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How does the law deal with minors who enter into a contract?


Christopher 5 / 25  
Feb 8, 2008   #1
May I know what is this question mean?
How does the law deal with minors who enter into a contract?

EF_Team2 1 / 1,709  
Feb 8, 2008   #2
Greetings!

The question is basically asking you what rights children have if they want to make a contract with someone. Minors, which in most jurisdictions means anyone under the age of 18, are allowed to enter into contracts. However, minors' contracts are "voidable" at the option of the minor. That means that if the youngster changes his mind about the contract, he can decide not to honor it. For adults, that could result in being sued for breach of contract, but minors have more protection under the law. Let's take an example: Tim, who is 16 years old, decides to buy a motorcycle. He signs a contract with Mighty Motors for a new Kawasaki, but after a couple of months, decides the payments are too steep and he doesn't really like riding the bike as much as he thought he would. So, he takes the motorcycle back to the dealer and says, "I'd like my money back." The dealer has to give him his money back, because Tim can void the contract if he wants to.

I hope this answers your question!

Thanks,

Sarah, EssayForum.com
Samuel 2 / 7  
Feb 9, 2008   #3
I have some questionaires as below...
1. Why the term of minors under capacity?Are they linked?
2. By answering this question which is 'how does the law deal with minors who enter into a contract?' should I only focus on voidable contracts?How about contracts for necessaries, the tortious liability of minors and restitution?

3.If I wan to answer this question in essay format how was the flow?
I hope u can help me this...thank u very much Sarah...
OP Christopher 5 / 25  
Feb 9, 2008   #4
This is my introductio...Pls comment on it or edit it...Thanks!!!
In the principle of law, the term of minor is used to refer to a person who is under the age in which one legally assumes adulthood and is legally granted rights afforded to adults in society. Depending on the jurisdiction, persons under the age of 21 were designated "infants" and had only a limited capacity to contract. But effective from January 1, 1970, the Family Law Reform Act 1969 reduced the age of majority to 18 and authorised the term "minor" as an alternative to "infant." According to Richards (1992), he stated that despite the petulant view of youth, the aim of the law here is to protect rather than restrict, and this contains not merely protecting minors from entering into unfair contracts, but also protecting adults in their dealing with minors, provided they act in a fair and reasonable manner. It can be supported by the statement of Smith and Keenan (1997) which is a contract in which one or both of the parties lack capacity is voidable by the legally incapacitated party and the capacity of minors who enter a contract is void if a party is adjudicated to be mentally incompetent or so impaired that he could not manifest asset. Therefore, the consequence of minors' contracts are regarded as binding or voidable which depends on the circumstances.
EF_Team2 1 / 1,709  
Feb 9, 2008   #5
Greetings, Samuel!

Yes, minors fall into the category of capacity to contract. Minors have the capacity to enter into contracts, but their contracts are, in general, voidable. You should definitely include discussion of the issues surrounding necessaries, the tortious liability of minors and restitution, unless you have been instructed not to, or have a very limited word count. One thing that the law can be counted on is to provide an exception to virtually every rule, so you should always include exceptions and other circumstances which might change the outcome!

I'm afraid I did not really understand your Question #3. Can you explain what you meant?

Thanks,

Sarah, EssayForum.com
EF_Team2 1 / 1,709  
Feb 9, 2008   #6
Greetings, Christopher!

I'd be happy to give you some editing tips.

According to Richards (1992), [delete "he stated that"] despite the petulant view of youth, the aim of the law here is to protect rather than restrict, and this includes not merely protecting minors from entering into unfair contracts, but also protecting adults in their dealing with minors, provided they act in a fair and reasonable manner. It can be supported by the statement of Smith and Keenan (1997) which is that a contract in which one or both of the parties lack capacity is voidable by the legally incapacitated party and the capacity of minors who enter a contract is void if a party is adjudicated to be mentally incompetent or so impaired that he could not manifest asset.

Therefore, the consequence of minors' contracts are regarded as binding or voidable which depends on the circumstances. - I'm not sure this sentence follows logically the rule which you just stated. More accurate would be "Therefore, minors' contracts can be void or voidable, depending on the circumstances." Of course, the contracts can also be binding (for example, contracts for necessaries) but the quote you used and from which "Therefore" follows did not include contracts which are neither void nor voidable.

I hope this helps!

Thanks,

Sarah, EssayForum.com
OP Christopher 5 / 25  
Feb 9, 2008   #7
Hi Sarah, I'd made some changes in my introduction...But I think it may have some points are overlap so ps comment on it ...thanks.
OP Christopher 5 / 25  
Feb 9, 2008   #8
and this is my 1st paragraph...pls give me some idea too...
According to Abbot et al (2002), 'Goods suitable to the condition in life of the minor and to his actual requirements at the time of sale and delivery' If the goods are deemed necessaries which include food, clothing, shelter and etc, the minor compelled to pay a reasonable price which will usually, but not necessarily, be the contract price depends on the minor's income which goes with his condition in life and the supply of goods which the minor already has. The first alternative is if the minor is wealthy then quite expensive goods and services may be necessaries for him provided they are useful while the second alternative is if the minor is well supplied the particular articles then they will not be necessaries even though they are useful and are well within his income. All of these points are illustrated in the case of Nash v Inman (1908). This case is relevant to the Savile Row tailor (plaintiff) and an undergraduate minor in Trinity College (defendant). The plaintiff sent his agent to Cambridge because he heard that the defendant was spending money freely, and might be the sort of person who would be interested in high-class clothing. As a result of the agent's visit, the plaintiff supplied the defendant with various articles of clothing to the value of £140 0s 3d during the period of October 2902 to June 1903. The clothes included 11 fancy waistcoats. The plaintiff now sued the minor for the price of the clothes. Although evidence showed that the defendant's father was in good position, being an architect with a town and country house, and it could be said that the clothes supplied were suitable to the defendant's position in life. However, the defendant's father proved that the defendant was amply supplied with such clothes when the plaintiff delivered the clothes now in query. The courts of Appeal held that the plaintiff's claim failed because he had not established that the goods supplied is necessary. This is due to the burden of proving that the goods are necessaries lies on the seller and a minor is not liable if he has adequate supply, even the supplier did not know this.
OP Christopher 5 / 25  
Feb 9, 2008   #9
my 2nd paragrah states as below as well...
Contracts for the minor's benefit include contract of apprenticeship and education. As with 'necessaries', the court will take all the circumstances into account in deciding whether a contract is for the minor benefit according to the judgment of looked at as a whole, in the light of the circumstances when it was made. The minor may be bound even if some of the clauses of the contract do not turn out to his advantage. It can be supported in the case of Clements v Land NW Railway (1894), a young porter agreed to join an insurance scheme to which his employers contributed, and to give up any claim for personal injury he might have under the Employers' Liability Act 1880. The scheme covered a wider range of injuries than the Act but the scale of compensation was lower. The minor was injured in such a way that would have entitled him to compensation under the Act, but it was held that the contract was binding on him since, looked at a whole, in the light of the circumstances when it was made, the insurance was more beneficial to him than the Act. On the contrary, a minor not be bound if the contract is on the whole harsh or oppressive and it is illustrated in the case of De Francesco v Barnum (1890), a girl was apprenticed for stage dancing by a contract which provided stated that she should be entirely at the disposal of her master that she would only be paid if he actually employed her which he not bound to do. Moreover, she could not marry during the apprenticeship as he could end the contract as he found her unsuitable and she could not accept any professional engagement without his consent. But the girl accepted a professional engagement with D without the master's consent. Therefore, it was held that P could not sue D in the tort of inducing a breach of contract since, as the contract was unreasonably harsh, it was valid.
EF_Team2 1 / 1,709  
Feb 10, 2008   #10
Greetings!

I think your essay is coming along well! Here are some suggestions:

According to Keenan & Sarah (1995), there are two types of contract which will bind a minor. The compromise between these principles results in the rule that certain contracts with minors can be enforced as valid contracts, such as contracts for necessaries and beneficial contracts of service; others are void or voidable, and in some cases the minor may be liable in tort or in equity.

According to Richards (1992), which despite the petulant view of youth, the aim of the law here is to protect rather than restrict, and this includes not merely protecting minors from entering into unfair contracts, but also protecting adults in their dealing with minors, provided they act in a fair and reasonable manner. - Is this a quote? If so, put it in quotation marks. Try to shorten your sentences a bit so that the reader does not get lost along the way.

You're off to a good start!

Thanks,

Sarah, EssayForum.com
EF_Team2 1 / 1,709  
Feb 10, 2008   #11
Greetings!

As for your first paragraph, the first sentence is extremely hard to follow. First of all, the quote is just a fragment; you need to tie it in grammatically. Also, try reading this out loud and I think you'll see it has a few problems.

According to Abbot et al (2002), 'Goods suitable to the condition in life of the minor and to his actual requirements at the time of sale and delivery' If the goods are deemed necessaries which include food, clothing, shelter and etc, the minor compelled to pay a reasonable price which will usually, but not necessarily, be the contract price depends on the minor's income which goes with his condition in life and the supply of goods which the minor already has. - There is some very good information in this paragraph, but it gets lost in the overly long, ungrammatical sentence structure.

Here you have a typo: during the period of October 2902 to June 1903.

The courts of Appeal held that the plaintiff's claim failed because he had not established that the goods supplied were necessaries. - "Necessaries" is a legal term; it's not quite the same as saying "the goods were necessary."

This is due to the burden of proving that the goods are necessaries lies on the seller and a minor is not liable if he has adequate supply, even the supplier did not know this. - There are several grammatical errors in this sentence. Better would be "The burden of proof lies with the seller to show that the goods were necessaries. The minor is not liable if he has an adequate supply, even if the supplier did not know this."

Keep up the good work!

Thanks,

Sarah, EssayForum.com
EF_Team2 1 / 1,709  
Feb 10, 2008   #12
Greetings!

For the second paragraph, you need to, again, be aware of the grammar problems. I made some changes here:

Contracts for the minor's benefit include contracts of apprenticeship and education. As with 'necessaries', the court will take all the circumstances into account in deciding whether a contract is for the minor's benefit. The issue will be looked at as a whole, in the light of the circumstances when it was made.

And here: On the contrary, a minor cannot be bound if the contract is on the whole harsh or oppressive and it is illustrated in the case of De Francesco v Barnum (1890). A girl was apprenticed for stage dancing by a contract which provided that she should be entirely at the disposal of her master, and that she would only be paid if he actually employed her, which he was not bound to do.

Therefore, it was held that P could not sue D in the tort of inducing a breach of contract since, as the contract was unreasonably harsh, it was valid. - I think you meant "invalid" but the actual legal term would likely be "unenforceable."

I hope this helps!

Thanks,

Sarah, EssayForum.com
OP Christopher 5 / 25  
Feb 10, 2008   #13
Hi Sarah, I'd take ur advice to make some changes for my assignment...I hope u can comment it again...I dunno how 2 do conclusion can u gimme some idea???Thanks a lot...

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EF_Team2 1 / 1,709  
Feb 10, 2008   #14
Greetings!

Your essay is filling out very nicely! I do want to caution you about quoting from sources. If you use words directly from another source, you need to put the phrase in quotation marks and give a citation.

For your conclusion, you need to give a summary of what you have written. Try to state in three sentences or so what the law with regard to minors' contracts is, i.e., that they are voidable at the option of the minor, but that there exceptions for necessaries, etc.

Best of luck in your studies!

Thanks,

Sarah, EssayForum.com
OP Christopher 5 / 25  
Feb 11, 2008   #15
Hi Sarah...Izzit like this way?

It can be concluded that what the law with regard to minors' contracts is, i.e., that they are voidable at the option of the minor, but that there exceptions for necessaries. Beneficial contracts of service is recognised that the minor should be able to earn a living, but if such contracts were void or voidable, he or she might have great difficulty in finding anyone prepare to offer employment. The minor is partially bound, in that he or she is not personally liable for partnership debts, but cannot prevent their discharge. On reaching majority, the former minor will become fully bound unless he or she repudiates.
EF_Team2 1 / 1,709  
Feb 11, 2008   #16
Greetings!

I think you are trying to include too much detail in your conclusion; it's sounding a little confusing. Try something a little more general like "In conclusion, the general rule with regard to minors entering into contracts is that the contract is voidable at the option of the minor. However, exceptions do exist, such as contracts for necessaries ... [and go on to list the types of exceptions without going into the specifics of how they work].

I hope this helps!

Thanks,

Sarah, EssayForum.com
OP Christopher 5 / 25  
Feb 12, 2008   #17
how about this conclusion?

In conclusion, the general rule with regard to minors entering into contracts is that the contract is voidable at the option of the minor. The sufficiency of protection for those who contact with those lacking capacity must be that some imbalances. However, exceptions do exist, such as contracts for necessaries, contracts for service and benefit of employment and etc. Minors have the option of cancelling contracts for non-necessaries. This affords minors some protection against reckless or imprudent acts, but the law balances this special protection for minors against legitimate business. In these respects, the law seems to be shrinking perhaps too close to protect minors.
EF_Team2 1 / 1,709  
Feb 13, 2008   #18
Greetings!

I like your conclusion --it's quite good! I have just a few editing suggestions for it:

The sufficiency of protection for those whocontract with those lacking capacity must result in some imbalances. However, exceptions do exist, such as contracts for necessaries, contracts for service and benefit of employment.(delete "and etc.")

This affords minors some protection against reckless or imprudent acts, but the law balances this special protection for minors against legitimate business interests. In these respects, the law seems to be shrinking perhaps too closelyto protect minors.

Good job!

Thanks,

Sarah, EssayForum.com
OP Christopher 5 / 25  
Feb 13, 2008   #19
Hi sarah...this is my my friend's work can u give him a feedback?And he dunno how 2 cite the last 2 paragraph...it is an online source....ple teach him and his words is just 1275 how can he added become 1500 words?Which paragrah need 2 put in more effort???THX

//Deleted by moderator//
EF_Team2 1 / 1,709  
Feb 14, 2008   #20
Greetings!

Please refer to our Terms of Service, specifically #6: "Only members who have free accounts are eligible to post to the forum." Your friend will need to sign up for a free account in order to have his work critiqued on the forum.

Thanks,

Sarah, EssayForum.com


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