Whatever may be the law in other states, in Alabama the partial performance of a contract, void under the statute of frauds, 20 Ala. Code § 3, does not take it from under the influence of the statute, so as to permit a recovery under the contract for any part of the contract remaining executory. Consequently, part performance does not take the executory portion of the contract from the purview of the statute of frauds.
Plaintiff proprietorship sued defendant airline for breach of an alleged oral contract. Plaintiff contended that he was given a five-year contract to supply water methanol to defendant for use in turbo-prop jet aircraft. Defendant denied that it entered into a five-year contract and argued that, if there was a contract, plaintiff's claim was barred by the statute of frauds, 20 Ala. Code § 3.
Can the proprietorship recover for breach of the alleged oral contract?
The court held that each delivery under the oral contract fell outside the statute of frauds and was enforceable, but the executory portion of the five-year contract fell within the statute of frauds and was unenforceable. The court held that plaintiff was not entitled to recover for breach of the executory portion of the contract, but was entitled to compensation for losses incurred in purchasing equipment to perform the contract.