Casazza v. Kiser

313 F.3d 414 (2002)

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Casazza v. Kiser

United States Court of Appeals for the Eight Circuit
313 F.3d 414 (2002)

Facts

Joseph C. Kiser (defendant) listed his boat for sale online, and James Casazza (plaintiff) contacted Kiser about purchasing it. Casazza and Kiser met on multiple occasions to allow Casazza to view the boat and to negotiate a purchase agreement. Both parties took handwritten notes of the agreement. Later, Casazza created a typewritten agreement that contained provisions regarding some repairs and the payment method. The agreement was never signed. The parties did take a few steps toward completing the sale, including Casazza tentatively reserving a slip space and getting an estimate for the repairs, as well as both parties executing an agreement to transfer the boat’s navigational software. That agreement did not mention the boat or its sale. Kiser subsequently decided not to sell the boat to Casazza. Casazza filed suit and obtained a temporary restraining order that prevented Kiser from selling the boat to anyone else, but Kiser had already sold the boat before receiving notice of the order. Kiser moved for dismissal of the case on the basis of the statute of frauds, which required an agreement for the sale of goods valued at over $500 to be in writing to be valid. Casazza filed a motion requesting that consideration of the motion to dismiss be delayed to allow for additional discovery. Casazza argued that Kiser’s handwritten notes regarding their agreement would come out during discovery and that the notes, along with the executed software-transfer agreement, would be sufficient to satisfy the statute of frauds. The district court granted the motion to dismiss. Casazza appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Bowman, J)

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