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Schweiter v. Halsey

Washington Supreme Court
359 P.2d 821 (1961)


Facts

The Halseys (defendants) put their farm on the market. The Schweiters (plaintiffs) wished to buy only the tillable portion of the farm. The Halseys agreed but had a legal description only of the entire farm; they did not have a legal description of solely the tillable portion. As a result, the Halseys and Schweiters signed an earnest-money agreement without a description of the exact property being sold. Several weeks later, the Halseys conducted a survey and attached a legal description of the land being sold to the agreement. J.E. Schweiter’s wife refused to sign the closing documents. Consequently, the Schweiters gave notice of their rescission of the agreement. The Halseys at all times were ready, willing, and able to perform. The Schweiters brought suit seeking a return of their $5,000 earnest money. The trial court ruled in favor of the Schweiters and ordered a return of the earnest money. The Halseys appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Donworth, J.)

Dissent (Finley, C.J.)

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