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Statute of frauds

From 17th century English statutory law, (29 Car. II c. 3) passed in 1677 the requirement that certain kinds of transactions, typically contractual obligations, be evidenced by a writing signed by the party against whom inforcement is sought, or by her authorized agent. Such writing being a precondition to maintaining a suit for breach of contract (or other obligation). It is more properly called the Statute of Frauds and Perjuries

Traditionally, the statute of frauds requires a writing signed by the party against whom enforcement is sought in the following circumstances:

  • Contracts in consideration of marriage
  • Contracts which cannot be performed within one year
  • Contracts for the sale of land
  • Contracts by the executor of a will
  • Contracts in which one party acts as guarantor for another party's debts
  • Under the Uniform Commercial Code, contracts for the sale of goods worth more than $500.

Law students often remember these circumstances by the mnemonic "MYLEGS" (marriage, year, land, surety, executor, guarantor sale).

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