Kiernan v. CreechAnnotate this Case
In 2001, Bill Kiernan owned American Towing & Recovery (Kiernan) and Willie Creech owned Vulcan Towing & Recovery (Creech). That year Kiernan and Creech decided to share a lot for their towing businesses. They agreed to split all costs associated with the lot evenly. The parties did not put their agreement in writing. While Creech asserted that under the oral agreement, Kiernan was merely a lessee with a conditional option to purchase a 50% interest, Kiernan testified in a sworn deposition that in exchange for paying half of the costs, he was to receive a 50% ownership in the lot. The relationship between the parties eventually broke down. In 2007 Kiernan became aware that Creech had taken out a second mortgage on the property without telling him, and Kiernan sued Creech. The issue on appeal involved whether their oral agreement provided that they would co-own the property, or that the Kiernan party would lease from the Creech. Creech moved for summary judgment on the ground that the statute of frauds barred any oral co-ownership agreement between the parties. The superior court granted the motion. Kiernan appealed. Upon review, the Supreme Court reversed the grant of summary judgment because the substance of the oral agreement was a disputed fact material to resolving whether an exception to the statute of frauds applied.