This opinion will be unpublished and
may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (1998).
STATE OF MINNESOTA
IN COURT OF APPEALS
George Hanson, et al.,
Katherine M. Bublitz,
defendant and third-party plaintiff,
Jeff Murphy, et al.,
Third-Party Defendants and
Sharlene Beisell, et al.,
Filed January 4, 2000
Wabasha County District Court
File No. C4-96-414
Peter D. Ekstrand, 100 Main Street West, Wabasha, MN 55981 (for appellants)
Ross A. Phelps, 106 South Walnut St., La Crescent, MN 55947 (for respondent)
Considered and decided by Klaphake, Presiding Judge, Randall, Judge, and Peterson, Judge.
U N P U B L I S H E D O P I N I O N
George Hanson and Rochelle Quast challenge the summary judgment in favor of Katherine Bublitz in an action for performance of a contract for the purchase of certain real estate. Because the contract is indefinite and there was no meeting of minds, we affirm.
D E C I S I O N
"On appeal from summary judgment, we must examine two questions, whether there are any genuine issues of material fact and whether the lower court erred in [its] application of the law." Cummings v. Koehnen, 568 N.W.2d 418, 420 (Minn. 1997) (citation omitted). "Where the parties do not dispute the relevant facts, a de novo standard of review is applied to determine whether the district court erred in its application of the law." Medica, Inc. v. Atlantic Mut. Ins. Co., 566 N.W.2d 74, 76 (Minn. 1997) (citation omitted).
The sole question before this court is whether the purchase agreement of March 24, 1996, as a matter of law, is a binding, enforceable contract for the sale of real estate or whether it is fatally indefinite, as the district court ruled. In the case of a real estate contract, certain terms must be included in the writing: vendor, consideration, parties, description of the real estate definite to a certain degree and the general terms and conditions of the sale. Malevich v. Hakola, 278 N.W.2d 541, 544 (Minn. 1979). In this case, the parties failed to specify with sufficient clarity who bore responsibility for making or financing repairs to the property. Where repairs are estimated to equal as much as one-third of the purchase price, this is a significant term, to be made with precision. The history of this litigation demonstrates that the parties were at odds about this point. "When the parties know that an essential term of their intended transaction has not been agreed upon, there is no contract." Id. at 544.
Further, a basic principle of contract law is that the contract should reflect the meeting of minds. See Crince v. Kulzer, 498 N.W.2d 55, 57 (Minn. App. 1993). We conclude that the parties to this contract did not meet this simple standard. As such, no contract exists and the district court did not err in granting summary judgment.