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Fitzpatrick v. Michael

Court of Appeals of Maryland
9 A.2d 639 (Md. 1939)


Michael (defendant) agreed orally with Mrs. Fitzpatrick (plaintiff) that she would care for him in his home until he died. In exchange, Fitzpatrick would be paid a weekly rate and upon Michael’s death, she would receive a life estate in his home, among other things. Fitzpatrick proceeded to take care of Michael in accordance with the agreement, but one day, without warning, Michael left his house and then tried to force Fitzpatrick out and had her arrested for trespassing (Fitzpatrick claims it was due to influence from distant relatives). Fitzpatrick brought suit, seeking specific performance of the contract. The trial court dismissed the case, holding that specific performance was not proper because the agreement was for personal services, and also holding that the agreement was invalid under the statute of frauds because it involved a conveyance of Michael’s land. Fitzpatrick appealed.

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Holding and Reasoning (Offutt, J.)

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