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Jones v. Lee

New Mexico Court of Appeals
971 P.2d 858 (1998)


Facts

The Lees (defendants) contracted to buy a piece of property from the Joneses (plaintiffs) for $610,000, and paid a $6,000 deposit on the sale as earnest money. A few weeks later, the Lees informed the Joneses that they were unable to complete the deal for financial reasons. The Lees drafted a proposed termination agreement under which the sale would be cancelled in exchange for their forfeiting the earnest money to the Joneses. The Joneses rejected the termination agreement, but when it became clear that the Lees would not go through with the agreement, they relisted the property and eventually sold it for $540,000. The Joneses then sued the Lees for breaching the contract. The trial court found in favor of the Joneses, and awarded them $70,000 in damages, the amount by which the house eventually undersold. The trial court also awarded the Joneses special and punitive damages. The Lees appealed.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Donnelly, 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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