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Gulden v. Sloan

Supreme Court of North Dakota
311 N.W.2d 568 (1981)


Facts

Gulden (plaintiff) leased a house in Imperial Valley and had an option to purchase the house for $62,400. When Gulden had difficulty making the lease payments, Gulden and his landlord agreed that, if they could find another purchaser, Gulden could keep any amount that exceeded the $62,400. Sloan (defendant), whom Gulden had known for some 30 years, expressed interest in purchasing the Imperial Valley home. Gulden alleged that he and Sloan orally agreed that Gulden would abandon his purchase option and that Sloan would purchase the home for $68,400. In exchange, Sloan would give Gulden title to his mobile home. Sloan completed the purchase and took possession of the house while Gulden moved into the mobile home formerly occupied by Sloan. Sloan did not transfer title to Gulden, which prompted Gulden to sue for specific performance of their oral agreement. The trial court awarded Gulden $6,000, the difference between the purchase price and the option price, as Sloan had sold the mobile home to someone else before the trial ended. Sloan appealed.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Erickstad, 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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