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A memorandum which states a sale of land, identifying it by an adequate description, and which specifies the price and is dated and signed by the seller, is sufficient to support a suit for specific performance against him. Nor need the writing contain all of the stipulations upon which the parties may have agreed. When the memorandum contains within itself, all the particulars of a concluded contract, it need only be signed by the party against whom it is sought to be enforced. The written evidence that is required by the statute need not be comprised in a single document, the requirement may be satisfied by two or more scripts in combination--for instance, letters passing between the parties or telegrams. A letter or telegram sufficient as to contents and signature to constitute a memorandum satisfying the statute of frauds, or a part of such memorandum if more than one writing is involved, is adequate for this purpose, even though it is not intended for, addressed, delivered, or known to the other contracting party. The rule is settled in Texas that it is not necessary that the consideration of the contract of sale of lands should be expressed in the writing.
The seller instructed his agent, in writing, to sell four of his properties to the purchaser. The purchaser agreed to buy them. A bill of sale, with the purchaser's name and the consideration left blank, was delivered to the purchaser. The purchaser alleged that there were letters, writings, and telegrams between the seller and his agent regarding the sale and approving it, which were in the possession of the seller or his agent. The seller then offered the same properties for sale again. The purchaser sought enforcement of the contract of sale. The trial court sustained the general and special demurrers to the purchaser's petition. The purchaser appealed.
Did the trial court err in sustaining the general and special demurrers to the purchaser's petition for specific enforcement of the real estate contract in question?
Reversing and remanding, the court concluded that the trial court erred in dismissing the action and that the purchaser was entitled to the opportunity to prove his case. The court concluded that a memorandum stating the sale of real property, identifying it adequately, specifying a price, and signed and dated by the seller could support an action for specific performance. A contract only had to be signed by the party against whom it was sought to be enforced. Additionally, the court determined that letters or telegrams that were signed could satisfy the statute of frauds.