The Second Department, reversing Supreme Court, determined the letter of intent was a non-binding agreement-to-agree, not a contract for the sale of real property. The letter of intent constituted “documentary evidence” which warranted dismissal of the breach of contract action:
… [T]he defendant submitted the letter of intent which conclusively established that the parties did not enter into a binding contract, but instead had a mere agreement to agree … . The letter of intent expressly stated that the letter was not contractually binding and expressly anticipated the future preparation and execution of a contract. Accordingly, the Supreme Court should have granted dismissal of so much of the complaint as was predicated upon allegations of breach of contract pursuant to CPLR 3211(a)(1). Krasnow v Catania, 2023 NY Slip Op 04584, Second Dept 9-13-23
Practice Point: This is a rare example of a successful motion to dismiss based on documentary evidence. The letter of intent was, by its terms, not a binding contract. Therefore the breach of contract action, based upon the letter of intent, should have been dismissed.