Shedd v. Lamb, s. 19215

CourtSupreme Court of South Dakota
Citation1996 SD 117,553 N.W.2d 241
Docket NumberNos. 19215,19222,s. 19215
PartiesMarilyn L. SHEDD and L. James Shedd, Plaintiffs and Appellants, v. Larry A. LAMB and Gold Coin, Inc., Defendants and Appellants. Larry A. LAMB, Plaintiff and Appellant, v. Marilyn L. SHEDD, Defendant and Appellant. . Considered on Briefs
Decision Date23 May 1996

Page 241

553 N.W.2d 241
1996 SD 117
Marilyn L. SHEDD and L. James Shedd, Plaintiffs and Appellants,
Larry A. LAMB and Gold Coin, Inc., Defendants and Appellants.
Larry A. LAMB, Plaintiff and Appellant,
Marilyn L. SHEDD, Defendant and Appellant.
Nos. 19215, 19222.
Supreme Court of South Dakota.
Considered on Briefs May 23, 1996.
Decided Sept. 4, 1996.
Rehearing Denied Oct. 10, 1996.

Thomas E. Brady, Spearfish, for defendants and appellants Shedd.

James P. Hurley of Bangs, McCullen, Butler, Foye & Simmons, Rapid City, for defendants and appellants Lamb and Gold Coin, Inc.

AMUNDSON, Justice.

¶1 Marilyn L. Shedd and L. James Shedd (Shedds) appeal the trial court's determination that they must pay Larry A. Lamb (Lamb) $300,000 to equitably adjust the parties' dispute. Lamb appeals the trial court's order of rescission. We reverse and remand the order granting rescission.


¶2 Shedds have owned and operated Shedd Jewelry in Deadwood since 1975. At the time this cause of action came to fruition, the jewelry business was delinquent on bills owed to jewelry suppliers in the amount of $330,000. In addition, Shedds had personal financial difficulty. From 1985 to 1990, Shedds filed estimates as to their federal tax liability; however, they failed to file their federal income tax returns. Their total delinquent tax bill accumulated to $140,000.

¶3 In 1990, when gambling was established in Deadwood, Shedds decided to apply for a gaming license. The South Dakota Gaming Commission told Shedds to file their past-due federal tax returns and pay the taxes before a gaming license would be issued. Shedds therefore attempted to mortgage the jewelry business to obtain funds to pay off the debts, but they were turned down by both banks to which they applied.

¶4 Lamb arrived in Deadwood in 1990. He purchased a home and commercial property which he desired to develop into a restaurant, casino and hotel in Deadwood for $1,300,000 ($325,000 paid in cash and the remainder carried on a promissory note). Lamb's only source of income at the time was a promissory note he owned for five RV parks he had sold. Lamb received $100,000 cash and a $400,000 promissory note with ten-percent interest to be paid over ten years. Later, the principal was reduced to $327,000 and the interest increased to fifteen percent. Lamb received monthly payments of $5,300, totaling $636,000 to be paid over ten years.

¶5 Lamb and Shedds met in 1990 and soon thereafter Shedds became aware that Lamb was looking for funds to develop his Deadwood gaming property. On March 20, 1991, Shedd telephoned Lamb in California, where Lamb was in search of new investment capital, requesting Lamb to assist them in locating funds to pay off the IRS. There were numerous phone calls between the two parties over the next several days regarding the availability of funds to pay off the debts and to underwrite Shedds' gaming venture. During discussions, Lamb expressed interest in purchasing the Shedd jewelry business and building. However, Lamb said he did not have enough capital on hand. Lamb considered discounting the promissory note on the RV business to $250,000 cash in order to raise the money, but his monthly income of $5,300 would be lost.

¶6 After further discussion, they eventually agreed that Lamb would discount his secured note to pay Shedds $200,000 in exchange for clear title to the Shedd jewelry building. Discussion of the agreement included: Shedds would use the $200,000 to pay the IRS so that they could obtain a gaming license; Lamb would mortgage the jewelry building, to finance another unrelated project; Lamb would pay Shedds an additional $100,000 when he obtained more financing; the jewelry business would be sold to Lamb for $1,000,000; the purchase price would be paid on the closing date which was set for 180 days after the agreements were entered into as long as outside financing could be established; if Lamb was unable to receive outside financing, Shedds agreed to

Page 243

finance the sale by allowing Lamb to pay monthly installments of $8,364 over a ten-year period; Shedds represented that the business grossed about $1,000,000 the previous year and that they owned $300,000 in jewelry inventory; Shedds stated that the business netted between $240,000 to $250,000 per year, or about $20,000 per month; and Shedds agreed to lease the jewelry building back for $20,000 per month until the sale closed. (This lease payment was based on what Shedds represented the business would net.)

¶7 When Lamb returned from California, he retained an attorney to draft agreements that described the parties' negotiations. Shedds had not consulted an attorney at this time. On April 11, 1991, the parties met at Lamb's Rapid City attorney's office to sign the agreements, which were three written contracts and the deed. One contract contained a $200,000 cash sale of the Shedd jewelry building to Lamb. A separate contract for $1,000,000 sold the actual jewelry business to Gold Coin, Inc., a corporation that was later incorporated by Lamb. The $1,000,000 purchase price consisted of $300,000 for inventory, $30,000 in furniture and equipment, $220,000 in goodwill and $450,000 for a covenant not to compete. The third contract was a lease of the building to Shedds for $20,000 per month for three and one-half years, which both parties understood would terminate upon closing of the sale of the jewelry business in 180 days. This understanding was not included in the contract.

¶8 After reviewing the prepared documents for the first time, Shedds signed the documents within one hour on that same day. Lamb arranged to pay Shedds the $200,000 purchase price of the building on April 16, 1991. Lamb further agreed to pay Shedds an additional $100,000 for the building, which was not covered in the agreements. The reason the building was sold at a discounted rate was to allow Lamb to purchase it outright so that he could use it to secure financing on his projects. Shedds then deeded Lamb the building.

¶9 On April 15, 1991, Shedds consulted an attorney who read the agreements and warned Shedds it was the worst deal he had ever seen. Also, the attorney advised Shedds that the...

To continue reading

Request your trial
18 cases
  • Prairie Lakes Health Care System, Inc. v. Wookey
    • United States
    • South Dakota Supreme Court
    • August 19, 1998
    ...of fact under the more deferential clearly erroneous standard. Gogue, 1997 SD 41, p 8, 562 N.W.2d at 756 (citing Shedd v. Lamb, 1996 SD 117, p 17, 553 N.W.2d 241, 244). We will not overturn fact findings "unless we are definitely and firmly convinced a mistake has been made." Cordell v. Cod......
  • Bozied v. City of Brookings, No. 21299
    • United States
    • South Dakota Supreme Court
    • December 26, 2001 equity, which includes entering the court with clean hands." Himrich, 1997 SD 116 at ¶ 21, 569 N.W.2d at 573 (quoting Shedd v. Lamb, 1996 SD 117, 553 N.W.2d 241, 245). Although the majority has now remanded the matter to the trial court, I would suggest that in view of the record current......
  • Knodel v. Kassel Tp.
    • United States
    • South Dakota Supreme Court
    • July 8, 1998
    ...including entering the court with clean hands." Talley v. Talley, 1997 SD 88, p 29, 566 N.W.2d 846, 852 (citing Shedd v. Lamb, 1996 SD 117, p 26, 553 N.W.2d 241, 245). An essential element to equitable relief is the lack of an adequate remedy at law. Bienert v. Yankton School Dist., 63-3, 5......
  • Atmosphere Hospitality Mgmt., LLC v. Shiba Invs., Inc.
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — District of South Dakota
    • January 29, 2016
    ...of a contract is an available remedy “if the consent of the party seeking rescission was obtained by ... fraud[.]” Shedd v. Lamb , 553 N.W.2d 241, 244 (S.D.1996) (citing SDCL 53–11–2(1) and (2) ). Among other claims, Atmosphere asserts that defendants fraudulently induced it to enter the li......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT