Houseman v. Dare
Appellate Division of the Superior Court of New Jersey
405 N.J. Super. 538 (2009)
Doreen Houseman (plaintiff) was engaged to Eric Dare (defendant). Houseman and Dare purchased a house and a dog together, but subsequently ended their relationship. Dare purchased Houseman’s interest in the house. Houseman and Dare did not have a written agreement about the dog, but orally agreed that Houseman would retain the dog. Houseman initially kept the dog, but left the dog in Dare’s care when she went on vacation. When Houseman returned from vacation, Dare refused to return the dog. Houseman promptly filed suit against Dare, demanding specific performance of the oral agreement regarding the dog, and testified about the dog’s importance to her. The trial court found that there was evidence of an oral agreement, but that specific performance was not available as a remedy for a breach of oral agreement regarding property. Accordingly, the trial court did not find that the oral agreement was relevant. The trial court instead awarded Houseman $1,500, the stipulated full value of the dog. Houseman appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Grall, J.)
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