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Nahn v. Soffer
Missouri Court of Appeals
824 S.W.2d 442 (1991)
William Nahn (plaintiff) owned a piece of property. Nahn and Donald Soffer (defendant) entered into a one-year option contract to sell the property. Eighteen days before the option was set to end, Soffer told Nahn that he was exercising the option subject to rezoning. However, the one-year provision passed without the sales contract being executed. During that time, Soffer failed to pay agreed-upon taxes on the property and the value of the property went up by over $100,000. Several months later, Soffer entered into an option contract with Shell Oil to sell the property. Nahn told Soffer that Soffer did not have any ownership in the property and demanded that Soffer officially renounce any interest. Soffer then told Nahn that he would close on the sales contract. Nahn filed suit to quiet title and declare that he was the owner of the property. Soffer filed a counterclaim for specific performance of the sales contract. The court ruled in Nahn’s favor, and Soffer appealed. Soffer argued that the 21 months between the time Soffer exercised the option and the scheduled closing date was justified by Nahn’s repudiation of the contract and the time necessary to seek zoning changes. Consequently, Soffer argued the doctrine of laches did not apply and the court should have ordered specific performance of the sales contract between Nahn and Soffer.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Ahrens, J.)
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