Tomczak v. Koochiching Cty. Highway Dep't

C4-98-991, 1999 Minn. App. LEXIS 138 (Ct. App. Feb. 9, 1999)

 

RULE:

A contract requires valid consideration. Consideration is the exchange or price requested and received by the promisor for the promise. A gratuitous conditional promise is unenforceable.

FACTS:

Appellants, property owners, challenged a decision that dismissed their contract claim and imposed sanctions in an action against respondent county highway department. Appellants alleged the parties entered into a contract, and sought to recover for respondent's breach. The imposition of sanctions was premised on a determination that appellants' motions for reconsideration and for trial under Minn. R. Civ. P. 59.01, had no basis in law or fact and were brought in bad faith. The court held the imposition of sanctions was not an abuse of discretion because Rule 59.01, which authorized a motion for a new trial, was inappropriately invoked by appellants where the matter before the lower court was decided by summary judgment and there had been no trial.

Accordingly, the decision was affirmed.

ISSUE:

Was the judgment dismissing the contract claim by the appellants valid?

ANSWER:

Yes.

CONCLUSION:

Thus, the judgment dismissing contract claim by appellants, property owners, was affirmed because there was no valid consideration for the formation of a contract where appellants' promises were of no benefit to respondent county highway department and were for the purpose of enabling appellants to receive a benefit from respondent. The imposition of sanctions was affirmed because appellants filed motions under an inapplicable rule of procedure.

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