21 N.W. 549 (Minn. 1884), Goss v. Stevens

Citation:21 N.W. 549, 32 Minn. 472
Opinion Judge:Dickinson, J.
Party Name:Charles M. Goss and another v. Levi H. Stevens
Attorney:Merrick & Merrick and J. M. Quarles, for appellants. Chas. J. Bartleson, for respondent.
Case Date:November 29, 1884
Court:Supreme Court of Minnesota

Page 549

21 N.W. 549 (Minn. 1884)

32 Minn. 472

Charles M. Goss and another


Levi H. Stevens

Supreme Court of Minnesota

November 29, 1884

Appeal by plaintiffs from an order of the district court for Hennepin county, Young, J., presiding, refusing a new trial.

Order reversed, and new trial awarded.

Merrick & Merrick and J. M. Quarles, for appellants.

Chas. J. Bartleson, for respondent.


Dickinson, J.

The plaintiffs seek to recover a stipulated compensation for their services as agents of the defendant, in selling real property of the latter. At the trial, upon the plaintiffs' case being closed, the court dismissed the action. The appeal is from an order refusing a new trial. It appeared upon the trial that the defendant, [32 Minn. 473] by a written memorandum, authorized the plaintiffs to sell for him a certain tract of land, upon terms, as to price and manner of payment, particularly set forth; and promised, upon sale of the property, to pay plaintiffs a stated commission. The evidence went to show that, after this authorization, the plaintiffs agreed with certain parties (Avery and Walters) for the sale of the property to them, upon terms materially different from those prescribed by the defendant; and that the plaintiffs, as agents, executed with the purchasers a writing embodying a statement of the contract of sale, and a specific agreement, on the part of Avery and Walters, to purchase the property on the terms stated therein. In the body of this instrument the plaintiffs are recited to have made the sale "as authorized agents," and to their signature are added the words, "Agents of L. H. Stevens." The plaintiffs, having proved the execution of this contract, and having offered evidence going to show that the defendant had ratified it, offered the contract in evidence. This was rejected.

Page 550

We think the court erred. There was abundant evidence to entitle the plaintiffs to go to the jury upon the question of ratification, going to show that the defendant, after he had been advised as to the terms of the contract which had been made by his agents in his behalf, acquiesced in and confirmed their acts. Since the agents might have been orally authorized to make the sale, (Brown v. Eaton, 21 Minn. 409; Dickerman v. Ashton, Id. 538,) their unauthorized acts done in defendant's behalf might be ratified in any manner...

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