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Seaman v. Seaman

Maine Supreme Judicial Court
477 A.2d 734 (1984)


Facts

Earle Seaman (plaintiff) loaned his brother Malcolm Seaman (defendant) $4,500. In 1965, Malcolm signed a promissory note in favor of Earle for that amount. Malcolm secured the note by assigning a future interest in a cottage. Malcolm’s interest in the cottage was to fully vest upon the death of the cottage’s life tenant. Under the terms of the agreement, Malcolm was to repay the borrowed amount plus interest within five years. Malcolm made no payments until 1979 when he and Earle reached a new agreement. Malcolm paid Earle a total of $900 under this new agreement. In 1982, the cottage’s life tenant died, thereby vesting Malcolm’s interest in the cottage. Approximately two weeks later, Malcolm tendered payment to Earle for the remaining balance on the promissory note. Earle declined to accept the payment, opting instead to file suit for specific performance. Malcolm countersued, petitioning the court for an option to redeem the cottage with full payment to Earle. The superior court found in favor of Malcolm, granting him the option to redeem the property by paying the full amount owed on the note plus interest. Earle appealed, arguing that Malcolm waived his redemption right.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Scolnik, J.)

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