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Property Keyed to Saxer
Johnston v. Curtis
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*Case Brief Anatomy includes: Brief Prologue, Complete Case Brief, Brief Epilogue
- The Brief Prologue provides necessary case brief introductory information and includes:
- Topic: Identifies the topic of law and where this case fits within your course outline.
- Parties: Identifies the cast of characters involved in the case.
- Procedural Posture & History: Shares the case history with how lower courts have ruled on the matter.
- Case Key Terms, Acts, Doctrines, etc.: A case specific Legal Term Dictionary.
- Case Doctrines, Acts, Statutes, Amendments and Treatises: Identifies and Defines Legal Authority used in this case.
- The Case Brief is the complete case summarized and authored in the traditional Law School I.R.A.C. format. The Pro case brief includes:
- Brief Facts: A Synopsis of the Facts of the case.
- Rule of Law: Identifies the Legal Principle the Court used in deciding the case.
- Facts: What are the factual circumstances that gave rise to the civil or criminal case? What is the relationship of the Parties that are involved in the case. Review the Facts of this case here:
On October 9, 1997, Glen and Deanna Curtis (Plaintiffs) entered an agreement to sell their home in Cabot to Gerald and Bebe Dare Johnston (Defendants) for $114,000. The transaction was subject to Defendants’ ability to procure a home loan in the amount of $102,600, which constituted ninety percent of the purchase price. According to Deanna Curtis, Plaintiffs purchased a home in Searcy upon learning that Defendants had been pre-approved for their loan. However, Defendants were ultimately denied the loan because the house was only appraised for $110,000. The parties then orally agreed to lower the price to $110,000. Deanna Curtis states that Plaintiffs allowed Defendants to take possession of the home before closing, but only after Defendants gave them a $500 check to hold as a demonstration of good faith. On November 17, Plaintiffs were informed that Defendants refused to close. Plaintiffs told Defendants to vacate and listed the home with a realtor. In March 1998, Plaintiffs sold the home for $100,000. After the realtor’s commission and closing costs were subtracted, Plaintiffs received $94,000. Gerald Johnston testified that the parties agreed Defendants would purchase the home only if they received an acceptable rate of interest and acceptable closing costs. Gerald Johnston did not learn of the final interest rate until November 17, and found it to be too high. He also testified that he did not learn until trial that his wife’s name would not be on the title of the house, and that he would not have agreed to purchase the home on such a condition. He also stated that the $500 check was not earnest money, but was provided in case Defendants caused damage to the home. The trial court ruled that the parties orally modified the original agreement to reduce the purchase price; that the modification was subject to all other terms of the original contract; that the oral modification was not within the statute of frauds; and that Defendants breached the contract by refusing to close. The trial court granted damages to Plaintiffs in the amount of $10,000.
- Issue(s): Lists the Questions of Law that are raised by the Facts of the case.
- Holding: Shares the Court's answer to the legal questions raised in the issue.
- Concurring / Dissenting Opinions: Includes valuable concurring or dissenting opinions and their key points.
- Reasoning and Analysis: Identifies the chain of argument(s) which led the judges to rule as they did.
- The Brief Prologue closes the case brief with important forward-looking discussion and includes:
- Policy: Identifies the Policy if any that has been established by the case.
- Court Direction: Shares where the Court went from here for this case.