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No written contract for a $30k transaction, will that hold in court?

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I am being sued over a breach of a contract , but we never signed anything. Does that increases my chances of winning this lawsuit? I read that:
"the courts will enforce certain contracts only if they are in writing and are signed by the parties who are going to be obligated to fulfill them. "

We never made any official contract, there is just some email conversation prior to our deal but I didn't make any promises or guarantees. Subject of the lawsuit is he bought from me some websites, which shortly after sale stop performing and he blames me for it. He also had one week through escrow.com for testing these websites, where he would get access to websites before I got paid, and he could verify that all my claims are true and that sites are performing as promised.
Thank you

Attorney Answers 3

Posted

It very well might. Contracts only have to be in writing for certain things like sale of real estate, etc. Don't think the fact there isn't a signed contract will save you from suit or ultimate liability. There may be a settlement in order as well. If you do get sued, hire a local attorney familiar with litigating these matters.

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4 comments

Asker

Posted

This is the full text regarding this issue I found: "Under statutes (laws passed by legislatures) in most states called "statutes of frauds," the courts will enforce certain contracts only if they are in writing and are signed by the parties who are going to be obligated to fulfill them": and one of these contracts is: - any promise for the sale of goods worth more than $500 or lease of goods worth more than - $1,000

Timothy J. Klisz

Timothy J. Klisz

Posted

Not in Michigan, sorry

Asker

Posted

I see, thank you

Christine Marie Heckler

Christine Marie Heckler

Posted

Michigan has a statute of frauds: 440.2201 Formal requirements; statute of frauds. Sec. 2201. (1) Except as otherwise provided in this section, a contract for the sale of goods for the price of $1,000.00 or more is not enforceable by way of action or defense unless there is a writing sufficient to indicate that a contract for sale has been made between the parties and signed by the party against whom enforcement is sought or by his or her authorized agent or broker. A writing is not insufficient because it omits or incorrectly states a term agreed upon but the contract is not enforceable under this subsection beyond the quantity of goods shown in the writing. (2) Between merchants, if within a reasonable time a writing in confirmation of the contract and sufficient against the sender is received and the party receiving it has reason to know its contents, it satisfies the requirements of subsection (1) against the party unless written notice of objection to its contents is given within 10 days after it is received. (3) A contract that does not satisfy the requirements of subsection (1) but is valid in other respects is enforceable in any of the following circumstances: (a) If the goods are to be specially manufactured for the buyer and are not suitable for sale to others in the ordinary course of the seller's business and the seller, before notice of repudiation is received and under circumstances that reasonably indicate that the goods are for the buyer, has made either a substantial beginning of their manufacture or commitments for their procurement. (b) If the party against whom enforcement is sought admits in his or her pleading or testimony or otherwise in court that a contract for sale was made, but the contract is not enforceable under this section beyond the quantity of goods admitted. (c) With respect to goods for which payment has been made and accepted or that have been received and accepted under section 2606.

Posted

It sounds to me as if the contract is not being denied, but rather you are being sued due to the purchaser's dissatisfaction with the product.
You got the $30K, and he got the websites which he was allowed to view and test prior to acceptance.
You will need an attorney to defend yourself and a welcome to call my offices. the purchaser can bring a suit and make his claims, the question is if he can prevail and what you costs of defense will be.
Talk to an attorney PRIOR to speaking with the purchaser and especially his attorney.
I wish you luck, and would state my opinion you will need less of it if you are properly represented and do not attempt to play lawyer. I will not attempt to program web sites, if you do not promise not to attempt to practice law.

To the PROSPECTIVE client, please call myself or another attorney for your choice with more detaiils and an appointment. My PRELIMINARY answer to your question(s) is for general purposes and based upon what little information you have conveyed. It is based on such limited information that the general answer should never be relied as a reason for your action or inaction. My response does NOT establish an attorney-client relationship and such may only be established by mutual agreement, and the signing of a written retainer agreement, which will generally require payment for our services, as this is what we do for a living and, just like you, we must get paid for our work.. .

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Posted

You are correct that Michigan has a statue of frauds that gennerally requires the sale of goods over $1,000.00 to be in writing to be enforceable. However, there are several exceptions. One of the exceptions is that the goods have already been exchanged money. In your case, the buyer received to product and you received the money. Therefore, the buyer can sue you for an alleged breach of contract. However, you may have other defenses. Consult an attorney familiar with Michigan contract law.

Here is the full text of the Michigan statute of frauds:

440.2201 Formal requirements; statute of frauds.

(1) Except as otherwise provided in this section, a contract for the sale of goods for the price of $1,000.00 or more is not enforceable by way of action or defense unless there is a writing sufficient to indicate that a contract for sale has been made between the parties and signed by the party against whom enforcement is sought or by his or her authorized agent or broker. A writing is not insufficient because it omits or incorrectly states a term agreed upon but the contract is not enforceable under this subsection beyond the quantity of goods shown in the writing.

(2) Between merchants, if within a reasonable time a writing in confirmation of the contract and sufficient against the sender is received and the party receiving it has reason to know its contents, it satisfies the requirements of subsection (1) against the party unless written notice of objection to its contents is given within 10 days after it is received.

(3) A contract that does not satisfy the requirements of subsection (1) but is valid in other respects is enforceable in any of the following circumstances:

(a) If the goods are to be specially manufactured for the buyer and are not suitable for sale to others in the ordinary course of the seller's business and the seller, before notice of repudiation is received and under circumstances that reasonably indicate that the goods are for the buyer, has made either a substantial beginning of their manufacture or commitments for their procurement.

(b) If the party against whom enforcement is sought admits in his or her pleading or testimony or otherwise in court that a contract for sale was made, but the contract is not enforceable under this section beyond the quantity of goods admitted.

(c) With respect to goods for which payment has been made and accepted or that have been received and accepted under section 2606.

DISCLAIMER: This answer is provided as general information, which may not be appropriate for the specific facts of your particular situation. No attorney-client relationship has been established based on this limited communication. You are advised to consult with an attorney in your jurisdiction before taking any action or inaction that may affect your legal rights. www.hecklerlawoffice.com

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