Monday, January 6, 2014

Gulden v. Sloan case brief

Gulden v. Sloan case brief summary
311 N.W.2d 568 (1981)

Plaintiff renters sued defendant buyers to enforce an oral agreement to purchase land. The District Court of Burleigh County, South Central Judicial District (North Dakota) entered judgment in favor of the renters. The buyers appealed.

The renters made an oral agreement with the buyers to forego their option to purchase premises they were renting in exchange for buyers' purchase of the premises and the transfer of their mobile home to the renters. After learning the name of the owner of the premises, the buyers made a deal directly with the owner. The parties exchanged residences pursuant to the oral agreement. The renters sued the buyers for breach of the oral agreement. The buyers argued that their agreement was only with the owner, that the alleged oral agreement lacked consideration, and that it was unenforceable because it violated the statute of frauds.

The trial court entered judgment for the renters.


  • On appeal, the court affirmed the trial court's judgment. 
  • The court found an oral agreement between the parties supported by consideration in the form of the renters' forbearance on exercising their option. 
  • The court further found that the parties' conduct in exchanging residences and keys was part performance of the oral agreement which took it out of the statute of frauds.

The trial court's judgment in favor of the renters in their action to enforce an oral agreement against the buyers was affirmed.

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