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N.Y. Pers. Prop. Law § 85(1)(a) provides that there must be some note or memorandum in writing signed by the party to be charged or his agent in that behalf, sufficient to indicate that a contract to sell or a sale has been made between the parties and showing the quantity of goods sold or contracted to be sold.
The buyer seeks specific performance of an alleged contract calling for delivery by the seller of all Swiss coins owned by seller upon the payment of $50,000 by the buyer.
The seller alternatively asserts that (1) the minds of the parties never met on the subject matter of the alleged agreement and no contract was thus entered into by the parties; and (2) even if an oral contract existed, its enforcement is barred by the applicable Statute of Frauds.
Was there sufficient memorandum signed by the seller or her authorized agent to satisfy the applicable Statute of Frauds?
The court found for the seller, holding that the minds of the parties never met on the subject matter of the alleged contract, as each side conceived of the contents of the "Swiss coin collection" differently, and neither side had reason to know that the description might bear a different meaning to the other party than that which he/she attached to it and, consequently, neither knew of the ambiguity inherent in the description. The court also held that the writing failed to sufficiently indicate that a contract to sell or a sale had been made. The court further held that the buyer failed to sustain his burden of proof by establishing by a fair preponderance of credible evidence that there was a meeting of the minds on a contract of sale.