Board of Control of Eastern Michigan University v. Burgess Case Brief

Summary of Board of Control of Eastern Michigan University v. Burgess

P/S: Defendant appealed Circuit Court ruling for plaintiff.

F: Defendant signed a document which purported to grant to plaintiff 60-day option to purchase defendants home, with $1 due for consideration. The university never paid the stated one dollar consideration or any other consideration. Subsequently, the university delivered written notice to the property owner of its intention to exercise the option, but the property owner rejected the university’s tender of the purchase price. Because the property owner received no consideration for the purported option, the court held that the document was not an enforceable option and that the property owner was not barred from so asserting. Therefore, the court concluded that the transaction was a simple offer to sell the property.

I: Did the defendant effectively revoke her offer to sell before plaintiff accepted that offer?

H: The defendant effectively revoked her offer before plaintiff accepted that offer, and no contract of sale was created. CASE REMANDED TO THE TRIAL COURT FOR ADDITONAL FINDINGS OF FACT

Rule: A simple offer may be revoked for any reson by the offeror at any time prior to the acceptance by the offeree.


  • That which purports to be an option for the purchase of land, but which is not based on valid consideration, is a simple offer to sell the same land. An option is a contract collateral to an offer to sell whereby the offer is made irrevocable for a specified period. Ordinarily, an offer is revocable at the will of the offeror. Accordingly, a failure of consideration affects only the collateral contract to keep the offer open, not the underlying offer
  • Since there was no consideration, it became only an offer. An offer may be revoked. Defendant said she revoked. Remanded back to trial court to analyze the facts of whether or not her testimony that she revoked is accurate..


1.1 Was it just more of a formality? Were the other considerations more important?

1.2 The other valuable considerations were ________——

1.3 It was drafted by the plaintiff’s agent. This was not a factor in the case. It does not matter that it was the agent and not the defendant.

1.4 I think both parties believed that there was a non-revocable option on that day, but soon after no consideration was received, the defendant dismissed that thought.

2.1The appeals court differed from the trial court because the believed that the defendant should not be barred from asserting that the option was merely an offer, therefore not enforceable.

2.2 In the instant case defendant claims that she never received any of the consideration promised her.

2.3 in both cases the appeal court acknowledges that if the consideration is not present for an option, it become only an offer.

2.4 An inference drawn from certain facts that establish a prima facie case, which may be overcome by the introduction of contrary evidence.

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