Mickelsen Const v. HorrocksAnnotate this Case
The issue before the Supreme Court in this case concerned the grant of summary judgment dismissing an action to enforce an oral agreement to guaranty the debt of another on the ground that the agreement was barred by the statute of frauds. Sunshine Secretarial Services subleased office space from Accelerated Paving, Inc., and at times provided it with secretarial services. Accelerated Paving owed Plaintiff-Appellant Mickelsen Construction, Inc. money ($34,980.00) for providing asphalt to an Accelerated jobsite. Mickelsen threatened to file a materialmen’s lien against the real property on which the work was being done, and Accelerated's vice president asked that it not do so because that would delay the receipt of payment for the construction job. The vice president offered to pay the debt with an American Express credit card, but Mickelsen responded that it did not accept American Express credit cards. There was disagreement as to what happened next: Accelerate's vice president said there was not enough credit on the card to fund the payment, but when Accelerated received payment for the project it would pay down the balance so that there was enough credit to pay Mickelsen with the card. Mickelsen agreed not to file the lien if Accelerated could find someone to guaranty the payment by the credit card. Defendant-Respondent Lesa Horrocks of Sunshine agreed to do so and gave Mickelsen a check in the amount owed, drawn on Sunshine's account. Sunshine had a credit card machine that was capable of transacting with several credit cards including American Express credit cards. They told her that American Express had approved the transaction and asked her to use Sunshine credit card machine to run the transaction. It appeared to her that the transaction had been approved by American Express. issued the check. Several days later, Accelerated informed her that American Express had not approved the transaction. Accelerated then filed for bankruptcy. Mickelsen then sued Ms. Horrocks and Sunshine alleging that they had agreed to guaranty the credit card payment and so issued the check. The Defendants filed a motion for summary judgment, arguing that the alleged guaranty was barred by the statute of limitations in Idaho Code section 9-505. In response, Mickelsen argued that the check was a sufficient writing under the statute of frauds and, if not, that the transaction was governed by Idaho Code section 9-506 and therefore exempt from the statute of frauds. The district court held that the check was an insufficient writing and that section 9-506 did not apply because the Defendants did not receive any direct benefit. The court granted the motion for summary judgment and entered a judgment dismissing this action. Mickelsen then appealed. Finding no error with the district court's decision, the Supreme Court affirmed.