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Covington v. Robinson

Court of Appeals of Tennessee
723 S.W.2d 643 (1986)


Facts

Covington and Hurt, Jr. (plaintiffs) agreed to purchase 1,500 acres of land from Robinson (defendant) for $2,010,675. The contract required the plaintiffs to obtain financing for 75 percent of the purchase price and to post a $100,000 deposit, which would be forfeited if they breached. The plaintiffs obtained financing for 73.98 percent of the purchase price but did not attempt to obtain additional financing. Robinson agreed to lower the purchase price so that the plaintiffs would not need to obtain additional financing, and the existing financing would represent 75 percent of the purchase price. When plaintiffs still refused to close, Robinson held the plaintiffs in breach and deemed the deposit forfeited. Robinson sold the property a few months later for $2 million. The plaintiffs sued to recover the entire deposit or at least the difference between their contract price and the price Robinson actually received from the second seller. The trial court held the plaintiffs in breach of the contract and upheld the retention of the deposit. The plaintiffs appealed.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (McLemore, J.)

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  • 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.).

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