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FREDERICK P. HESSENTHALER v. MEHDI P. FARZIN AND MARIE R. FARZIN (10/03/89)

filed: October 3, 1989.

FREDERICK P. HESSENTHALER, F. ERNEST MCCONNELL, RONALD J. COX, DAVID P. FAUCHER, GEORGE R. HOLL, AND JOHN L. PRICE, III, T/A INVEN ASSOCIATES
v.
MEHDI P. FARZIN AND MARIE R. FARZIN, HUSBAND AND WIFE, APPELLANTS



Appeal from the Order entered December 8, 1988 in the Court of Common Pleas of Dauphin County, Civil Division, at No. 4528 Equity 1986.

COUNSEL

Thomas Caldwell, Harrisburg, for appellants.

Robert F. Claraval, Harrisburg, for appellees.

Brosky, Beck and Hoffman, JJ.

Author: Hoffman

[ 388 Pa. Super. Page 39]

This is an appeal from an order and decree nisi directing appellants to specifically perform their obligations under a land sales agreement dated November 17, 1985, and ordering them to convey the property at issue to appellees. Appellants contend that the court erred in directing specific performance because: (1) the court erroneously relied on oral testimony when it held that a memorandum existed sufficient to satisfy the Statute of Frauds; and (2) the only writing signed by appellants does not include the material term of financing. For the reasons that follow, we disagree, and accordingly, affirm the order and decree nisi.

From November 17, 1985 to December 5, 1985, appellants engaged Thomas Dougherty and Barbara Mikulak as real estate agents to help them sell their property, located at 6175-6185 Hocker Drive, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Appellant Marie Farzin indicated to her agents that she would accept an offer that consisted of $520,000 as a purchase price with a $220,000 second mortgage. Pursuant to those instructions, appellants' agents met with appellees and drafted a sales agreement on November 17, 1985. The agreement was drafted exactly as appellant Marie Farzin instructed Thomas Dougherty to draft it. Appellees executed

[ 388 Pa. Super. Page 40]

    the agreement of November 17, 1985, as prepared by appellants' agents. Thomas Dougherty told appellant Marie Farzin that if appellants wished to accept the offer of November 17, 1985 they were to send him a telegram confirming their acceptance. On November 19, 1985, appellant Marie Farzin sent Dougherty a mailgram confirming their acceptance. Dougherty then mailed the agreement of November 17, 1985 to appellants for signature. Appellants unilaterally attempted to add an additional term, collateral to the prior agreement. Appellees sued for specific performance of the November 17 agreement. Following a hearing on October 10, 1988, the court below held that a binding contract had been created, and by order dated December 8, 1988, directed appellants to specifically perform their obligations under the agreement, and convey the property to appellees. This appeal followed.

Appellant's first argument is that the trial court erred because it relied on oral testimony in determining that a memorandum existed sufficient to satisfy the Statute of Frauds (the "Statute"), 33 P.S. § 1 et seq. The Statute requires that agreements for the sale of land be signed and in writing.*fn1 This requirement can be met by creation of a

[ 388 Pa. Super. Page 41]

    written memorandum that need not consist of one single document. Target Sportswear v. Clearfield Found., 327 Pa. Super. 1, 10-11, 474 A.2d 1142, 1147-1148 (1984) allocatur denied (July 17, 1984). The Target court also quoted § 208 of the Restatement of Contracts, which ...


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