Property Keyed to Rabin
Urquhart v. Teller
In 1971, Teller (Defendant) sold 270 of his 280 acres to Urquhart (Plaintiff). The parties agreed that when Defendant died or if and when he wanted to sell his remaining ten acres, Plaintiff would have the option to buy that land for $12,000. In 1982, Plaintiff transferred the 270 acres to the Plaintiff Living Trust, which sold the property to Spring Creek Investments. Plaintiff assigned the option but also agreed to exercise the option on Spring Creek’s behalf if the option was unassignable. In 1993, Defendant donated his ten acres to Cinnabar, a non-profit organization. The ten acres had become worth nearly $400,000. Plaintiff then sued to enforce the option. The district court held that the option, a preemptive right of first refusal, was an unreasonable restraint on alienation and that it would be inequitable to enforce the terms of the right of first refusal. Plaintiff appealed.
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