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Young v. PlainsCapital Bank

Court of Appeals of Texas, Third District, Austin

July 14, 2017

T. David Young, Appellant
v.
PlainsCapital Bank, Appellee

         FROM THE DISTRICT COURT OF TRAVIS COUNTY, 353RD JUDICIAL DISTRICT NO. D-1-GN-14-004656, HONORABLE GISELA D. TRIANA, JUDGE PRESIDING

          Before Chief Justice Rose, Justices Puryear and Bourland

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          Jeff Rose, Chief Justice.

         Appellant T. David Young appeals from the district court's summary judgment in favor of appellee PlainsCapital Bank (the Bank). Young sued the Bank for breach of contract, claiming that the Bank had agreed to sell him certain real property that it owned. On cross-motions for summary judgment, the district court denied Young's motion and granted summary judgment to the Bank. Because the unsigned real-estate sales contract Young seeks to enforce is required by the statute of frauds to be both signed and in writing, and because Young's summary-judgment evidence fails to raise a fact issue as to any exception to the statute of frauds, we affirm the district court's judgment.

         Background

         In September 2013, Young and his real-estate agent Tate Chiles (collectively, "Young") began negotiations with the Bank, through Bank employee Sean Denton, to purchase property owned by the Bank. As part of these negotiations, Young and Denton met in person and exchanged emails regarding the details of the proposed sale. The emails, which the Bank attached as summary-judgment evidence, established the following sequence of events:

• Sept. 17-Young agrees to meet with Denton at his office to discuss the deal.
• Sept. 18-Young sends Denton a proposed contract to purchase the property.
• Sept. 19-Denton emails Young's proposal to Bank supervisors, asking how they would like to proceed.
• Sept. 24-Denton tells Young that Denton "received a response this morning that all the terms appeared acceptable but that they would like for us to rework the addendum."
• Oct. 4-Young sends an email to Denton confirming "our conversation today and the attached addendum" and stating that Young "agrees to the addendum and all changes." In the same email, Young asks Denton if he wants Young "to clean this up and send it to you Monday or do you want to take care of it? We will initial and sign all documents needed." Denton replies, "It would be quicker if you cleaned it up and sent me an executable version."
• Oct. 7-Young sends Denton a copy of the purchase contract and a copy of the addendum incorporating the Bank's requested changes, both of which were signed and initialed by Young only. Young asks Denton to "review Paragraph 10 of the addendum in which we clarified the undefined word 'affiliate' and to let him know if there were any questions."
• Oct. 7-Denton forwards to his supervisor the purchase contract and addendum signed by Young and a document titled "ORE Sale Approval Request, " explaining, "This should be clean copies of everything. Let me know if you need anything else from me."

         In addition to the foregoing emails, Young offered as summary-judgment evidence his own affidavit and deposition testimony alleging that Denton assured him during an October 4 conversation that the contract was complete and would be signed. The Bank offered as summary-judgment evidence the minutes of its Special ...


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