Motschman v. Bridgepoint Mineral Acquisition Fund - No. 20100158
Fred Motschman, Jr., appealed from a district court summary judgment dismissing his action against Bridgepoint Mineral Acquisition Fund, L.L.C., seeking a declaration that no valid contract existed between the parties or seeking rescission of the contract.
Bridgepoint sent a letter to Motschman offering to purchase mineral rights Motschman owned in Dunn County, North Dakota, for $600 per acre. The letter gave Motschman the option to check one of several boxes expressing interest in selling his mineral rights. Motschman returned the letter to Bridgepoint expressing his interest in selling his mineral rights.
Bridgepoint thereafter sent a second letter to Motschman listing the legal description of the property, the acreage involved, and the purchase price of $63,996, representing $600 per acre for Motschman's 106.66 mineral acres. Bridgepoint enclosed a mineral deed for Motschman's signature and a sight draft payable to Motschman for the full purchase price. The letter further provided that, if the documents met with Motschman's approval, he should sign and return the deed and either return the sight draft to Bridgepoint for payment or deposit it with his bank for collection. Motschman signed the deed and returned it and the sight draft to Bridgepoint. Bridgepoint discovered there was a potential discrepancy with Motschman's name, so it prepared a second mineral deed and sent it to Motschman. Motschman signed and returned the second deed, and Bridgepoint sent a check to Motschman for the purchase price of $63,996. Motschman, claiming that he had only intended to lease his minerals and not sell them, sent a letter to Bridgepoint "withdrawing his notary letter." Bridgepoint advised Motschman that there was a valid, completed contract between the parties and recorded the mineral deed.
Motschman sued Bridgepoint, alleging there was no valid contract between the parties and seeking to rescind the contract. The district court concluded there was a valid contract between the parties and there was no basis for rescission. The court therefore entered summary judgment dismissing Motschman's action, and Motschman moved for reconsideration. The district court denied the motion for reconsideration.
On appeal, Motschman contends that the district court erred in determining there was a valid contract to convey the minerals and that the consideration for the agreement had failed.