Commercial Law Keyed to Lopucki
Stockton v. Sowerwine
Plaintiff’s father owned the property which is the subject of this dispute and had numerous financial problems and in order to save his ranch was given $300,000.00 from Defendant to discharge obligations. When Plaintiff received the money, he deeded to Defendant 1,510 acres of the ranch with a one-year option to repurchase 1,505 acres as set forth in an Agreement and Option to Repurchase. The parties agreed that upon exercise of the option Defendant could keep five acres from the 1,510 acres. Plaintiff then alleged that Defendant wrongfully prevented him from exercising the option. Specifically, Plaintiff alleged that Defendant’s actions display a conscious obstructive course of action towards the Plaintiff and his attempts to prevent him from exercising the option have hindered the Plaintiff. The option ran for one year and the purchase price was $303,000.00 plus $20,000.00. Evidence indicated that the land was worth more than one million dollars. Plaintiff’s father had not a cquired financing and the option was assigned to Plaintiff. Plaintiff applied obtained financing and the following day he told the Defendant that he wanted to exercise the option. He also requested that Defendant provide him with a list of expenses incurred by him and a description of the five acres he wished to retain. Defendant refused to give him the list and refused to tell him which five acres he wanted. A surveyor of the land testified that Defendant told him which five acres he wanted and wanted it surveyed. Defendant along with his attorney also told the Plaintiff, who was not accompanied by counsel, that the option was not assignable and that Defendant could not exercise the option. Since the closing date was approaching and he could not obtain the loan without a description of the five acres, Plaintiff went to another bank for financing, however, the bank that he went to had been contacted by the Defendant and told that it would not be wise to provide Plaintiff with this loa n due to restrictive covenants on the land. Plaintiff’s application for a loan was rejected. The lists requested by the Plaintiff were necessary to obtain financing and were not given by the Defendant until after the option period had expired. The trial court found that Defendant violated the implied covenant of good faith.
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