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Gresser v. Hotzler

Minnesota Court of Appeals
604 N.W.2d 379 (2000)


Calvin and Cheryl Hotzler (the Hotzlers) (defendants) owned commercial property, which they listed for sale. Michael Gresser (Gresser) (plaintiff) was a real estate investor, who was interested in purchasing the property. Gresser and the Hotzlers negotiated the purchase terms over the course of several months and arrived at a proposed purchase agreement. The Hotzlers signed the agreement, initialing all changes, and delivered the agreement to Gresser. Gresser changed the closing date and the survey date on advice of counsel because the dates became impractical due to protracted negotiations. The Hotzlers’ real estate agent told Gresser that the changes would not hinder the deal. The Hotzlers had not suggested that the real estate agent had the authority to contract on their behalf. Gresser delivered the agreement to the Hotzlers, and they did not sign it. However, Calvin Hotzler did show Gresser the property and introduce him as the new owner. The Hotzlers then received another offer, which they accepted. Gresser sued the Hotzlers for specific performance and breach of contract, and the Hotzlers moved for partial summary judgment. The trial court determined that the Hotzlers had not accepted the contract, and dismissed Gresser’s claims. Gresser appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Lansing, J.)

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