Hilton v. Nelsen
Supreme Court of Minnesota
283 N.W.2d 877 (1979)
Nelsen negotiated a contract of sale with Hilton for his 720-acre farm. The contract called for a purchase price of $180,000, which would not be repaid for the first five years of a ten-year mortgage. Instead Nelsen would receive 7 percent interest annually during that time. Hilton would pay only $2,000 a year in principal for years six through nine; $119,800 was due at maturity. Hilton’s performance was conditioned on obtaining title insurance with no policy exceptions. However, the property was subject to easements for roads, telephone cables, and the state’s mineral rights. Hilton refused to close without a $16,000 reduction in the purchase price. Hilton later agreed to close anyway but Nelsen decided not to sell. Hilton then sued for specific performance. The trial court held Nelsen in breach on the contract and ordered specific performance and damages for the fair rental value of the property for the time that Nelsen stayed on the premises after the contract closing date. Nelsen appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Stone, J.)
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