Steel Farms, Inc. v. Croft & Reed, Inc.Annotate this Case
Defendant-Respondent Croft & Reed, Inc. and Plaintiff-Appellant Steel Farms, Inc. had a preexisting landlord-tenant relationship when they entered into a written agreement granting Steel Farms a lease and option (Option A) to purchase a farm in Bonneville County (the Property). The lease had an express four-year term. Steel Farms believed the four-year term was a mistake because the option to purchase the Property did not mature until after the four-year lease term expired. In response to a request from Steel Farms, Croft & Reed’s secretary made a handwritten interlineation on the lease agreement which purported to extend the lease term for an additional year. While Steel Farms was a tenant, it purchased and installed irrigation equipment on the Property, which was attached to the Property’s irrigation system. Steel Farms later granted Walker Land, Inc. an option to purchase the Property (Option B) from Steel Farms. Steel Farms sought to exercise Option A after leasing the Property for four years. Croft & Reed refused. Steel Farms sued, and the parties filed cross motions for summary judgment. The district court granted partial summary judgment in favor of Croft & Reed. Steel Farms appealed the certified judgment. Upon review, the Supreme Court vacated and remanded, finding that the secretary's initialed interlineation was insufficient to amend the lease and option.