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Eleanor Thomas v. Benjamin Thomas

    Citation

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    Bloomberg Law

    Brief Fact Summary. Defendant entered into agreement with Plaintiff to convey subject dwelling house and premises to Plaintiff for life.

     


    Synopsis of Rule of Law. The equality of the consideration need not be equal in order for a contract to be in place.


    Facts. Plaintiff’s husband’s dying wish was that his wife have either the house in which he lived or 100 pounds.  The declaration was relayed to the Plaintiff’s brothers (one being the Defendant) and they agreed to carry out the intentions.  The agreement was that Plaintiff would have a house for her life, or until she remarried.  She agreed to pay one pound yearly for ground rent and to keep the house in repair.  Defendant brought an ejectment action after death of the second brother.


    Issue. Does consideration exist for the contract?


    Held. Yes. Mere motive need not be stated and we are not obliged to look for the legal consideration in any particular part of the instrument, we may look to any part.
    •    The stipulation for ground rent was not a mere proviso, but was an express agreement.  In this case, the consideration was not stated in the usual place.  However, in another part the court found express agreement to pay an annual sum and a distinct agreement to repair.


    Discussion. Courts are not going to look at the adequacy of the consideration or the equality of the exchange, but they are going require value above a nominal amount.  The bargained for requirement was not a major consideration of the requirement.



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