The statute of frauds requires that certain contracts be in writing, signed by the defendant.  Those contracts included those dealing with land (this is including mortgages), performance taking more than a year, surety arrangements, and marital agreements.  California adds contracts not to be performed during a lifetime, sales of good exceeding $500, and sales of  rights to sue over $5,000.  In addition, California has what’s known  as the equal dignities rule requiring written authorization by a principal giving his agent authority to  enter a contract that comes under the statute of frauds.