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Radke v. Brenon

Minnesota Supreme Court
134 N.W.2d 887 (1965)


Facts

Radke (plaintiff) and Brenon (defendant) were neighbors living on separate lots near a lake. Radke, Brenon, and eight of their neighbors each owned property that was separated only by a narrow strip of land from the lake. This narrow strip of property was owned by Dr. Gulden. Brenon purchased the strip of property abutting all ten pieces of property from Dr. Gulden. Radke orally discussed the possibility of purchasing the strip of property bordering his own lot from Brenon. On June 28, 1960, Brenon sent an identical letter to Radke and the eight other neighbors offering to sell the land bordering each person’s property to that person. Brenon offered to sell the property for $212.00 per lot on “any terms agreeable.” This price was based on dividing the total price of the property paid by Brenon ($2,120.00) equally among Brenon, Radke, and the eight other neighbors. Two of the neighbors declined Brenon’s offer, and Brenon divided the price among the remaining eight people. Thus, the price each person was to pay increased to $262.00. Radke was aware of this price increase and orally accepted Brenon’s offer. Over a year passed before the sale was finalized. On August16, 1961, Radke’s attorney informed Brenon in writing that Radke had the check for the purchase price of the property ready for delivery. Sometime after August 16th, Brenon informed Radke that his offer to sell the property was revoked. Radke brought suit in Minnesota state court against Brenon seeking specific performance of the alleged contract for the sale of land. The trial court ordered Brenon to complete specific performance, and Brenon appealed.

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Holding and Reasoning (Rogosheske, J.)

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