Procedural Posture

Procedural Posture

Defendant seller appealed from a judgment of the Superior Court of Fresno County (California), which entered a judgment against the seller for the breach of an agreement to sell to plaintiff buyers a certain piece of real property.

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The trial court entered a judgment in favor of the intended buyer of real property in the buyer’s action for breach of contract. The seller appealed, and the court reversed. The court found that the contract presented into evidence along with the testimony of the buyer proved that the parties had entered into only a preliminary agreement to a contract to be completed. The court found that there was a clear indication that the parties intended the execution of a new agreement with the preliminary agreement as a basis, but that the new agreement would contain many additional provisions to be determined by future negotiations. The court held that the statute of frauds precluded consideration of the preliminary contract as a binding agreement because it was silent as to many matters essential to a contract for the sale of real property. The court also found that the evidence showed that the preliminary contract was not intended and did not purport to be a final contract and that no agreement to the additional terms was ever reached.


The judgment in favor of the buyer in an action for breach of contract was reversed.