Future Interests – Restraints on Alienation – Validity of Pre-Emptive Provision

Defendant purchased a strip of land lying between his residence and the plaintiff’s for $2,550. Immediately thereafter and pursuant to a prior understanding, he conveyed the west half to plaintiff for one half the price he paid for the entire tract. As a part of this transaction it was agreed that should either party desire to sell his portion of the lot at any time in the future, he would first offer it to the other at its original cost plus any amounts expended for improvements. When defendant was offered $3,500 for his half seven years later, he disregarded this agreement and accepted the offer. Plaintiff’s action for specific performance of the contract was dismissed. On appeal, held, affirmed. Although the arrangement does not violate the rule against perpetuities, it is nevertheless void as a direct restraint on alienation. Kershner v. Hurlburt, (Mo. 1955) 277 S.W. (2d) 619.