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which it consists and without which there can be no contract.
28. What are the elements of a contract?
Parties, their consent, lawful consideration and subjectmatter and sometimes the element of time.
29. What are the two classes of parties? Competent and incompetent. 30. What are two essential conditions of competency? Persons must be of legal age and sound mind. 31. What is meant by disability in making contracts? Disability is the lack of ability to make a valid contract. 32. How many kinds of disability are there? Two; legal and natural. 33. Who are legally incompetent?
Minors, alien enemies, married women (excepting where, as in New York state, the disability of the common law has been changed), corporations to a limited extent, and persons who have been judicially declared to be incompetent.
34. Name those who are naturally incompetent.
Idiots, lunatics, habitual drunkards and persons under duress.
35. What are the conditions of incompetency?
Minority, coverture, alien-belligerency, idiocy, lunacy and habitual drunkenness.
36. Who are minors or infants?
In New York state all persons, male and female, are considered infants while under 21 years of age, excepting in certain prescribed cases.
37. What are those prescribed cases?
(1) A male person eighteen years and upwards and a female sixteen years and upwards may make a valid will of personal property, and (2), the age of legal consent to marriage is eighteen years and upwards.
38. When do persons become of age?
On the day before their twenty-first birthday, upon the principle that the law recognizes no fraction of a day.
39. What valid contracts may a minor make?
A minor may make valid contracts for necessaries when not already supplied.
40. What are considered necessaries?
Such board, medical attendance, clothing and schooling as are suitable and proper.
41. To what extent are such contracts binding?
Such contracts are binding, but only a fair price can be charged. A minor cannot be compelled to pay an exorbitant price for necessaries supplied.
42. How are necessaries distinguished from luxuries?
The standing in society and the fortune of the minor decide what is necessary. It is often a question of fact for a jury to decide as to what are suitable necessaries.
43. What is said of the contracts made by minors for things not necessary?
They are voidable; the minor may repudiate them if he so desire.
44. Can an adult recover the money he loaned a minor?
No; money is not a necessary. However, when the money is supplied at the request of the minor and is used to pay for necessaries actually supplied, the lender may put himself in the place of the one who supplied the necessaries and recover their reasonable worth.
45. What action may a minor take in regard to contracts made during minority, when he becomes of age?
He may either ratify or disaffirm them. 46. What is ratification?
It is the act of giving force to a contract that is not already in force. It is making a voidable contract valid.
47. What is disaffirmance or rescission?
It is the act of repudiating a contract. It is making a voidable contract void.
48. When may a minor ratify or rescind his voidable contract?
He can rescind a parol contract at any time while yet a minor, but he cannot ratify his contract until he becomes
It takes the same power to ratify a contract as it does to make a valid contract.
49. Is a minor allowed to waive his rights?
No, he is not; he is given certain rights for his protection and no act of his, however willingly done, will deprive him of these rights.
50. How may a minor ratify his contract on coming of age?
(2) By going forward with the performance of it on his part; or
(3) By retaining the benefits or proceeas of it for an unreasonable time; or
(4) By silence when he ought to speak. 51. How may a minor disaffirm or rescind his contract?
He may rescind the contract at any time by making his wishes known and by returning if possible whatever he has received under the contract.
52. When will silence be equivalent to ratification?
If the minor retain the consideration for an unreasonable length of time after attaining his majority, he runs the risk of ratifying the contract by his silence.
53. When will silence on the part of the minor not be considered ratification ?
When the contract is wholly executory and he has received nothing under the contract he need take no action. He may plead his nonage as a complete defense in such a
54. Must the minor return the consideration when he rescinds his contract?
He must when it is in his power to do so. When not in his power to do so he can generally rescind the contract without returning the consideration. This is true when he has wasted or squandered what he has received. The other party can demand consideration when the minor still has it in his possession.
55. When the minor leaves home without just cause, can his parent or guardian be held for his contracts for necessaries?
No. The minor has disobeyed and cannot make binding contracts even for necessaries. In such a case the dealer trusts a minor at his own risk.
56. Who is entitled to the earnings of a minor?
When the minor lives at home and is supported by his parents, his earnings belong to them.
57. When is a minor entitled to his own earnings?
When he has been given his time, or when he has been emancipated by his parent or guardian. In some states, as in New York, it is provided by statute that the parent or guardian who claims the wages of a minor must notify the employer within thirty days after the commencement of the service, in default of which notice, payment to the minor is valid.
58. How may a minor be emancipated ?
If the minor is allowed to support himself and does not live at home, it is presumed that he has been emancipated : but a written statement by the guardian or parent may be required by statute.
59. Does emancipation enlarge the minor's power to contract?
It does not.
60. Does the minor when emancipated relinquish all claim on his parent or guardian?
If the minor should fail to support himself, he can still claim support from his parent or guardian.
61. Is it legal for an infant to marry?
A minor may marry by complying with the requirements of statute law.
62. Can a minor make a contract of apprenticeship? Yes, he can generally; this is regulated by statute. 63. Can a minor take and hold property? Yes, he can. 64. Can a minor make a deed? Yes, he can, but he may disaffirm it when he be
conies of age.
The minor cannot disaffirm his conveyance of real property until he becomes of age, but he may take possession of the property again and derive the profit from it in the meantime.
65. Why has the minor the right to make so many voidable contracts?
This is for his own protection. Others might take advantage of him on account of his lack of wisdom and experience.
66. Has the adult the right to rescind the contract he makes with a minor?
No, he is bound to keep his agreement. The contract is voidable at the election of the minor.
67. Is a minor punishable for his torts?
In many states, including New York, a married woman owns her separate property and can make contracts concerning it the same as if unmarried.
69. Who are alien enemies?
Citizens of nations at war with each other are alien enemies.
70. What is the law regarding contracts between alien enemies?
Executory contracts are suspended during the operation of war. When peace has been declared these contracts may be resumed. No new contracts may be formed during the progress of war, or if made, are void and cannot be enforced even when peace is restored.
71. Why is such a law enforced?
If contracts were allowed under such circumstances, private interests would often be put before the welfare of the country, and this would be detrimental to the public welfare. A similar law is found in every country.
72. What restrictions are placed upon corporations in regard to making contracts?
Corporations are sometimes termed artificial persons, and have such rights and powers as are granted them by charter. They are usually created for a special purpose, and if