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Scott E. Mollen Scott E. Mollen

Contracts—Statute of Frauds—Oral Contract for Purchase of Home Governed by General Obligations Law §5-703—Plaintiffs May Pursue Claim for Specific Performance Based on Part Performance Exception

This decision involved an action for a specific performance of a contract for the sale of real property. The plaintiffs appealed from a trial court order which, in so far as appealed from, granted those portions of the defendant’s motion pursuant to CPLR 3211(a)(5) to dismiss the first, third, fourth, and fifth causes of action and to cancel a notice of pendency. The Appellate Division (court) reversed and denied the defendant’s motion.

The complaint alleged that “A” owned a two-unit home in Brooklyn and that “A” lived in one unit and rented the other unit to the plaintiffs. Prior to “A’s” death, “A” and the plaintiffs “allegedly entered into an oral agreement whereby the plaintiffs would provide (“A”), who required substantial assistance with activities of daily living, with home care services for the duration of her lifetime. In exchange for such services, the plaintiffs allegedly were to receive an option to purchase the subject property from (“A’s”) estate for the agreed-upon price of $1.2 million.” It was undisputed that the plaintiffs provided “necessary care to (“A”) and maintained the property.”

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