Owen v. Hendricks

426 S.W.2d 955

 

RULE:

A purported agreement for a real estate commission does not comply with the statute and is not enforceable because, unless two letters can be read together as mutually supporting documents, there is no description of any particular tract of land. Even if they are read together, they do not meet the statutory test. The alleged agreement cannot be enlarged by documents not referred to in the writing signed by the party to be charged therewith. 

FACTS:

Appellant realtor sued appellee land owner over a land sale commission alleged to have been contracted for in two letters. The trial court granted appellee's motion for summary judgment because the letters were insufficient to authorize appellant's suit. Appellee also excepted to an affidavit of appellant's counsel opposing the motion because it was not shown to have been made on counsel's personal knowledge, nor did it show counsel's competence to testify to said facts. Appellant sought review arguing trial court error in holding that the description of the land was insufficient to meet the statutory requirements and that the alleged agreement to pay a commission was likewise insufficient.

ISSUE:

Did the alleged contract comply with the statutory requirements as to a description of the land or a promise to pay a realtor's commission or the amount thereof?

ANSWER:

No.

CONCLUSION:

The court affirmed the trial court judgment, holding that no contractual arrangement existed. The court reasoned that the letter from appellee to appellant did not refer to any previous correspondence and did not sufficiently describe any specific tract of land. It did not refer, either for the land description or for a promise of a commission, to any other existing writing. The only reference to a particular tract was in appellant's letter, which appellee did not sign. In addition, counsel's affidavit did not show that the facts stated therein were within his personal knowledge and admissible as required by Tex. R. Civ. P. 166(A).

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