Biegler v. Kraft, CIV 1130, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 98997 (D. S.D. Jul. 17, 2012)

(defendants attempted to sell property consisting of 314 acres, buildings, and a home in South Dakota through a two-step auction process; two highest bidders after closed bidding came to make final bids at attorney’s office; defendants sought to assign a high portion of purchase price to value of home to avoid capital gains taxes; plaintiffs objected to amount assigned in draft purchase agreement and were told it could be negotiated; after placing highest bid, agreement could not be reached on value of home and when negotiations fell apart plaintiffs canceled transfer of all earnest money; plaintiffs brought suit for specific performance of contract; defendants sought summary judgment; court held plaintiffs claim for partial performance was denied as no performance occurred by them when earnest money transaction canceled by plaintiffs; summary judgment denied as to whether sufficient terms were agreed to in auction setting to defeat statute of frauds; court also unable to determine whether allocation of price of home was essential term upon which to agree in order to establish binding contract for sale).