Legal Memorandum: Statute of Frauds in WI

Issue: Under Wisconsin law, when does the statute of frauds apply?

Area of Law: Business Organizations & Contracts, Personal Injury & Negligence
Keywords: Statute of frauds; Doctrines of equity
Jurisdiction: Wisconsin
Cited Cases: None
Cited Statutes: Wis. Stat. § 706.001(1); Wis. Stat. § 706.02(1)(e); Wis. Stat. § 706.04
Date: 03/01/2015

The statute of frauds applies to “every transaction by which any interest in land is created, aliened, mortgaged, assigned or may be otherwise affected in law or in equity.”  Wis. Stat. § 706.001(1).  Transactions subject to § 706.001 are not valid unless evidenced by a writing that is “signed by or on behalf of all parties, if a lease or contract to convey.” Wis. Stat. § 706.02(1)(e).  There are, however, exceptions based on equitable principles that may preclude the strict application of the statute of frauds.  See Wis. Stat. § 706.04,(“[a] transaction which does not satisfy one or more of the requirements of s. 706.02 may be enforceable in whole or in part under doctrines of equity,” provided certain requirements are met.).


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