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02/09/76 AMERICAN ELECTRICAL STEEL COMPANY v.

February 9, 1976

AMERICAN ELECTRICAL STEEL COMPANY
v.
SCARPACE



Appeal from Wayne, George T. Martin, J.

Leave to appeal applied for.

J. H. Gillis, P. J., and Bronson and T. M. Burns, JJ. Bronson, J., concurred. J. H. Gillis, P. J. (dissenting).

SYLLABUS BY THE COURT

Opinion of the Court

1. Vendor and Purchaser -- Contracts -- Sale of Land -- Tenants by the Entireties -- Power of Attorney.

A contract for the sale of land cannot be enforced where the land was owned by husband and wife as tenants by the entireties and the wife signed the contract for her husband under a power of attorney which was invalid because the husband was suffering from mental illness at the time he signed the power of attorney.

2. Estoppel -- Promissory Estoppel -- Avoiding InJustice.

In order for the doctrine of promissory estoppel to be invoked the promisee must demonstrate that the promise was made in circumstances such that the promise must be enforced if inJustice is to be avoided.

3. Estoppel -- Equitable Estoppel -- Prejudice.

Equitable estoppel requires the complaining party to show that he will be prejudiced in some way unless the other party is estopped to deny something.

4. Estoppel -- Vendor and Purchaser -- Sale of Land -- Specific Performance -- Compensation for Expenses.

Estoppel is not a proper basis for an action to enforce a contract for the sale of real estate where there is no indication that the plaintiff buyer will suffer any injury if the land is not conveyed; although specific performance is not called for, the plaintiff should be compensated for the expenses incurred in preparing to purchase the defendant's property.

5. Specific Performance -- Laches -- Contracts -- Value of Land.

An action for specific enforcement of a contract to sell land is barred by laches where the plaintiff purchaser did nothing to enforce the contract for more than three years after the defendant seller breached the agreement, ...


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