Mesaros v. United States case brief summary
845 F.2d 1576 (1988)
Plaintiff numismatists appealed a
judgment that the United States District Court for the Southern
District of Georgia, Savannah Division, summarily entered in favor of
defendant federal government in litigation arising under the Statue
of Liberty-Ellis Island Commemorative Coin Act (Act), Pub. L. No.
99-61, 99 Stat. 113 (1985).
CASE FACTS The Act authorized the U.S. Mint to
strike specific quantities of three types of commemorative coins
depicting the national landmark. The federal government processed the
cash sale orders of other buyers before honoring the numismatists'
orders to be billed to credit cards, with the consequence that the
statutory run of production was exhausted before the numismatists'
orders were filled. The numismatists, therefore, filed suit in breach
of contract, seeking equitable relief. The trial court granted the
federal government's motion in the alternative for summary judgment
or to dismiss the numismatists' complaint.
On the numismatists'
appeal, the court held that the trial court's ruling was proper.
court noted that it was generally unreasonable for a person to
consider advertisements and solicitations as offers that bound the
More specifically, the federal government's advertising
materials could only be reasonably construed as invitations to
bargain rather than firm offers enforceable against the federal
The Act did not require that orders be filled in any
The courts had no constitutional authority to
decree that more coins be produced.
The court affirmed the judgment of the trial court that disposed
of the numismatists' suit against the federal government. Suggested law school study materials
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