The Law School Authority

Hendricks v. Behee Case Brief

Summary of Hendricks v. Behee(MO 1990)

Facts: P, Hendricks Abstract & Title Co., started an impleader action against D, Eugene

Behee, Artice Smith, Pearl Smith. P was the escrowee of $5,000 paid by D Behee as a

deposit accompanying Behee’s offer was to purchase real estate owned by the Smiths.

Diputes btwn Behee and the Smiths as to whether their dealings were resulted in a

binding K prompted the impleader action.

1987/3/2: Behee’s written offer $42,500 for the real estate and $250 for a dinner bell

and flowe pots mailed to Smiths, Miss., on March 3.

1987/3/4 Smiths signed the proposed agmt in Miss but Behee withdrew the offer by notifiying the real estate agent before he was notified that Smith signed it.

Legal Proceedings: The trial ct awarded P $997.50 to be paid out of the $5,000 deposit

The balance of $4,002.50 to be paid to D Behee. The Smiths in the appeal

contended that the K btwn them  and Behee ripened into a K and entitled the Smiths to

the balance of 4,002.50 and the trial ct erred.


Issue: Whether or not a valid K was formed if a purchasing Oer notifed his withdrawl to

the agent of the selling Oee before he was notified that selling Oee signed the sale

agreement for the real estate?

Rules: ACF Indu. v. Ind. Comm; Robinson v. St.Louis; Lndoff v. Conrad; Tristate

Motor v. Ind.Comm; Lynch v. Webb City; Sokol v. Hill: There is no K until A of an O is

communicated to the Oer. (2nd para from the bttm, p274)

Thacker v. Massman Con; Medicine Shoppe v. J-Pral Corp: Uncommunicated

intention to accept an offer is not an acceptance.

Thacker v. Massman Con; Daggert v. Kansas: When an O calls for a promise as distinguished form an act, on the part of the Oee, notice of A is always essential.

Lynch v. Webb CityHunt v. Jefferies; A mere private act of the Oee does not constitute A.

Horton v. NY; Sokol v. Hill: communication of A of a K to an agent of Oee is not sufficient and does not bind the Oer.

Sokol v. Hill; Coffman Industries v. Gorman-Taber Co: Unless the O is supported by C, an Oer may withdraw his O at any time before A and communication of that fact to him.

Hunter v. Hunter; Dace v. John Hancock; Luker v. Moffet: Notice to an agent, within the scope of the agent’s authority, is notice to the principal, and the agent’s knowledge is binding on the principal.

Application: Before Behee was notified that the Smith had Aed his O, Behee notified

the agent of the Smiths that Behee was withdrawing the O. The notice to the agent,

being within the scope of her authority, was binding upon the Smiths. Behee’s O was

not supported by C and his withdrawl of it was proper.

Conclusion: No valid K was formed as the Oer notified to the agent of the Oee in a

timely manner before he was informed of the Oee’s signing of the agreement.

(acronyms:  K=contract, C=consideration, O=offer, A=acceptance)

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