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Hahne v. Burr

South Dakota Supreme Court
705 N.W.2d 867 (2005)


Bill Hahne (plaintiff) leased land from Clarence Burr (defendant). The two discussed Hahne buying the property after the lease, and Hahne hired an attorney to draft documents who allegedly confirmed the sale terms with Burr, then sent Burr the documents for signature. Hahne paid title fees and allegedly gave Burr $15,000 as part rent and part down payment. But Burr never signed the documents. Instead, Burr’s grandson e-mailed Hahne stating that Burr had decided not to sell. Hahne sued for specific performance, arguing that he had detrimentally relied by not looking for other property. The documents Hahne’s attorney prepared revealed that Hahne was not actually the intended buyer. Instead, the documents named third parties who were supposed to obtain financing to purchase the property, and the title insurer ran the title search in their names. Burr asked the court to sanction Hahne for misrepresenting the real party in interest. The trial court granted summary judgment for Burr under the statute of frauds but declined to sanction Hahne. Both parties appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Zinter, J.)

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