Logourl black

Baker v. Ratzlaff

Kansas Court of Appeals
564 P.2d 153 (1977)


Baker (plaintiff) is a purchaser and reseller of popcorn. Baker operates a plant in Stratford, Texas but processes payments and other business in Garden City, Kansas. Ratzlaff (defendant) is a grower of popcorn. In 1973, Baker contract to purchase popcorn from Ratzlaff at a price of $4.75 per hundredweight. Ratzlaff was to deliver the popcorn in three installments. Baker was to provide payment on delivery. The contract contained a termination clause providing that if Baker failed to provide payment to Ratzlaff, Ratzlaff was entitled to terminate the contract and keep or dispose of the remaining popcorn. Shortly after Baker and Ratzlaff entered the contract, the market price of popcorn rose to over $8.00 per hundredweight. In February 1974, Ratzlaff made two deliveries of popcorn to Baker’s Stratford, Texas plant. Ratzlaff did not request payment at the time of either delivery and Baker’s foreman, Martin, did not offer payment. Martin did, however, draft weight slips for each delivery. Baker’s standard practice was to issue weight slips at the time of deliveries and to send copies of the weight slips to its Garden City office. The Garden City office then processed payments for the deliveries based on the weight slips. Ratzlaff later spoke with Baker on the phone about the timing of a future delivery, but neither party brought up the issue of payment. Shortly after this conversation, Ratzlaff sent Baker a notice that it was terminating the contract due to lack of payment on delivery. After receiving the notice of termination, Baker promptly sent two payments for the two deliveries to Ratzlaff. Ratzlaff had already secured another contract with a third party, however, to provide popcorn at a price of $8.00 per hundredweight. Baker was forced to obtain alternate popcorn at a price of $10.30 per hundredweight. Baker brought suit in Kansas state court against Ratzlaff. The trial court awarded Baker $52,000 in damages, and both parties appealed.

Rule of Law

The rule of law is the black letter law upon which the court rested its decision. To access this section, start your 7-day free trial of Quimbee for Law Students.


The issue section includes the dispositive legal issue in the case phrased as a question. To access this section, start your 7-day free trial of Quimbee for Law Students.

Holding and Reasoning (Rees, J.)

The holding and reasoning section includes:

  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

To access this section, start your 7-day free trial of Quimbee for Law Students.

Here's why 90,000 law students rely on our case briefs:

  • Reliable - written by law professors and practitioners not other law students.
  • The right length and amount of information - includes the facts, issue, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your class - works on your mobile and tablet.
  • 12,195 briefs - keyed to 164 casebooks.
  • Uniform format for every case brief.
  • Written in plain English - not in legalese and not just repeating the court's language.
  • Massive library of related video lessons - and practice questions.
  • Ability to tag case briefs in an outlining tool.
  • Top-notch customer support.
Start Your Free Trial Now