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Brantley v. Wilson

United States District Court, Western District of Arkansas
2006 WL 436121 (2006)


Facts

Scarlett Wilson (defendant) owned approximately 37 acres of land. Larry Brantley (plaintiff) called Wilson and asked if the property was for sale. Wilson said she would sell for $10,000 per acre. Wilson and Brantley exchanged a series of e-mails in which they agreed to a purchase price of $370,000, in cash at the time of closing, with closing costs to be split 50/50, but did not set a closing date. Brantley wrote that he would not have trouble obtaining financing and requested a survey of the property. The e-mails did not discuss earnest money, retention of mineral interests, or a deadline for financing. Brantley’s attorney prepared a real estate contract, which Brantley signed and forwarded to Wilson. Instead of signing, Wilson e-mailed Brantley stating that she had “decided not to sell . . . at this time for $10,000 per acre,” because a neighbor had told her that nearby properties had sold for much higher prices. Brantley brought suit seeking specific performance, asserting that the e-mails formed a valid contract. Wilson moved for summary judgment, arguing that the parties did not intend the e-mails to form a contract. Moreover, Wilson argued that any agreement reached by the e-mails was too vague to be enforceable and would violate the statute of frauds.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Hendren, J.)

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