Miller v. Craig

558 P.2d 984 (1976)

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Miller v. Craig

Arizona Court of Appeals
558 P.2d 984 (1976)

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Facts

Spouses George W. and Johanna Miller (plaintiffs) and Mary E. Crouse signed a contract for the sale and purchase of the Millers' tavern. The contract named Harry E. Craig (defendant) as the parties' closing lawyer and escrow agent, and absolved Craig of legal liability for any related action performed with "reasonable prudence." Pursuant to the contract, Crouse deposited $5,000 with Craig, to be held as earnest money and disbursed either as part of Crouse's purchase funds at closing, or as liquidated damages should Crouse default on the contract. Crouse later took the Millers to court over some of the contract's provisions. The trial court ordered the Millers to pay Crouse damages in the amount of Crouse's earnest-money deposit. Crouse presented the court's order to Craig who, without consulting the Millers, returned Crouse's deposit. The Millers successfully appealed the court's judgment, and sued Craig for the sum he turned over to Crouse. The trial court granted summary judgment for Craig, and the Millers appealed to the Arizona Court of Appeals.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Nelson, J.)

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