July 19, 2016

The Supreme Court, Suffolk County has dismissed a $26 million specific performance action in Suites in Boca, LLC v. Sandbar North LLC, Index No. 604212/2016.  The case involved the basic question of whether the signature on a contract, without actual delivery, creates a binding agreement?  The contract at issue had been signed but not delivered to the prospective purchaser before the seller rejected the $26 million offer in favor of another buyer.   The prospective purchaser sued for specific performance anyway, and placed a notice of pendency on the property to stop the sale to the other buyer.  The Honorable Joseph Farneti of the Supreme Court reviewed the terms of the contract itself, which specifically provided that delivery was a pre-condition to the formation of a binding contract, before concluding that “no binding agreement was created between plaintiff and defendants.”  Justice Farneti explained the rule of law succinctly as follows:  “Where the parties have agreed that delivery is essential to the making of a contract, there is no agreement without it.”  He therefore dismissed the action, canceled the notice of pendency, and set the matter down for a hearing on the issue of an award of costs and expenses to the defendant for the “wrongful filing of the notice of pendency….”