Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Congregation Kadimah Toras-Moshe v. DeLeo case brief

Congregation Kadimah Toras-Moshe v. DeLeo case brief summary
540 N.E.2d 691 (1989)

CASE SYNOPSIS
Promisee of decedent's oral promise for charitable contribution appealed summary judgment of the Superior Court Department (Massachusetts) dismissing promisee's action to compel administrator of decedent's estate to fulfill decedent's promise.

CASE FACTS
Decedent made oral promise to give promisee, a synagogue, money for a library. Administrator of decedent's estate refused to give the money to promisee, who brought an action to enforce decedent's promise. The lower court granted summary judgment for the estate.

DISCUSSION

  • On appeal, the court affirmed. 
  • Decedent's promise was unsupported by consideration. 
  • Promisee's allocation of the money in its budget did not constitute reliance. 
  • The court declined to abandon the requirement of consideration or reliance for an enforceable contract in cases of charitable subscriptions. 
  • Moreover, enforcing an oral promise against an estate would be against public policy.
CONCLUSION
The court affirmed the lower court, because decedent's promise was not supported by consideration or reliance and because enforcing an oral promise against decedent's estate would be against public policy.


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