Contracts II, Pages 676–679

Owen v. Hendricks

Supreme Court of Texas, 1968

Facts:

Plaintiff wrote a letter to defendant, asking the price and terms to buy his land to resell to another party. Defendant replied with the price, saying that "the 960 acres in Dallam County is for sale." Plaintiff later sued to recover his commission.

Judgment:

Affirmed.

Procedural History:

Defendant filed a motion for summary judgment, which was sustained by the trial court and affirmed by the Court of Civil Appeals.

Issue:

Can two letters be combined to constitute a memorandum of the agreement?

Defendant's Argument:

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  1. that the description of the land in the written memorandum he signed is not sufficient to satisfy the requirements of Section 28 of Article 6573a; to the text of the note and
  2. that the memorandum does not contain a promise or agreement to pay any particular commission.

Reasoning:

If a writing isn't signed by the defendant, it could be forged and doesn't actually proved anything.

Rule/Holding:

Two writings may be taken together, but only if both are signed by the defendant.

Note:

Based on the Williston approach. Under the Corbin approach, like the Restatement, the court would have admitted all evidence.

See Also: