Do Text Agreements Hold Up In Court
Both the E-Sign Act and the analysis of the jurisprudence of St. John`s Holdings v. Two Electronics LLC make it clear that text messages can be used to send and adopt unilateral and bilateral agreements. The term « contradict » should be used whenever a binding agreement is negotiated or refined by SMS. In this way, the intention to negotiate or modify the offer is clearly understood. The first case that appears to have sparked a discussion within the legal community about text messages is St. John`s Holdings, LLC v. Two Electronics, LLC. . In this case, the seller sent an SMS to the buyer confirming that a statement of intent was acceptable and requested the buyer`s signature, but once the buyer signed, the seller refused to execute the final memorandum of understanding.  The Massachusetts Regional Court held that « text messages and emails may comply with fraud law, provided that, like other writings, they contain the essential terms of the transaction and are signed by the parties to be engaged or by their authorized representatives. »  The St. John`s Holdings Court found that these conditions were met.
The text implicitly contained the Memorandum of Understanding and retains all the main contractual conditions. Next, the court compared the text messages to electronic communications and found that the broker`s simple act of inserting his first name at the end of the message was sufficient to be considered a binding signature in the context of those negotiations.  Given that a real estate contract must be drafted under crown contract law, the significance of this decision would determine that text messages are legally equivalent to bilateral contracts written on ink and paper. That judgment provides that, as long as they fulfil the conditions necessary for the offer, consideration, capacity and acceptance of a bilateral treaty, text messages may be considered legally enforceable. The Massachusetts Land Court decision also pointed out that these contracts could replace the written contracts on paper and ink required by the Fraud Act, which is enforced by many states. . . .