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Coulter & Smith, Ltd. v. Russell

925 P.2d 1258 (1996)

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Coulter & Smith, Ltd. v. Russell

Utah Court of Appeals

925 P.2d 1258 (1996)

Facts

Coulter & Smith, Ltd. (Coulter) (plaintiff) owned a parcel of land in Salt Lake County. Roger Russell, Roger Richards, and Kristen Russell (defendants) owned about 3.67 acres slightly south of Coulter’s property. The two properties were separated by four parcels, which were owned by four unrelated owners. Coulter and the defendants independently began forming plans to develop subdivisions on their properties. Coulter and the defendants discussed combining efforts and the possibility that Coulter could purchase the defendants’ property. Coulter drafted a letter offering to purchase the subdivided lots from the defendants after the lots were developed and promising to begin the development process immediately. The letter described the transaction as an option to purchase and provided that the option would expire two years after the completion of the subdivision. In 1991, the defendants signed the letter. Coulter encountered several difficulties in developing the property and still faced obstacles to developing the property in September of 1994. The defendants threatened to sell their property to another developer. Coulter sued the defendants, seeking specific performance. The trial court ruled in favor of the defendants, and Coulter appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Wilkins, J.)

Dissent (Jackson, J.)

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