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Chapter 13 - Capacity and Legality

Chapter 13 - Capacity and Legality - Law Society I Key M W...

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Law & Society I Key : M W 9:30AM, Snell 213 Normal, dark blue, size 12 font: Every header found in text John Exley, ID: 0160294 Normal, black, size 12 font: Excerpts from text 10.03.08 Bold, black, size 12 font: Vocabulary from text Chapter 13: Capacity and Legality Pages 265-282 Contractual Capacity: The threshold mental capacity required by the law for a party who enters into a contract to be bound by that contract. Section 1 – Contractual Capacity Minors Age of Majority: The age at which an individual is considered legally capable of conducting himself or herself responsibly. A person of this age is entitled to the full rights of citizenship, including the right to vote in elections. In contract law, one who is no longer an infant and can no longer disaffirm a contract. Emancipation: In regard to minors, the act of being freed from parental control; occurs when a child’s parent or legal guardian relinquishes the legal right to exercise control over the child. Normally, a minor who leaves home to support himself or herself is considered emancipated. The general rule is that a minor can enter into any contract that an adult can, provided that the contract is not one prohibited by law for minors. Such a contract is voidable at the option of that minor. A minor need only manifest an intention not to be bound by it to exercise the option of avoiding a contract. o A Minor’s Right to Disaffirm Disaffirmance: The legal avoidance, or setting aside, of a contractual obligation. To disaffirm, a minor must express his or her intent, through words or conduct, not to be bound to the contract. The minor must disaffirm the entire contract, not merely a portion of it. A contract can ordinarily be disaffirmed at any time during minority or for a reasonable period after reaching majority. “Reasonable” time varies: two months is acceptable, a year later the court may hold the contract has been ratified. o A Minor’s Obligation on Disaffirmance Majority Rule Courts in a majority of states hold that the minor need only return the goods (or other consideration) subject to the contract, provided the goods are in the minor’s possession or control. Minority Rule An increasing number of states, either by statute or by court decision, place an additional duty on the minor – the duty to restore the adult party to the position that she or he held before the contract was made. o Exceptions to a Minor’s Right to Disaffirm
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Misrepresentation of Age In many jurisdictions, a minor who has misrepresented his or her age can be bound by a contract, at least under certain circumstances….The combination of the minors’ misrepresentation and their unjust enrichment has persuaded these courts to estop (prevent) minors from asserting contractual incapacity.
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Chapter 13 - Capacity and Legality - Law Society I Key M W...

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