|Type of paper:||Case study|
|Categories:||Contract Business law|
The case was heard and determined in New York City. During the case, the defendants moved pursuant to CPLR 2221(d) to re-argue that the motion for summary judgment that dismissed the fifth cause of action, that is, the breach of contract that was denied through a prior decision of the court on March 8th, 2012. The court granted the parties the re-argument opportunity and upon the re-argument grants the branch of defendants' motion seeking the dismissal of the fifth cause of action for the breach of contract pursuant to CPLR 3211[a].
According to the plaintiff he entered into an oral agreement with the defendants in or about December 1987. The purpose of the agreement was to provide various computer services. The plaintiff told the court that initially, their agreement was for an indefinite period of time. Furthermore, the parties agreed that the contract could be terminated upon supply of a reasonable notice from either of the parties. In November 1991, the plaintiff informed the court that the parties agreed to continue with the agreement for a minimum of two years. The defendants requested the court to dismiss the breach of contract cause of action pursuant to, inter alia, CPLR 3212 (FindLaw's, 2018). However, the request was re-argument after the court had denied them the branch of the motion in a prior order. Furthermore, in the prior hearing, the defendants had failed to annex a copy of the answer to the motion papers to the court as required by CPLR 3212(b). The defendants went further to seek the dismissal as per CPLR 3211(a)(7) (FindLaw's, 2018). According to the defendants, the oral agreement violated the Statute of Frauds because it could not be performed in a period of one year. However, in its ruling, the court denied this branch of the motion. The court made its decision based on CPLR 3211(a)(7) in accordance with the arguments and submissions of the parties (FindLaw's, 2018). The argument should have been pursuant to CPLR 3211(a)(5) that lists the Statute of Frauds as a defense in such a case.
The applicable laws, in this case, were the Statute of Frauds. The case was based on CPLR 3211(a)(5), CPLR 3211(a)(7), and Statute 5-701(a)(1). According to the general observations law 5-701(a)(1), the validity of an agreement, promise or undertaking depends on their presentation. Therefore, a note or memorandum should be in writing and subscribed by the parties to be charged. Therefore, it should not be performed within one year from the day of reaching the agreement. The court's prior decision acknowledged that the subject agreement violates the Statute of Frauds. The violation was caused by the oral agreement to pay commissions for a period of three years. The doctrine of part performance led the court to deny the defendants the branch of defendants' motion that sought the dismissal of the breach of contract cause of action. However, the defendants later argued that the doctrine of part performance does not apply to General Obligation Law 5-701 (New York Consolidated Laws, 2018). The court also acknowledged that its doctrine is only limited to real estate transactions.
The case went to the Supreme Court, and it denied the branch of the defendant's cross-motion. In its ruling, the court dismissed the plaintiff's remaining cause of action for failure to comply with the Statutes of Fraud. The defendants submitted to the court that the alleged oral agreement failed to comply with the provisions of the General Obligations Law 5-701(a)(1) and the plaintiff responded to the claims and provided evidence to show the court of the partial performance (New York Consolidated Laws, 2018). The performance was based, relied upon, and referred to the oral agreement. The evidence provided by the plaintiff was adequate to raise an issue of fact. The question before the court was whether the oral agreement was removed from the Statute of Frauds. The case laws used to determine the answer to the question was Gerry's Foods of Oceanside v Blue Ridge Farms and Brady v Helmsley.
The case provides an analysis of the merits and demerits of oral agreements. Furthermore, the case examines whether oral agreements are legally enforceable. The other issue that was raised during the case was on the partial performance of a contract by a party. Agreements should comply with the provisions of the General Obligations 5-701(a)(1) (New York Consolidated Laws, 2018). Therefore, the defendants raised an essential concern when they informed the court that the oral agreement between the parties was null and void because it never complied with the provisions of the General Obligation. However, the plaintiff provided the court with evidence to show that even though the defendants claim that the agreement was null and void, they had partially participated in it. The evidence provided by the plaintiff was to show the court that the defendant's partial performance was based on, relied upon, and unequivocally referable to the oral agreement between the two parties. Therefore, the question before the court after the tendering of evidence by the two parties was to determine whether the oral agreement was removed from the statute of frauds.
FindLaw's New York Supreme Court case and opinions. (2018). Retrieved from https://caselaw.findlaw.com/ny-supreme-court/1643710.html
New York Consolidated Laws, General Obligations Law - GOB 5-701 | FindLaw. (2018). Retrieved from https://codes.findlaw.com/ny/general-obligations-law/gob-sect-5-701.html
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