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Friday, December 3rd, 2021
Procedural Posture

Procedural Posture

by May 19, 2021 Business

Appellant seller sought review of a judgment and order from the Superior Court of Sacramento County (California) that awarded respondent buyer damages for appellant’s breach of a purchase contract and denied appellant’s motion for a new trial.

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Appellant and respondent entered into a contract whereby appellant agreed to sell certain real and personal property to respondent for a specified price. Respondent did not sign the contract when it was executed but paid a portion of the purchase price. Respondent subsequently paid another portion of the purchase price and executed a mortgage for the remaining balance. Appellant executed a deed in favor of respondent; however, it did not include all the land described in the contract. Respondent sued appellant for breach of contract. The trial court entered judgment in favor of respondent and denied appellant’s motion for a new trial. The supreme court affirmed the judgment. Respondent could enforce the contract, even though he did not sign it, because the Statute of Frauds and the terms of the contract did not require that respondent sign the contract before it became operative. The contract became binding upon both parties when respondent made the initial payment as part consideration and accepted the contract.


Judgment awarding damages to respondent was affirmed because the contract was enforceable without respondent’s signature.