Chapter 7 – Formation of Contracts (Continued)

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Chapter 7 – Formation of Contracts (Continued)
Capacity
Minors/Infants
Minors (under 19) not bound by their contracts
Necessaries and Beneficial Contracts of Service
Minors are bound by contracts for necessaries (eg. food, clothing,
lodging, transportation)
Minors are bound by contracts for service that substantially benefit
them
Exception: In BC, ALL contracts are unenforceable against minors
unless enforceable by legislation
On Becoming an Adult
If minor ratifies contract at age of authority, she is bound
Minor must repudiate within a reasonable time
Executory contract – parties entered into contract but minor has not
benefitted or paid – not bound
Partially executed contract – minor will have to return/pay for goods
and then will get a full refund
Executed contract – if minor has benefitted, cannot escape contract
=> not bound if received no benefit at all
Parents’ Liability
Parents are not responsible for minor’s contracts
Responsible if they guarantee an obligation
Infants’ Liability for Torts
Minor may be liable for tort, independent of contract
Insanity and Drunkeness
Must be shown that person could not understand the nature of the act being
performed
To escape contractual liability, must prove insanity/mental incompetence as
well as that the person dealt with knew or should have known of the
incapacity
Must repudiate contract when sober/sane
Others of Limited Capacity
Some crown corporations and government bodies
Enemy aliens in times of war, foreign governments, foreign diplomats,
bankrupts, Indians
Legality
Contracts Performed Illegally
Difference between contracts performed illegally and formed illegally
Lawful contracts performed may be enforced => courts use discretion
Contracts Formed Illegally
Illegal contract is void and will not be enforced
Court will not restore parties to original position, unless one party is innocent
Conduct that is immoral or against public policy also creates an illegal
contract
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Document Summary

Minors/infants: minors (under 19) not bound by their contracts. => not bound if received no benefit at all. Parents" liability: parents are not responsible for minor"s contracts, responsible if they guarantee an obligation. Infants" liability for torts: minor may be liable for tort, independent of contract. Others of limited capacity: some crown corporations and government bodies, enemy aliens in times of war, foreign governments, foreign diplomats, bankrupts, indians. Contracts performed illegally: difference between contracts performed illegally and formed illegally. Lawful contracts performed may be enforced => courts use discretion. Illegal contract is void and will not be enforced: court will not restore parties to original position, unless one party is innocent, conduct that is immoral or against public policy also creates an illegal contract. Illegal contract may be partially enforceable, courts may sever just the illegal provisions. Involving immoral acts: to commit a crime, to commit a tort. 3: bets and wagers (eg. insurance with no insurable interest)

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