ProfessorMelissa A. Hale
CaseCast™ – "What you need to know"
Brief Fact Summary. Plaintiff Kirskey, was the sister-in law of Defendant Kirksey. After Plaintiff’s husband died, Defendant offered to put up Plaintiff on his land. Plaintiff gave up her land and moved to Defendant’s property, but approximately two years later Defendant made Plaintiff leave his property.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. A mere gratuitous promise is without the consideration necessary for enforcement as a contract.
Issue. Is there consideration to enforce Defendant’s promise?
Held. No. Defendant’s promise was gratuitous, and as such cannot be enforced due to lack of consideration.
Although the Justice writing the opinion would consider Plaintiff’s inconvenience valid consideration to enforce Defendant’s promise, the Court finds that the promise is merely gratuitous and lacks consideration.
Discussion. The Court finds Defendant’s promise to be gratuitous and will not enforce it due to lack of consideration. It may be that the court was reluctant to interfere in a family dispute. Today, the facts presented in this case would likely be analyzed under promissory estoppel.