Contracts I, Pages 353–356

Ardente v. Horan

Supreme Court of Rhode Island, 1976


Plaintiff bid $250,000 for property that defendants were selling, including furniture. Defendants' attorney advised plaintiff that it was acceptable, so he prepared a purchase and sale agreement and sent it to the attorney. Plaintiff investigated certain title conditions and then executed and returned the agreement, along with a check for $20,000 and a request for clarification that the furniture was included.

Procedural History:

Trial court ruled that the letter constituted a conditional acceptance and was therefore a counteroffer, and that no contract was then formed. Summary judgment was granted.


Was plaintiff's request conditional acceptance?


The acceptance may not impose additional conditions on the offer, but may be valid despite conditional language if the acceptance is clearly independent of the condition.


The letter does not unequivocally say that plaintiff is willing to accept the complete the contract.


Yes, plaintiff's request indicated conditional acceptance and a counteroffer. Affirmed.