Calisto v. Rodgers

An en banc panel of the Pennsylvania Superior Court ruled that Seller’s use of his deceased mother’s name as an alias to sign three deeds satisfied the signature requirement of the statute of frauds. Seller sought to quiet title to three townhouses. The trial court determined that Seller delivered three executed deeds to Buyer. The court found that Seller had signed the deeds in his dead mother’s name and rejected Seller’s allegation that Buyer forged the woman’s signature in an attempt to steal the properties. The Superior Court affirmed and ruled that “Seller signed legal documents using someone else’s name. Seller thereby led Buyer to believe these signatures would bind Seller and transfer his title to the townhouses to Buyer. The mere fact Seller used his dead mother’s name, instead of his own, to complete the transaction does not deprive Buyer of his right to rely upon Seller’s representations during negotiations and at delivery that the deeds were properly executed.” The Court then held that “because the trial court, who viewed the witnesses’ body language and heard their testimony, was greatly convinced of Buyer’s honesty, its refusal to admit Buyer’s conviction for purposes of impeachment was harmless error.”

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