GROUP ONE REALTY, INC., a Delaware corporation, Plaintiff/Appellee,
DAHR PROPERTIES-MEMORIAL SPRINGS, LLC, an Oklahoma limited liability company and A.S. DAHR, an individual, Defendants/Appellants.
Mandate Issued: 10/27/2017
FROM THE DISTRICT COURT OF OKLAHOMA COUNTY, OKLAHOMA
HONORABLE BRYAN C. DIXON, TRIAL JUDGE
Hampton, Amy J. Pierce, CORBYN HAMPTON, PLLC, Oklahoma City,
Oklahoma, for Plaintiff/Appellee
Michael K. Avery, McAFEE & TAFT, A PROFESSIONAL
CORPORATION, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, for
F. FISCHER, PRESIDING JUDGE
Appellants, Dahr Properties - - Memorial Springs, LLC and
A.S. Dahr (collectively Dahr), appeal the district
court's order granting Appellee Group One Realty,
Inc.'s motion for summary judgment. Dahr asserts the
district court erred in granting summary judgment without
first allowing it the opportunity to conduct discovery. This
appeal has been assigned to the accelerated docket pursuant
to Oklahoma Supreme Court Rule 1.36(b), 12 O.S.Supp. 2013,
ch. 15, app. 1, and the matter stands submitted without
appellate briefing. After review of the record and applicable
law, we reverse the district court's order and remand for
further proceedings consistent with this Opinion.
On September 11, 2013, Group One's
predecessor-in-interest entered into a contract with Dahr for
the purchase and sale of real property in Oklahoma City,
Oklahoma. Group One assumed all rights under the contract
pursuant to written agreement. The contract was amended in
writing several times due to negotiations with pipeline
companies to relocate pipelines beneath the surface. The
final contract amendment gave Group One the right to
terminate the contract if it could not reach agreement in
principle with the pipeline companies. The amendment further
stated that satisfaction of this condition would be
determined at Group One's sole discretion.
On November 11, 2014, Group One delivered written notice of
its election to terminate the contract. Group One requested
the return of the $495, 000 earnest money held in escrow,
plus any accrued interest. Dahr contested the validity of the
contract termination and filed suit in district court. Group
One filed a motion for summary judgment, asking the district
court to determine that the notice of termination was valid
and effective. Dahr responded that they had been unable to
conduct the discovery necessary to support their allegations
against Group One. Dahr also filed an affidavit pursuant to
12 O.S.2011 § 2056 (F) and District Court Rule 13(d), 12
O.S.Supp. 2013, ch. 2, app., stating their good faith belief
that the discovery would reveal a genuine dispute of material
The district court granted Group One's motion for summary
judgment, finding that the termination notice was valid and
that Group One was entitled to the return of its earnest
money. Dahr appeals, asserting that the district court erred
in granting summary judgment without allowing additional time
to conduct discovery.
When deciding a motion for summary judgment, the district
court considers factual matters but the ultimate decision is
purely legal. Carmichael v. Beller, 1996 OK 48,
¶ 2, 914 P.2d 1051. Issues of law are reviewed pursuant
to the de novo standard of review. Brown v.
Nicholson, 1997 OK 32, n.1, 935 P.2d 319. De novo review
involves a plenary, independent, and non-deferential
examination of the district court's rulings of law.
In re Estate of Bell-Levine, 2012 OK 112, ¶ 5,
293 P.3d 964. On review, we examine the pleadings and
evidentiary materials submitted by the parties to determine
whether there exists a genuine issue of material fact.
Carmichael, 1996 OK 48, ¶ 2. If the moving
party has not addressed all material facts, or if one or more
of such facts is not supported by acceptable evidentiary
material, summary judgment is not proper. Spirgis v.
Circle K Stores, Inc., 1987 OK CIV APP 45, 743 P.2d 682
(approved for publication by the Oklahoma Supreme Court).
Appellants ask this court to determine the following: when a
party's right to terminate a contract is restricted to
limited conditions, is a termination allegedly premised upon
the occurrence ...