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Kelley v. Leucadia

Supreme Court of Utah
846 P.2d 1238 (1992)


Facts

On March 2, 1987, William R. Kelley (plaintiff) paid a $10,000 earnest-money deposit to purchase a 13-acre property in Utah from First Security Bank (FSB), pursuant to an earnest-money sales agreement. After FSB discovered a boundary dispute, Kelley agreed several times to postpone the closing, but the dispute remained unresolved. Despite the dispute, Kelley tendered payment. However, FSB refused to complete the sale. Instead, FSB offered Kelley a release of his deposit, which Kelley refused to accept. Kelley sued FSB for specific performance, damages for breach of contract, and an abatement in the purchase price. The damages and abatement claims were settled. The trial court ruled that Kelley was entitled to specific performance and ordered FSB to convey the property. Kelley and FSB agreed to substitute Leucadia Financial Corporation (Leucadia) (defendant) for FSB, and Leucadia appealed. The court of appeals overturned the trial court’s decision, ruling that Kelley’s remedies under the earnest-money sales agreement precluded specific performance. Kelley appealed to the state supreme court.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Stewart, 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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