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Contracts Keyed to Burton
Masterson v. Sine
Citation:68 Cal. 2d 222, 65 Cal. Rptr. 545, 436 P.2d 561
Dallas and Rebecca Masterson (collectively “the Mastersons”) (plaintiffs) owned a ranch. The Mastersons conveyed the ranch to Medora and Lu Sine (collectively “the Sines”) (defendants) but reserved the option to buy back the property within ten years. The grant deed stated that the Mastersons could exercise this option by paying the same amount of consideration as was provided by the Sines, minus any depreciation in the value of the property. Dallas entered bankruptcy and his trustee, Rebecca, sued the Sines to establish their right to enforce the option. The trial court admitted extrinsic evidence showing that the “consideration” mentioned in the agreement was $50,000, and that any “deprecation in value” referred to depreciation allowable to them under United States income tax regulations as of the time of the exercise of the option. The trial court also concluded that the parol evidence rule precluded the admission of extrinsic evidence of an oral agreement that the option was not assignable to Rebecca as trustee because the parties intended the property to be kept within the Masterson family.
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