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Bloomquist v. Goose River Bank

Supreme Court of North Dakota

August 29, 2013

Tim Bloomquist, Plaintiff and Appellant
v.
The Goose River Bank, and Goose River Holding Company, Defendants and Appellees

Appeal from the District Court of Traill County, East Central Judicial District, the Honorable Lisa K. Fair McEvers, Judge.

Michael S. Montgomery (argued), and Paul R. Campbell (on brief), for plaintiff and appellant.

Scott J. Landa (argued) and Sara R. Behrens (on brief), for defendants and appellees.

OPINION

Kapsner, Justice.

[¶ 1] Tim Bloomquist appeals from a district court summary judgment dismissing his action against Goose River Bank and Goose River Holding Company (collectively "the Bank") for breach of an alleged oral contract to loan money. We affirm, concluding the alleged oral contract is barred by the statute of frauds.

I

[¶ 2] In 2009, Bloomquist learned that certain farmland he had been renting was going to be sold at auction. Bloomquist alleges he had discussions with the president of the Bank's Hillsboro branch about obtaining a loan to purchase the property. Bloomquist claims the Bank agreed to lend him $500, 000, at six percent interest with a 30-year repayment period, to purchase two quarter-sections of land. He further claims the Bank also agreed to lend an additional $250, 000 on the same terms to purchase a third quarter-section of land if he sold certain beet stock that he owned.

[¶ 3] Bloomquist attended the land sale auction and was the successful bidder on three quarter-sections of land, bidding $258, 795, $263, 729, and $322, 000, respectively, for the three quarter-sections. The total purchase price was $844, 524. Bloomquist used an advance from an existing line of credit he had with the Bank to pay $84, 452.40 earnest money for the sale. The Bank subsequently refused to provide the loans to complete the transactions, claiming there had never been an agreement to loan the money, and Bloomquist failed to complete the purchase of the land.

[¶ 4] Bloomquist sued the Bank, alleging breach of the oral agreement to lend the money. The Bank moved for summary judgment dismissal of Bloomquist's claims, arguing there was no valid oral agreement to loan money because there was no mutual consent and, even if there was an oral agreement, the agreement was barred by the statute of frauds. The district court held that the alleged oral agreement was barred by the statute of frauds and ordered entry of summary judgment dismissing Bloomquist's claims.

II

[¶ 5] We have outlined the standards governing summary judgment under N.D.R.Civ.P. 56:

Summary judgment is a procedural device for the prompt resolution of a controversy on the merits without a trial if there are no genuine issues of material fact or inferences that can reasonably be drawn from undisputed facts, or if the only issues to be resolved are questions of law. A party moving for summary judgment has the burden of showing there are no genuine issues of material fact and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. In determining whether summary judgment was appropriately granted, we must view the evidence in the light most favorable to the party opposing the motion, and that party will be given the benefit of all favorable inferences which can reasonably be drawn from the record. On appeal, this Court decides whether the information available to the district court precluded the existence of a genuine issue of material fact and entitled the moving party to judgment as a matter of law. Whether the district court properly granted summary judgment is a question of law which we review de novo on the entire record.

Golden v. SM Energy Co., 2013 ND 17, ¶ 7, 826 N.W.2d 610 (quoting Hamilton v. Woll, 2012 ND 238, ...


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