Lonergan v. Scolnick

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Lonergan v. Scolnick
Court Court of Appeal of California
Citation 276 P.2d 8
Date decided November 23, 1954
Case Opinions
majority written by Charles R. Barnard
joined by Griffin, Mussell


Scolnick put an ad in the paper offering to sell a plot of land. Lonergan responded to the ad, and a series of letters between the two regarding the property and the sale thereof took place. On April 8, the Defendant wrote to the Plaintiff and said that he better hurry and make an offer, because he was expecting to sell the land shortly. He then sold the land to someone else on April 12. A couple of days later, the Plaintiff wrote to the Defendant and offered to buy the land.

Procedural History

Trial court found for the defendant.


Was there a contract?


Plaintiff said that a contract already existed.


No contract had been formed.




  • Judging from the Defendant's language, he intended to sell the land to the first-comer. The ad in the paper was only a request for an offer.
  • The lack of specificity in the ad and the "over subscription problem" (elevated interest for a newly available offering causes demand to outstrip supply).

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