Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Larry Bowling v. Max Sperry case brief

Bowling v. Sperry case brief summary
133 Ind. App. 692, 184 N.E.2d 901 (1962)

Appellant minor, by and through his mother, challenged a judgment from the Noble Circuit Court (Indiana) that was rendered for appellee automobile dealership (the dealership) in the minor's suit to disaffirm on the ground of infancy a contract for the purchase of a car by the minor from the dealership.

OVERVIEW: The evidence showed that the minor was accompanied by his aunt and grandmother to the dealership and that the aunt test drove the car and loaned him money for the purchase price. After a week of driving the car, the minor noticed that it needed a certain repair and refused to pay the price quoted by the dealership to make the repair. The minor left the car on the dealership's premises and, by letter, disaffirmed the contract and demanded return of the money paid on the car. The dealership refused to return the money and in the minor's subsequent suit, judgment was rendered for the dealership.

On appeal, the court noted the general rule in Indiana that contracts of minors were voidable and could be disaffirmed.

The court ruled that the facts that the minor was accompanied by his relatives and received a loan from an aunt did not change the rule. In so far as the agreement and sale was concerned, the court ruled, there was sufficient evidence to show that it was made between the dealership and the minor and no one else. Moreover, the court ruled, the dealership failed to carry its burden and prove that the car was necessity, within the meaning of Ind. Code § 58-102 (1961 Repl.).

Where necessaries are sold and delivered to an infant, or to a person who by reason of mental incapacity or drunkenness is incompetent to contract, he must pay a reasonable price therefor. Necessaries in this section means goods suitable to the condition in life of such infant or other person, and to his actual requirements at the time of delivery.

OUTCOME: The court reversed a judgment that was rendered for the dealership in the minor's suit to disaffirm on the ground of infancy a contract executed by the minor for the purchase a car from the dealership.

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