Maine Supreme Judicial Court
861 A.2d 625 (2004)
Merval and Susan Porter (defendants) own property including a farmhouse, barn, horse stable, and fifty-two acres of land. Joan Sullivan (plaintiff) began managing the horse stable for the Porters in December 1999. In August 2000, Merval offered to sell the entire property to Sullivan and David Andrews (plaintiff) for $350,000 so Sullivan and Andrews could run their horse trail riding and lessons business on the land. The sale would be owner-financed with an interest rate between five and seven percent for a period between twenty and thirty years, with a $20,000 down payment. Sullivan and Andrews orally accepted this offer, and informed Merval they would refinance their house to acquire the money for the down payment. Merval said he would contact his attorney to draw up the paperwork, but never did. In September 2000, Sullivan and Andrews took possession of the property and began making improvements. The parties agreed to meet again on November 25, 2000 to exchange half of the down payment. On November 25th, however, Merval only accepted $3,000 of the $10,000 Sullivan was ready to pay. After this meeting, Sullivan and Andrews completed extensive renovations of the entire property and started their horse trail riding and lessons business. In June 2001, Sullivan sent Merval a copy of an appraisal valuing the property at $250,000, but stated she would still pay the agreed-upon price of $350,000. Merval responded by saying he would sell the property for $450,000 with a $50,000 down payment. Sullivan and Andrews brought suit against the Porters in Maine state court, alleging the existence of an oral contract and promissory estoppel, and seeking specific performance. The jury found a contract existed, and held for Sullivan and Andrews on the issues of the part performance doctrine, promissory estoppel, and specific performance. The trial judge ordered specific performance, and the Porters appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Saufley, C.J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.
Here's why 204,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 14,000 briefs, keyed to 188 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.