Buffaloe v. Hart

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Buffaloe v. Hart
Court Court of Appeals of North Carolina
Citation
Date decided 1994-3-1

Facts

Mr. Buffaloe was a tobacco farmer who rented 5 barns from the Hart couple.

The 2 parties, Buffaloe & Hart, had a handshake agreement without a written contract.

Buffaloe began negotiations to purchase the barns. He proposed & paid the 1st of 4 installments of $5,000 to purchase the barns (for a total of $20,000).

Bufalloe applied for a loan to pay the remaining $15,000. The bank didn't approve the loans. Nevertheless, he entered into an agreement to sell 3 of the 5 barns to 3rd parties & informed Hart.

The following day, Hart informed Buffaloe that the barns had been sold & returned Buffaloe's check.

Procedural History

Buffaloe sued the Harts for breach of contract in state court.

The Harts answered that there wasn't a breach of contract based on the statute of frauds.

The jury decides in favor of Buffaloe.

Issues

May a contract that falls under the Statute of Frauds be enforceable if a party (Buffaloe) has partially performed (paid the 1st $5,000) the contract?

Holding

Yes. A contract that falls under the Statute of Frauds may be enforceable if a party has partially performed the contract.

Rule

Partial-performance exception to the statute of frauds

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