This section is from the book "The Law Of Contracts", by William Herbert Page. Also available from Amazon: Commercial Contracts: A Practical Guide to Deals, Contracts, Agreements and Promises.
If the original contract is one which is required by law to be proved by writing, the effect of a subsequent oral modification or discharge of such contract depends in part upon the theory of the effect of the Statute of Frauds, in part upon the covenant of the original contract which is modified by the oral agreement, in part upon the interest which has been acquired under the original contract or under the oral modification, and in part upon the extent to which the original contract or the oral modification has been performed.
1 Malone v. Philadelphia, 147 Pa. St. 416, 23 Atl. 628.
2Campau v. Detroit, 106 Mich. 414, 64 N. W. 336.
3 Malone v. Philadelphia, 147 Pa. St. 416, 23 Atl. 628.
4Ede v. Knight, 93 Cal. 139, 28 Pac. 860.
5 Boyd v. Kelley, 111 Miss. 629, 71 So. 897.
6 Iowa. Lahn v. Koep, 139 Ia. 349, 52 L. R. A. (N.S.) 327, 115 N. W. 877.
Mississippi. Boyd v. Kelley, 111 Miss. IV29, 71 So. 897.
New Hampshire. Grafton Bank v. Woodward, 5 N. H. 99, 20 Am. Dec. 566.
North Carolina. Acme Mfg. Co. v. McCormiok, 175 N. Car. 277, 95 S. E.
Wisconsin. Grace v. Lynch, 80 Wis. 166, 49 N. W. 751. 7 See Sec. 2436 et seq.
If the original contract is executory and it is sought to modify it by a subsequent oral executory agreement so that a new contract will result, which contains provisions bringing it within the operation of the Statute of Frauds, such new contract, according to the weight of authority, is unenforceable, since it is partly proved by writing and partly proved by oral evidence, and since it contains provisions which bring it within the operation of the Statute of Frauds.1 Accordingly, a subsequent oral agreement which includes a new subject-matter,2 or an oral agreement for extending the time of performance,3 such as extension of time of performance of a contract for the sale of realty,4 including a contract for the sale of growing timber,5 are all of them illustrations of contracts within the terms of the Statute of Frauds, the terms of which are proved partly by writing and partly by oral evidence; and such contracts are unenforceable if an original contract of such type would be unenforceable. An oral modification of a contract for the sale of land, which provides for payment therefor by the exchange of realty, instead of by payment in money, as provided by the original contract,6 or a modification of a written lease by the terms of which the lessor is to make certain repairs and the lessee is to pay an additional rent,7 are each of them unenforceable for this reason. In most of these cases, some act or forbearance has taken place in reliance upon the oral agreement.
1 England. Hickman v. Haynes, L. R. 10 C. P. 508; Marshall v. Lynn, 6 Mees. & W. 109.
United States. Swain v. Seamans, 76 U. S. (9 Wall.) 254, 19 L. ed. 554; Reid v. Plate Glass Co., 85 Fed. 193, 29 C. C. A. 110; Lawyer v. Post, 109 Fed. 512, 47 C. C. A. 491; Snow v. Nel-son. 113 Fed. 353.
California. Smith v. Taylor, 82 Cal. 533, 23 Pac. 217; Platt v. Butcher, 112 Cal. 634, 44 Pac. 1060.
Connecticut. Malkan v. Hemming, 82 Conn. 293, 73 Ath. 752.
Georgia. Augusta Southern R. R. Co. v. Kilby Co., 106 Ga. 864, 33 S. E. 28.
Kansas. Autem v. Mayer Coal Co., 98 Kan. 379, 158 Pac. 13.
Indiana. Bradley v. Harter, 156 Ind. 499, 60 N. E. 139.
Kentucky. Davis v. Parish, Litt. Sel. Cas. (Ky.) 153, 12 Am. Dec. 287; Mc-Conathy v. Lanham, 116 Ky. 735, 76 S. W. 535.
Maryland. Walter v. Bhoede Co., 94 Md. 80, 50 Atl. 433.
Massachusetts. Whittier v. Dana, 92 Mass. (10 All.) 326.
Michigan. Abell v. Munson, 18 Mich. 306, 100 Am. Dec. 165.
Minnesota. Burns v. Real Estate Co., 52 Minn. 31, 53 N. W. 1017.
Missouri. Warren v. Mayer Mfg. Co., 161 Mo. 112. 61 S. W. 644; Rucker v. Harrington, 62 Mo. App. 481.
Oklahoma. Bonicamp v. Starbuck, 25 Okla. 483, L. R. A. 1917B, 141. 106 Pac. 839; Price v. McDowell, 52 Okla. 608, 153 Pac. 649.
Texas. Bullis v. Cleaning Co., 75 Tex. 540, 12 S. W. 397; Sanborn v. Murphy, 86 Tex. 437, 25 S. W. 610.
Washington. Woolen v. Sloan, 94 Wash. 551, 162 Pac. 985.
Wisconsin. Saveland v. Ry., 118 Wis. 267, 95 N. W. 130.
2 Clark v. Fey, 121 N. Y. 470, 24 N. E. 703; Castro v. lilies. 13 Tex. 229; Saveland v. Western Wisconsin Ry., 118 Wis. 267, 95 N. W. 130.