Johnson v. SellersAnnotate this Case
Plaintiff-Appellee Steven Johnson wanted to purchase a tract of commercial real estate from Defendant-Appellant Harrell Sellers and his wife Sandra Green. The purchase agreement, dated May 2009, was prepared by Mr. Johnson's attorney and incorrectly indicated that Mr. Sellers was a single person. Mr. Sellers was married at the time, but in the process of obtaining a divorce from Ms. Green. Ms. Green moved out in October 2008, and divorce proceedings started in January 2009. Sometime after signing the purchase agreement, Mr. Sellers told his attorney about the mistake in the agreement. Mr. Sellers' counsel advised him that Ms. Green would need to give her permission to sell the property. In June 2009, Ms. Green would not authorize the sale. The parties tried to work out agreements as to the closing and problems with the title, but could not resolve their problems. Mr. Sellers tried to rescind the original purchase agreement, arguing that issues with his divorce made closing on the property impossible. Mr. Johnson sued for specific performance. The trial court ruled that Mr. Sellers waived his rights pertaining to certain terms of the original purchase agreement. The Supreme Court concluded that the impediments to closing were resolved within a reasonable time, and because of this, the court could award specific performance of the contract. The Court affirmed the decision of the circuit court.