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PAYNE v. CLARK (01/08/63)

January 8, 1963

PAYNE
v.
CLARK, APPELLANT.



Appeal, No. 66, March T., 1962, from decree of Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, April T., 1959, No. 508, in case of Catherine Payne v. Freda Clark. Decree affirmed; reargument refused February 13, 1963.

COUNSEL

Wendell G. Freeland, with him Jones, Smith & Freeland, for appellant.

Donald C. Bush, with him Griggs, Moreland, Blair & Douglass, for appellee.

Before Bell, C.j., Musmanno, Jones, Eagen and Keim, JJ.

Author: Eagen

[ 409 Pa. Page 558]

OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE EAGEN

This action in equity seeks specific performance of a written contract to sell improved real estate. After

[ 409 Pa. Page 559]

    hearing, the chancellor in the court below entered a decree nisi, directing consummation of the agreement. Exceptions to the decree nisi were dismissed and this appeal followed.

The only contention of the appellant on appeal is that the contract was so one-sided and unconscionable that equity should refuse to enforce it. This is based upon the sole ground that the agreed upon consideration is inadequate. This position is without legal merit.

The facts are as follows:

Sherman and Freda Clark, husband and wife, purchased the subject property on November 26, 1952, for $6500. Two mortgages were recorded against the property, one in the amount of $3500 in favor of the Homewood Savings & Loan Association of Pittsburgh; a second mortgage in favor of the sellers in the amount of $1500.

Before the date of purchase, specifically on November 7, 1952, the Clarks executed a written agreement wherein it was recited that they had entered into arrangements to purchase the property, and clearly and definitely giving the appellee, Catherine Payne (Payne), an option to buy the property from the Clarks within a period of twelve years, and also the right to enjoy immediate possession of three rooms in the building on the premises. In consideration for the agreement, Payne (1) immediately paid the Clarks the sum of $500; (2) agreed to pay $45 each month for the right to enjoy possession of a portion of the premises; (3) agreed to pay the further sum of $1000 upon the exercise of the option and ...


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