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Anderson v. Backlund - 159 Minn. 423, 199 N.W. 90 (1924)

Rule:

Contracts must be certain in terms and not so indefinite and illusory as to make it impossible to say just what is promised.

Facts:

Plaintiff landlord filed an action against defendant tenant to recover on a promissory note. Defendant filed a counterclaim for breach of an oral contract. He alleged that the plaintiff violated their oral agreement that was made wherein the latter allegedly agreed that he would to provide, keep and maintain on the farm a well, watering equipment and water ample and sufficient for the needs of 100 heads of cattle. The trial court granted the landlord's motion for a directed verdict and denied the tenant's motion for a new trial. The tenant appealed.

Issue:

Was the alleged oral agreement between a landlord and the tenant enforceable?

Answer:

No.

Conclusion:

Theappellate court affirmed the grant of the landlord's motion for a directed verdict in the landlord's action to recover on a promissory note. The court held that the landlord's action was not in controversy and  the only evidence in support of the tenant's claim that the parties had an oral contract was the testimony of the tenant.

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