Defendant Countersuits in Land Sale Litigation | News

LOGAN — A Circleville resident, who is being sued for allegedly backing out of a Hocking County real estate deal worth more than half a million dollars, has fought back. He claims the plaintiff voided the sale contract by failing to meet his legal obligations, then sued to try to force the sale to go ahead anyway.

As previously reported in The Logan Daily News, Cris Krista of Pickerington filed a lawsuit in December in the Hocking County Court of Common Pleas against Terry Thompson of Circleville, over a failed land deal involving approximately 20 acres in Benton Township. .

Krista claimed he entered into a contract with Thompson in November 2019, in which Thompson agreed to sell the property to her for $575,000. According to the sale contract, Krista had to pay Thompson $1,000 on the first of every month, beginning December 1, 2019. The balance of the sale price had to be paid by December 1, 2021 or the contract would be void.

In early 2021, according to the lawsuit, Thompson, apparently out of concern about possible changes to the laws regarding capital gains taxes, began expressing interest in organizing what is known in the Internal Revenue Code as a transaction under section 1031. Such a transaction allows a person who derives a financial gain from the sale of a business or investment property to defer paying taxes on the gain, if he reinvests the proceeds of sale in a similar property in a qualifying like-kind exchange.

According to Krista’s account, Thompson told her that he had hired a Columbus law firm to set up such a 1031 transaction.

In October 2020, according to the lawsuit, Krista contacted Thompson through legal counsel to inquire about closing the sale of the land. Thompson responded by email, again talking about a 1031 deal. Then, during an in-person meeting between the two sides in November, Thompson again indicated that he was still working on such an arrangement.

When Krista contacted Thompson through an attorney on Dec. 1 for closing instructions, according to the lawsuit, Thompson signaled that he was terminating the sale contract because it had expired.

Krista claims that by doing so, Thompson breached the sale agreement, entitling Krista to a court order compelling Thompson to complete the sale of the property.

In addition, Krista seeks compensatory damages of at least $25,000, punitive damages of up to three times compensatory damages, and attorneys’ fees.

In her response and counterclaim filed Jan. 21, Thompson alleges that although Krista claims in her legal complaint to have complied with the terms of the sales agreement, that claim is untrue. “The breach (of Krista) of its obligations contained in the contract resulted in the nullity of the contract”, he adds, without specifying what this breach implied.

Although the contract lapsed, Thompson claims, he offered in good faith to return Krista all the money he paid for the purchase – and is willing to deposit the money with the court while the lawsuit is In progress.

Krista, “who did not accept the return of monies paid, instead filed the lawsuit maliciously in an attempt to enforce (Thompson) a void contract,” the countersuit alleges. “(Krista’s) allegations in the complaint contain materially false, malicious and libelous allegations designed to impair (Thompson’s) title to the real property.” The lawsuit, he adds, has cast a cloud over Thompson’s title and hampered his ability to transfer it.

Thompson is seeking at least $25,000 in compensatory damages plus interest, punitive damages, court costs and fees, and a court order declaring the contract of sale void on its own terms.