Same - Contract Or Sale Of Lands, Or Any Interest In Or Concerning Them

42. The following general rules may be mentioned:

(a) The contract must be for a substantial interest in land.

(b) Fructus industriales, or crops and other products of land, raised by labor and cultivation, are not an interest therein.

(c) Fructus naturales, or the natural growth and products of land, are an interest in land if the ownership is to pass before, but not if it is not to pass until after, severance.

(d) A mere license to enter on land is not an interest in land, but it is otherwise with an easement.

The treatment of this clause of the statute belongs more properly to a work on the law of real property, and we need only state the rules governing its application in a general way. The terms "lands," "tenements," and "hereditaments" have a clearly-defined meaning in the law of real property. They are used to denote the subjects of real property, as distinguished from personal property, or goods and chattels. It is often difficult, however, to determine what is an interest in land within this section.

A contract, to require writing as being for an interest in land, must be for a substantial interest, and not for arrangements preliminary to the acquisition of an interest, nor for a remote and inappreciable interest.61 An agreement for a lease of land would be a contract for an interest in land,82 but an agreement to pay for an examination of title with a view to purchasing land, or to furnish another with money with which to buy land would not be within the statute,63 nor would an agreement to transfer shares of stock in a railroad company or other corporation, which, though the company may own land, do not give any appreciable interest therein to the individual shareholders.64 According to the better rule, which is also supported by the weight of authority, an oral contract between adjoining landowners, settling a doubt or dispute as to the boundary line between them, is not within the statute.65

61 Watters v. McGuigan, 72 Wis. 155, 39 N. W. 382. It has been held that where two execution creditors levy on the same land, and then agree that it shall be sold under one of the executions, and the proceeds divided, this is not a sale, but a compromise, and therefore not within the statute. Mygatt v. Tarbell, 78 Wis. 351, 47 N. W. G18. An agreement by an heir with his ancestor to release his expectations is within the statute. Brands v. De Witt, 44 X. J. Eq. 545, 10 Atl. 181, 14 Atl. 894, 6 Am. St. Rep. 909. So, also, is an agreement by a vendee under an executory contract of sale to surrender to his vendor his interest under the contract. Dougherty v. Catlett, 129 111. 431. 21 N. E. 932. An agreement, on the sale of land, for abatement of price in case of a deficiency, is not within the statute. McGee v. Craven, 10G N. C. 351, 11 S. E. 375; Haviland v. Sammis, 62 Conn. 44, 25 Atl. 394, 36 Am. St Rep. 330. Nor is an agreement by which a party promises to pay another a certain sum per acre for all the land the latter shall examine and advise the former to buy. Wilson v. Morton, 85 Cal. 598, 24 Pac. 784. Agreement between adjoining landowners as to building of partition fence. Rudisill v.

Cross, 54 Ark. 519, 16 S. W. 575, 26 Am. St. Rep. 57. Oral agreement to arbitrate as to land. Fort v. Allen, 110 N. C. 183, 14 S. E. OSS. Rent being an incident to the ownership of land, an assignment of rent must be in writing. King v. Kaiser, 3 Mise. Rep. 523, 23 N. Y. Supp. 21. Agreement to devise land. Gould v. Mansfield, 103 Mass. 408, 4 Am. Rep. 573; Hale v. Hale, 90

The contrary has been held, however,86 and where the purpose of the contract is not to settle the existing boundary, but to effect a transfer of land, it is within the statute.67

An agreement between landlord and tenant for the sale or surrender of fixtures placed upon the land by the tenant is not a sale of an interest in land.68

Va. 728, 19 S. E. 739; In re Kessler's Estate, 87 Wis. 6G0, 59 N. W. 129, 41 Am. St Rep. 74; Grant v. Grant, 63 Conn. 530, 29 Atl. 15, 38 Am. St. Rep. 379. See "Frauds, Statute of," Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) § 56; Cent. Dig. §§ 88-89, 186-188.

62 Potter v. Arnold, 15 R. I. 350, 5 Atl. 379. Assignment of a lease the unexpired term of which is more than a year. Chicago Attachment Co. v. Davis Sewing-Mach. Co. (111. Sup.) 25 N. E. 669, 28 N. E. 959; Id., 142 111. 171, 31 N. E. 438, 15 L. R. A. 754. See "Frauds, Statute of," Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) § 58; Cent. Dig. §§ 90, 91.

63 Horner v. Frazier, 65 Md. 1, 4 Atl. 133. An agreement by an agent to buy land in his own name for the benefit of his principal is not within the statute. Baker v. Wainwright, 36 Md. 336, 11 Am. Rep. 495. A parol partition is not within the statute. Meacham v. Meacham, 91 Tenn. 532, 19 S. W. 757; Wolf v. Wolf, 158 Pa. 621, 28 Atl. 164. Contra: Fort v. Allen, 110 N. C. 183, 14 S. E. 685. Nor is an agreement not to use land for a particular purpose. Hall v. Solomon, 61 Conn. 476, 23 Atl. 876, 29 Am. St. Rep. 218. See "Frauds, Statute of," Dec. Dig. (Key-No,) § 56; Cent. Dig. §§ 83-89, 136-138.

64 Anson, Cont. (4th Ed.) 61. But see Driver v. Broad, 4 Reports 411; Id. [1893] 1 Q. B. 744. See "Frauds, Statute of," Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) § 56; Cent. Dig. §§ 83-89, 136-138.

65 Jenkins v. Trager (C. C.) 40 Fed. 726; Archer v. Helm, 69 Miss. 730, 11 South. 3; Ferguson v. Crick (Ky.) 23 S. W. 668; Lecomte v. Toudouze, 82 Tex. 208, 17 S. W. 1047, 27 Am. St. Rep. 870; Grigsby v..Combs (Ky.) 21 S. W. 37; Jacobs v. Moseley, 91 Mo. 457, 4 S. W. 135; Sheets v. Sweeny, 136 111. 336, 26 N. E. 648; Atchison v. Pease, 96 Mo. 566, 10 S. W. 159; Hills v. Ludwig, 46 Ohio St. 373, 24 N. E. 596; Patterson v. Meyer, 28 Okl. 304, 114 Pac. 256; Teass v. City of St Albans, 38 W. Va. 1, 17 S. E. 400, 19 L. R. A. 802. As to ratification of an agreement, see Cavanaugh v. Jackson, 91 Cal. 5S0, 27 Pac. 931. See "Frauds, Statute of," Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) § 10; Cent. Dig. § 112.

66 Camp v. Camp, 59 Vt. 667, 10 Atl. 748. See "Frauds, Statute of," Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) § 10; Cent. Dig. § 112.

67 Weeks v. Martin, 57 Hun, 589, 10 N. Y. Supp. 656; Jenkins v. Trager (C. C.) 40 Fed. 726; Shaffer v. Hahn, 111 N. C. 1, 15 S. E. 1033; Buckner v. Anderson, 111 N. C. 572, 16 S. E. 424; Mann v. Mann, 152 Cal. 23, 91 Pac. 994. See "Frauds, Statute of," Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) § 10; Cent. Dig. § 112.

According to the weight of authority, agreements for partnership dealings in land - that is, agreements under which the parties are to buy land for the purpose of selling it again, and dividing the profits or losses - are not within the statute.69 So the appointment of an agent to sell land need not be in writing.70