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Posted by: Chandra Williams on Jul 20, 2016

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Stephen W. Grace, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Delain L. Deatherage

Attorneys 2:

Ronald H. Bice, Jr., Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellees, John C. Hailey and Peggy T. Hailey.

Judge(s): CLEMENT

At issue in this case is whether the parties entered into a contract that granted Plaintiff a right of first refusal to purchase Defendants’ real property. Defendants leased their property to Plaintiff for a twelve-month period. After the lease was renewed several times, Plaintiff inquired with Defendants’ agent as to whether Defendants would be interested in selling the property. The agent informed Plaintiff via email that Defendants did not wish to sell their property at the time, but should they decide to in the future, Plaintiff “would have the first right of refusal.” Defendants subsequently decided to sell the property to a third party and did not provide Plaintiff the opportunity to purchase the property. Plaintiff then filed this action for specific performance and breach of contract, asserting that Defendants granted Plaintiff an enforceable right of first refusal. After discovery, Defendants filed a motion for summary judgment, arguing that the purported contract fails for lack of mutual assent and consideration. The trial court granted summary judgment, holding that the language in the email correspondence was too indefinite to create a binding contract. We have determined that the agreement to provide Plaintiff with a right of first refusal was not supported by consideration; thus, it did not constitute a binding contract. Accordingly, we affirm.