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Goodison v. Nunn

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    Bloomberg Law

    Brief Fact Summary. Goodson (Plaintiff) and Nunn (Defendant) entered into a contract to sell an estate to the Defendant. Defendant appealed from a judgment for the Plaintiff.

    Synopsis of Rule of Law. A person’s right to an action is dependent on performance of the other party.

    Facts. Plaintiff engaged to sell an estate to the Defendant for which the Defendant was to pay $210.00 and if he did not carry the contract into execution he was to pay $21.00. Defendant refused to convey his estate, and Plaintiff brought this action for the penalty. The lower court said that tender and refusal would amount to a performance and thus found for the Plaintiff.

    Issue. Whether a person’s right to an action is dependent on complete performance?

    Held. Yes. Judgment for the Defendant.
    One covenant is dependent on the other. When one party conveyed his estate he was to receive the purchase price and when the other parted with his money he was to have the estate.
    The lower court misapplied the principles in the case. Dependent covenants, performance and the offer to perform must be pleaded on the one part in order to found an action against the other. Therefore, this action cannot be maintained.

    Discussion. This case was heard in England in 1792 by Lord Kenyon in the King’s Bench.


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