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Everhart v. Miles

Court of Special Appeals of Maryland
422 A.2d 28 (1980)


Facts

Bruce Miles and his wife, Sharon Miles (plaintiffs), negotiated to purchase 101 acres of rural land, including a farm, from Edwin Everhart (defendant). The total purchase price was to be $279,000. The Mileses traveled to the farm for the purpose of taking over the property. The Mileses made a down payment and were to execute a contract of sale. The contract was not executed, and negotiations continued. While the parties were negotiating, the Mileses lived on the farm, ran the farm’s dairy business, fixed the barn roof, renovated the farmhouse, installed a septic system, and made other improvements. Several months later, the Mileses lowered their offered price to buy the farm. Everhart rejected the offer, at which point the Mileses left the property. The Mileses then brought suit. At trial, the evidence showed that the Mileses had lived on the farm with Everhart’s knowledge and blessing. There was no evidence of any questioning of the Mileses’ right to possession by Everhart. The trial court awarded restitution to the Mileses on the ground that Everhart had been unjustly enriched by the Mileses’ actions. Everhart appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Weant, J.)

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