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Sechrest v. Safiol

Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
419 N.E.2d 1384 (Mass. 1981)


Facts

Robert Sechrest (plaintiff) and George E. Safiol (defendant) agreed that Safiol would buy a vacant lot from Sechrest. The agreement was conditioned on Safiol’s ability to obtain all necessary permits to build a house on the property by December 9, 1977. Safiol gave Sechrest a deposit of $3800, but never applied for building permits. He merely consulted with a few architects and possible builders. Safiol informed Sechrest that he would not buy the lot because he had not obtained the permits. Safiol asked for his deposit to be returned, but Sechrest refused. The trial court determined that Safiol had acted in good faith in attempting to secure the permits, and ordered Sechrest to return the deposit. Sechrest appealed.

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Hennessey, C.J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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