Text Message – Binding Contract?
How often do we text with family and friends? To what extent are text’s used in a business setting? When texting – do you give it the same weight as signing a contract? A new case in MA regarding the sale of land may provide insight to future rules regarding the weight a court will place upon a text message relative to a written signature on a paper or electronic contract.
Remember, sales of land require a signed writing to satisfy the statute of frauds. As a general rule, we do not want homes being bought and sold on a verbal contract alone. In the merry old days of England, to feel the ‘weight’ of transferring land between buyer and seller, the deal might be closed with the passing of dirt. Today, that concept is carried through by requiring a seller’s signature in ‘seising’ a buyer with real property.
The advent of technology creates new challenges and opportunities. Consulting counsel early regarding best practices and the legal landscape is strongly advised before executing real property transactions. A description of the case and underlying matters can be found HERE. The underlying court order can be found HERE.