Lucy V. Zehmer Supreme Court of Appeals of Virginia, 196 Va. 493, 84 S.E.2d 516 (1954).

Topics: Appeal, Court, Appellate court Pages: 2 (539 words) Published: February 20, 2013
Shane Pettus
Case Briefs Assignment
BUL 4421—Dr. Robert Wills

Supreme Court of Appeals of Virginia, 196 Va. 493, 84 S.E.2d 516 (1954).

FACTS:W.O. Lucy, the plaintiff, filed suit against A.H. and Ida Zehmer, the defendants, to compel the Zehmers to transfer title of their property known as Ferguson Farm to the Lucys for 50,000$ as the Zehmers ad allegedly agreed to do. The families had known each other for many years and the Lucys had tried to buy the facility countless times, but to no appeal. After a night of drinking and badgering, W.O. Lucy was able to entice Zehmer into writing up an agreement that stated Zehmer would sell Ferguson Farm to Lucy for 50,000$. Later, Lucy sued Zehmer to compel him to go through with the sale. Zehmers argument centered on him being drunk and that the agreement was in jest hence the agreement was unenforceable. The trial court agreed with Zehmer, Lucy appealed. ISSUE:If a contract is signed by both the defendant and plaintiff parties, would the contract be considered unenforceable if one of the parties considers the writings in jest? DECISION:No. The Supreme Court of Appeals of Virginia reversed the rulings of the lower court saying that the writing was an enforceable contract. REASON:The court acknowledged that the writing was a contract. The fact that it was under consideration for forty or more minutes before it was signed. The fact that Lucy objected to the first write up because it was written in the singular; the discussion as to what was to be included in the sale, the provision for the examination of the title, the completeness of the instrument that was executed. The taking possession of it by Lucy without request or suggestion by either defendant that he give it back, are facts that show that the execution of the contract was a serious business transaction rather than a casual one.

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