Lucy v. Zehmer

196 Va. 493, 84 S.E. 2d 516 (1954)


P sued for specific performance. P alleged a contract by which D sold a tract of land containing 471.6 acres, known as the Ferguson farm, for $50,000. The instrument was written by D on December 20, 1952, in these words: 'We hereby agree to sell to W. O. Lucy the Ferguson Farm complete for $50,000.00, title satisfactory to buyer,' and it was signed by the defendants. D claimed that P and D were having several drinks and he wrote out 'the memorandum' as a joke. P claimed that D and his wife contracted to sell their farm to P for $50,000. P said that while he felt the drinks he took he was not intoxicated, and from the way, D handled the transaction he did not think he was either. D claimed he was already high as a Georgia pine when P offered him a drink. D claimed that the offer to sell the farm was made in jest while they were drinking. D said he only wanted to bluff P into admitting he did not have $50,000. P discussed terms with D, rewrote the terms in order to have D's wife sign the agreement, and made an offer of $5 to make the deal binding. D claims that when he realized that P was serious, he immediately assured P that he had no intention of selling the farm and that the whole matter was a joke. P left the premises insisting that he had purchased the farm. The next day, P sold a one-half interest to his brother to raise the money for the sale. D refused to perform, and P sued. The trial judge gave the verdict to D. P had failed to establish their right to specific performance, and dismissing their bill. P appealed.