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DF Activities Corp. v. Brown

DF Activities Corp. v. Brown

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Published by crlstinaaa

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Published by: crlstinaaa on Apr 08, 2008
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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11/12/2012

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Case: DF Activities Corp. v. BrownParties: Plaintiff - DFDefendant - BrownProcedural History: District judge granted the motion to dismiss. Defendantappeals.Facts: Brown owned a one-of-a-kind chair designed by Wright. DF, a passionateenthusiast for the work of Wright, wanted to purchase the chair from Brown, to addto its art collection. DF alleges that on Nov 26, an oral contract was createdfor the purchase of the chair by DF for $60k. On Dec 3, plaintiff sent brown aletter confirming their agreement, and later sent a check for half the payment($30k). 2 weeks later Brown returned the letter and the check with a note sayingthe chair was no longer available for sale to DF. Brown later sold the chair for$198k. Brown moved to dismiss the suit based on UCC 2-201, the statute of frauds,that requires a contract to be in writing for goods for the price of more than$500. Brown also denied the conversation on Nov 26, when the contract wasallegedly made.Df appeals, saying that although the price of the chair was over $500, andtherefore the statute of frauds applies, the (alleged) oral contract made on nov26 may be within the statutory exception for cases where "the party against whomenforcement is sought admits in his pleading, testimony or otherwise in court thata contract for sale was made." Also, Brown's handwritten note (when she returnedthe letter and check) is sufficient acknowledgement of a contract to bring thecase within the 2-201 (b) exemption.The note said: "Since I did not hear from you until December and I spoke with youuntil the middle of November, I have made other arrangements for the chair. It isno longer available for sale to you."Plaintiff argued that the dismissal was improper since plaintiff had not had anopportunity to depose defendant.Issue: Although Brown denied ever creating a contract, can DF persist with trialand discovery, or should the case be dismissed?Holding: The court affirmed the dismissal of plaintiff's suit againstdefendant since the statute of frauds in the Uniform Commercial Code barred thesuit because the contract was oral and over $ 500.00.Reasoning: The court found that plaintiff in a suit involving a contract coveredby the statute of frauds should not be allowed to resist a motion to dismiss,backed by an affidavit that defendant denied the contract was made, by arguingthat his changes of success might improve in discovery. The court ruled that oncedefendant denied the contract under oath, the exception to the statute of fraudsfound in UCC 2-201 was closed.Notes:Sworn affidavit that says no contract ever formed.Dissent - trial court abuses discretion by not allowing additional discovery. Itshould be up to discretion of trial court, and court overextended theirdiscretion. Because they are appeals court, they are not supposed to find thefacts.But, judge polsner, felt the facts would not have turned out any different if atrial were granted. The defendant already swore that no contract formed, and very

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