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Trinity Homes, LLC v. Fang

    Brief Fact Summary.

    Trinity Homes, LLC (Trinity) and Seabring Development, LLC (Seabring) sued the Fangs when they tried to rescind the offer to sell real estate after Trinity and Seabring accepted the offer via fax.

    Synopsis of Rule of Law.

    An electronic acceptance of an offer that is not via two-way communication is governed by the mailbox rule.

    Facts.

    Trinity Homes, LLC (Trinity) and Seabring Development, LLC (Seabring) entered into contract with the Fangs to purchase real estate. Stewart, the agent for Trinity and Seabring, tried to accept the Fang’s offer to sell property by faxing the acceptance to the Fang’s real estate agent, Nicholson. The fax machine that sent the acceptance did not have record of a fax being sent. After the fax was sent, Nicholson tried to rescind the offer to sell the property. Trinity and Seabring sued the Fangs claiming that they made a valid acceptance of their offer to sell.

    Issue.

    Whether an electronic acceptance of an offer that is not via two-way communication is governed by the mailbox rule?

    Held.

    Yes. Judgment is entered for the Fangs. Trinity and Seabring did not receive a fax verification and failed to prove that acceptance was faxed to the Fangs.

    Discussion.

    Although the mailbox rule traditionally applies to an acceptance sent through mail, an acceptance by telephone or other two-way communication is considered an acceptance that occurred in the presence of an offeror. An electronic acceptance of an offer that is not via two-way communication is also governed by the mailbox rule.


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