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Shell Oil Co. v. Trailer & Truck Repair Co.

submitted: June 25, 1987.

SHELL OIL COMPANY, A DELAWARE CORPORATION,
v.
TRAILER & TRUCK REPAIR CO., INC., NEW JERSEY CORPORATION AND HERB C. ENTERPRISES, INC., A NEW JERSEY CORPORATION, AND THE HOWARD SAVINGS BANK, A NEW JERSEY CORPORATION DEFENDANT THIRD PARTY PLAINTIFF V. JOSEPH C. WOODCOCK, JR., THIRD PARTY DEFENDANT. HERB C. ENTERPRISES, INC., APPELLANT IN NO. 86-5760. TRAILER AND TRUCK REPAIR CO., INC., APPELLANT IN NO. 86-5789



On Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey - Newark, D.C. Civil No. 85-1743).

Gibbons, Chief Judge, Weis, Circuit Judge, and Pollak, District Judge.*fn*

Author: Gibbons

Opinion OF THE COURT

GIBBONS, Chief Judge

Trailer & Truck Repair Co., Inc. and Herb C. Enterprises, Inc. appeal from a summary judgment in favor of Shell Oil Company in Shell's action for specific performance of an option of first refusal to purchase real estate. Our review of the District Court's interpretation of New Jersey law is plenary. Under New Jersey law, Shell is not, in the circumstances disclosed in the summary judgment record, entitled to specific performance of its option of first refusal. Thus the judgment appealed from will be reversed.

I.

Four contiguous properties on Route 3 in Secaucus, New Jersey were owned by four separate entities, all controlled by members of the Buchmiller family. The entities, their shareholders or partners and the percentage of ownership of each were as follows:

1. Trailer & Truck Repair Co., Inc. - Lot 1 Block 103

A. Cheryl Buchmuller - 42 1/2%

B. Vera Zitman - 5%

C. Eunice Buchmuller - 42 1/2%

D. Harry Raphaelson - 10 %

2. B & M Realty Associates - Lot 3 Block 103

A. Vera Zitman - 30%

B. Eunice Buchmuller - 30%

C. Emily Buchmuller - 30%

D. Harry Raphaelson - ...


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