Roberta Sacks has been negotiating with Mrs. Samantha Muldoon, the owner of a 7 acre parcel of undeveloped property located on the outskirts of
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Roberta Sacks has been negotiating with Mrs. Samantha Muldoon, the owner of a 7 acre parcel of undeveloped property located on the outskirts of town. Ms. Sacks hopes to create a small equine center, one that can be used for riding lessons, horse boarding, and summer camps.
After several weeks of negotiation, Ms. Sacks and Mrs. Muldoon finally agree on the terms of the purchase and sale of the property, the total cost of which will be $895,000.00. Although the parties have agreed in principle, the written contract, however, is still in the process of being drafted by Mrs. Muldoon’s attorney. And, although the parties have not yet signed any written documents, upon reaching an agreement in principle, Ms. Sacks pays, and Mrs. Muldoon accepts, $250,000.00 to bind the deal.
The following week, also, before receiving any contract documentation, Ms. Sacks hires a contractor who enters upon the land and begins to clear trees from the area that will ultimately house the indoor riding arena. This work continues for two weeks, until one day, Mrs. Muldoon visits Ms. Sacks at home, hands Ms. Sacks the $250,000.00 check, and claims the sale is off.
Explain what the Statute of Frauds is as it relates to written contracts and under what circumstances the Statute of Frauds applies generally.
Against the backdrop of your explanation, does Mrs. Muldoon have the legal right to walk away from the agreement with Ms. Sacks and keep the land that she promised to sell. Why or why not?