Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Broadnax v. Ledbetter case brief

Broadnax v. Ledbetter case brief summary
99 S.W. 1111 (1907)

Question certified from the Court of Civil Appeals for the Third District (Texas), which asked whether plaintiff's knowledge of reward when he captured escaped prisoner was essential for plaintiff to recover the reward.

Defendant sheriff offered reward for any person who captured escaped prisoner. Plaintiff sought reward after capturing and returning prisoner to defendant. Defendant refused to pay, stating that plaintiff had not alleged that he had notice of reward when he captured prisoner.


  • The court of appeals certified the following question: was plaintiff's knowledge of the reward when he acted essential to his right to recover? 
  • The court answered the question affirmatively. 
  • The court stated that liability for the reward was created by contract, which required an offer and acceptance. 
  • The court held that a contract did not exist until plaintiff acted in performance of the specified condition. 
  • The court stated that simply doing the specified things called for in a contract without reference to the offer was not consideration.

The court answered the question affirmatively, holding that to recover reward plaintiff was required to act in performance of specified condition; otherwise, a binding contract was not formed.

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