Legal Memorandum: Statute of Frauds in CO

Issue: What is the Colorado law bearing on the applicability and purpose of the statute of frauds to a situation in which the written agreement for a transfer of an interest in real property does not reflect the full terms of the understanding between the parties?

Area of Law: Business Organizations & Contracts, Real Estate Law
Keywords: Statute of frauds; Applicability; Contracts
Jurisdiction: Colorado
Cited Cases: 670 P.2d 764; 130 F.3d 1381; 867 P.2d 63; 30 P.2d 853; 729 P.2d 1024; 57 P. 548; 5 P. 641; 540 P.2d 337; 159 P.2d 912; 10 P. 790
Cited Statutes: None
Date: 04/01/2014

A & R Co. v. Union Air Transport, Inc., 738 P.2d 73 (Colo. Ct. App. 1987) (suggesting that part performance by the grantor consistent with the oral agreement and inconsistent with the written agreement may suffice to avoid the statute of frauds).

Bohm v. Bohm, 10 P. 790 (Colo. 1885) (where a grantee occupying a fiduciary relation to the owner of real estate obtains title to that property without consideration through a verbal agreement to be memorialized in the future, the statute of frauds does not apply.).

Burnford v. Blanning, 540 P.2d 337 (Colo. 1975) (statute of frauds is intended to be a shield against, not a cloak for, fraud.).

De Bord v. Holcomb, 57 P. 548 (Colo. Ct. App. 1899) (“It is where the statute, which was designed to prevent fraud, is sought to be used for the purpose of the commission of a fraud, that equity affords relief. But the fraud against which equity will relieve, notwithstanding the statute, must consist of something more than the mere wrong of disavowing the contract; and as the act of the defendants amounted only to a violation of their agreement, it does not constitute a fraud of such a nature as would authorize a court of equity to disregard the statute.”).

GFF Corp. v. Associated Wholesale Grocers, Inc., 130 F.3d 1381 (10th Cir. 1997) (applying Oklahoma law) (“The memorandum or writing required by the statute must show an existing and […]

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