owned by defendants.
-A dispute between Behee and the Smiths as to whether their dealings resulted in a binding contract prompted this action.
-After Behee, as prospective buyer, and the Smiths, as prospective sellers, had engaged in unproductive negotiations, Behee, on March 2, 1987, made a written offer of $42,500 for the real estate and $250 for a dinner bell and flower pots.
-On March 3 the offer was mailed to the Smiths, who lived in Mississippi, by their real estate agent.
-On March 4 the Smiths signed the proposed agreement in Mississippi.
-Before Behee was notified that the Smiths had accepted the offer, Behee withdrew the offer by notifying the real estate agent of the withdrawal
-Prior to this communication, Behee had received no notice that his offer had been accepted by the Smiths."

-The trial court awarded plaintiff $997.50 to be paid out of the $5,000 deposit.
-The trial court awarded the balance of $4,002.50 to defendant Behee.
-Defendants Smith appeal.

-Smiths contend that the dealings between them and Behee ripened into a contract and entitled the Smith's to the balance of $4,002.50, and that the trial court erred in ruling otherwise.

The judgement was affirmed.

-There is no contract until acceptance of an offer is communicated to the offeror.
-An offeror may withdraw his offer at any time "before acceptance and communication of that fact to him

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