At law, unless the statute so provides, part performance of an oral contract does not take it out of the operation of the statute;74 but it is otherwise in equity.

Same - In Equity

A court of equity will dispense with the written evidence required by the statute when one of the parties has under certain conditions performed his part of the contract.

The equitable rule has sometimes been limited to contracts relating to an interest in land;75 but "it is probably more accurate to say that the doctrine of part performance applies to all cases in which a court of equity would entertain a suit for specific performance if the alleged contract had been in writing."76

72 See Popp v. Swanke, 68 Wis. 364, 31 N. W. 916. Such are the statutes of Alabama, California, Michigan, Nevada, New York, Oregon, and Wisconsin. See "Frauds, Statute of," Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) §§ 119, 125; Cent. Dig. §§ 113, 266-275.

73 Townsend v. Hargraves, 118 Mass. 325. See "Frauds, Statute of," Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) §§ 119, 125; Cent. Dig. §§ 118, 266-217.

74 Chicago Attachment Co. v. Sewing-Mach. Co., 142 111. 171, 31 N. E. 438, 15 L. It. A. 754; Henry v. Wells, 48 Ark. 485, 3 S. W. 637; Wheeler v. Frankenthal, 78 111. 124; Nally v. Reading, 107 Mo. 350, 17 S. W. 978; Brown v. Pollard, 89 Va. 696, 17 S. E. 6; Seymour v. Oelrichs, 156 Cal. 782, 106 Pac. 88, 134 Am. St. Rep. 154. The statute does expressly provide in Iowa, Alabama, and probably in other states, that certain acts of part performance shall take the contract out of the statute, Louisville & N. R. Co. v. Philyaw, 94 Ala. 463, 10 South. 83; Price v. Lien, 84 Iowa, 590, 51 N. W. 52. See "Frauds, Statute of," Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) § 129; Cent. Dig. §§ 2S7-326.

75 BRITAIN v. ROSSITER, 11 Q, B. Div. 123, Throckmorton, Cas. Contracts, 86. And see Osborne v. Kimball, 41 Kan. 187, 21 Pac. 163; McElroy v. Ludlum, 32 N. J. Eq. 828. As to contracts in consideration of marriage, see ante, p. 90. As to contracts not to be performed within a year, see ante, D, 99. See "Frauds, Statute of," Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) § 142; Cent. Dig. § 343.

Even in the case of contracts relating to land it is not enough that services have been rendered in consideration of an oral promise to grant lands, nor that the price has otherwise been paid in whole or in part; for the acts relied upon as part performance "must be unequivocally, and in their own nature, referable to some such agreement as that alleged."77 Where, however, the purchaser has taken possession78 under an oral contract for the sale of land, and paid the purchase money or other consideration,79 or made valuable improvements thereon,80 equity will enforce performance on the part of the vendor. "The whole doctrine rests upon the principle of fraud, and proceeds upon the idea that the party has so changed his situation, on the faith of the oral agreement, that it would be a fraud upon him to permit the other party to defeat the agreement by setting up the statute. * * * The change of situation necessary to create this equitable estoppel must, of course, have been made in reliance upon, and in pursuance of, the oral agreement, and so connected with the performance of the contract that, from the nature of the case, the defendant should understand it was done in reliance upon his agreement."81 Possession, to constitute such part performance as to warrant the interference of a court of equity, must have been under the contract,82 and it must be accompanied by

76 McManus v. Cooke, 35 C. D. 697, per Kay, J. See Anson, Cont. (8th Ed.) 70. See "Frauds, Statute of," Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) § 142; Cent. Dig. § 343.

77 Maddison v. Alderson, 8 App. Cas. 479, 7 Q. B. Div. 174. In this case a promise of a gift of land had been made to a person in consideration of her remaining in the service of the promisor during his lifetime. It was held that the continuance of the service for the required period could not be regarded as exclusively referable to the promised gift. It might have rested on other considerations. And see Rogers v. Wolfe, 104 Mo. 1, 14 S. W. 805; Shahan v. Swan, 48 Ohio St. 25, 26 N. E. 222, 29 Am. St. Rep. 517; Smith v. Pierce, 65 Vt 200, 25 Atl. 1092. But see Brinton v. Van Cott, 8 Utah, 480, 33 Pac 218. That payment or part payment of the purchase money is not alone sufficient, see Glass v. Hulbert, 102 Mass., at page 28, 3 Am. Rep. 418; Brown v. Pollard, 89 Va. 696, 17 S. E. 6; Peckham v. Balch, 49 Mich. 179, 13 N. W. 506; Boulder Valley Ditch Min. & Mill. Co. v. Farnham, 12 Mont 1, 29 Pac. 277; Webster v. Gray, 37 Mich. 37; Nibert v. Baghurst, 47 N. J. Eq. 201, 20 Atl. 252; Crabill v. Marsh, 38 Ohio St. 331; Townsend v. Van-derwerker, 20 D. C. 197; Washington Brewery Co. v. Carry (Md.) 24 Atl. 151; Horn v. Luddington, 32 Wis. 73; Forrester v. Flores, 64 Cal. 24, 28 Pac 107; Gallagher v. Gallagher, 31 W. Va. 9, 5 S. E. 297; Maxfield v. West, 6 Utah, 327, 379, 23 Pac. 754, and 24 Pac. 98; Humbert v. Brisbane, 25. S. C. 506; Temple v. Johnson, 71 111. 13; Cronk v. Trumble, 66 111. 428; Goddard v. Donaha, 42 Kan. 754, 22 Pac. 708. Contra, where the price consisted of the dismissal of actions and marriage with a certain woman. Slin-gerland v. Slingerland, 39 Minn. 197, 39 N. W. 146. And see Barbour v. Barbour, 49 N. J. Eq. 429, 24 Atl. 227. But marriage alone between the vendor and vendee is not sufficient Peek v. Peek, 77 Cal. 106, 19 Pac. 227, 1 L. R. A. 185, 11 Am. St. Rep. 244. It is otherwise where there has been fraud in procuring the marriage. Id. Promise to devise land to the promisee's daughter if he will allow the promisor to adopt her. Pond v. Sheean, 132 111. 312, 23 N. E. 1018, 8 L. R. A. 414. Relinquishing of position by son-in-law, and living on land under agreement by father-in-law to give it to him. Welch v. Whelpley, 62 Mich. 15, 28 N. W. 744, 4 Am. St. Rep. 810. Delivery of deed as part performance. Luzader v. Richmond, 128 Ind. 344, 27 N. E. 736; Swain v. Burnette, 89 Cal. 564, 26 Pac. 1093. See "Frauds, Statute of," Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) § 129; Cent. Dig. §§ 292, 807.

78 As to what constitutes sufficient possession, see Hunt v. Lipp, 30 Neb. 469, 46 N. W. 632; Emmel v. Hayes, 102 Mo. 186, 14 S. W. 209, 11 L. R. A 323, 22 Am, St Rep. 769; Neibert v. Baghurst (N. J. Ch.) 25 Atl. 474; Swales v. Jackson, 126 Ind. 282, 26 N. E. 62; Cochran v. Ward, 5 Ind. App. 89, 29 N. E. 795, 31 N. E. 581, 51 Am. St. Rep. 229. See "Frauds, Statute of," Dee. Dig. (Key-No.) § 142; Cent. Dig. § 343.

79Bechtel v. Cone, 52 Md. 698; Jamison v. Diniock, 95 Pa. 52;. Carney v. Carney, 95 Mo. 353, 8 S. W. 729; Watts v. Witt, 39 S. C. 356, 17 S. E. 822; Fitzsinimons v. Allen, 39 Ill. 440; Lipp v. Hunt, 25 Neb. 91, 41 N. W. 143; Could v. Banking Co., 136 111. 60, 26 N. E. 497; Denlar v. Hile, 123 Ind. 68, 24 N. E. 170. Contra, Bradley v. Owsley, 74 Tex. 69, 11 S. W. 1052. See "Frauds, Statute of," Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) § 129; Cent. Dig. §§ 818-821.

80 Potter v. Jacobs, 111 Mass. 32; Barrett v. Forney, 82 Va. 269; Cutsin-ger v. Ballard, 115 Ind. 93, 17 N. E. 206; Hunter v. Mills. 29 S. C. 72, 6 S. E. 907; Wallace v. Seoggins, 17 Or. 476, 21 Pac. 558; Holmden v. Janes, 42 Kan. 758, 21 Pac. 591; Moulton v. Harris, 94 Cal. 420, 29 Pac. 706; Mudgett v. Clay, 5 Wash. 103, 31 Pac. 424; Hunkins v. Hunkins, 65 N. H. 95. 18 Atl. 655; Union Pac. R. Co. v. McAlpine, 129 U. S. 305, 9 Sup. Ct. 286, 32 L. Ed. 673; Brown v. Sutton, 129 U. S. 238, 9 Sup. Ct. 273, 32 L.Ed. 664; Mc-Whinne v. Martin, 77 Wis. 182, 46 N. W. 118; Morrison v. Herrick, 27 111. App. 339, affirmed in 130 I11. 631, 22 N. E. 537; Townsend v. Vanderwerker. 160 U. S. 171, 16 Sup. Ct. 258, 40 L. Ed. 383; Anderson v. Brewing Co., 173 I11. 213, 50 N. E. 655; Low v. Low, 173 Mass. 580, 54 N. E. 257. See "Frauds, Statute of," Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) § 129; Cent. Dig. §§ 818-821.

81 Brown v. Hoag, 35 Minn. 373, 29 N. W. 135, per Mitchell, J. See, also, Caton v. Caton, L. R. 1 Ch. App. 147; Semmes v. Worthington, 38 Md. 298; Wheeler v. Reynolds, 66 N. Y. 227; Sullivan v. O'Neal, 66 Tex. 433, 1 S. W. 185; Purcell v. Miner, 4 Wall. 513, 18 L. Ed. 435; Clark v. Clark, 122 111. 588, 13 N. E. 553; McLeod v. Hendry, 126 Ga. 167, 54 S. E. 949; Henderson v. Henrie, 68 W. Va. 562, 71 S. E. 172, 34 L. R. A. (N. S.) 628, Ann. Cas. 1912B, 318; Seaman v. Aschermann, 51 Wis. 678, 8 N. W. 818, 37 Am. Rep. 849. See "Frauds, Statute of," Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) § 129; Cent. Dig. § 307.

82 Jacobs v. Railroad Co., 8 Cush. (Mass.) 224; Purcell v. Miner, 4 Wall. 513, 18 L. Ed. 435; Ducie v. Ford, 138 U. S. 587, 11 Sup. Ct. 417, 34 L. Ed. 1091; Green v. Groves, 109 Ind. 519, 10 N. E. 401; Miller v. Ball, 64 N. Y. at page 292; Birkbeck v. Kelly (Pa. Sup.) 9 Atl. 313; Boozer v. Teague, 27 R. C. 348, 3 S. 11 551; Mahana v. Blunt, 20 Iowa, 142; Messmore v. Cunningham, 78 Mich. 623, 44 N. W. 1-1.".; Pawlak v. Granowski, 54 Minn. 130, 55 N. W. 831; Clark v. Clark. 122 I11. 388. 13 N. E. 553; Foster v. Maginnis, 89 Cal. 264, 26 Pac. 828. See. also, cases cited supra, note 77. Must therepayment of the purchase money, or by valuable and permanent improvements. Mere possession alone is not enough.83

It has frequently been said that improvements without possession are not sufficient;84 but, on the other hand, the making of valuable permanent improvements on the land by the vendee, in pursuance of the agreement, and with the knowledge of the other party, is always considered the strongest and most unequivocal act of part performance by which an oral contract to sell land is taken out of the statute;88 and the better opinion is that, if the vendee has no adequate remedy at law, such improvements are sufficient, even where not accompanied by possession, to justify a court of equity in granting specific performance of the contract.86

A few of the courts have refused to recognize the doctrine that part performance takes a contract out of the statute,87 but the doctrine is supported both in England and in this country by an overwhelming weight of authority. .