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Shattuck v. Klotzbach

Superior Court of Massachusetts
14 Mass. L. Rptr. 360 (2001)


Facts

In April 2001, Shattuck (plaintiff) negotiated the purchase of property from David Klotzbach (defendant). During these negotiations, Klotzbach said that email was his preferred form of communication. The parties entered a purchase and sale agreement, but the transaction fell through when Klotzbach was unable to satisfy one of the agreement’s terms. In July 2001, the parties again began negotiating for the purchase of the same piece of property. Shattuck emailed Klotzbach making an offer. Klotzbach emailed back with a counteroffer. In August 2001, Klotzbach sent another email saying that he was still interested in selling the property to Shattuck and making a new counteroffer. In September 2001, Shattuck responded that he was interested in the deal. Shattuck told Klotzbach that Shattuck’s attorney would draft a standard purchase and sale agreement. Klotzbach emailed back that, once the parties signed the purchase and sale agreement, Klotzback wanted to close immediately and asked Shattuck to send a deposit check. All the emails contained the parties’ respective typewritten names at the end. Klotzbach then would not go forward with the sale. Shattuck sued to enforce the sale contract and to recover damages arising out of the alleged breach of that contract. Klotzbach moved to dismiss the complaint, arguing that there was no sale contract because the parties’ unsigned email correspondence did not satisfy the statute of frauds.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Murphy, J.)

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  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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