Brief Fact Summary. The Plaintiff, Larry Bowling (Plaintiff), a minor, entered into an agreement with the Defendant, Max E. Sperry d/b/a Sperry Ford Sales (Defendant) to purchase a 1947 Plymouth automobile. A week after it was purchased, the car broke down and Plaintiff brought suit to rescind the contract based on his lack of capacity.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. With certain exceptions, contracts entered into by minors are voidable and can be rescinded.
It is said: Necessaries, in the technical sense, mean such things as are necessary to the support, use or comfort of the person of the minor, as food, raiment, lodging, medical attendance, and such personal comforts as comport with his condition and circumstances in life, including a common school education.View Full Point of Law
Issue. This case questions whether a contract is enforceable when it is entered into by a minor.
The Court found that facts of this matter clearly illustrated that Plaintiff was underage when he bought the automobile and that Defendant was aware of his age at that time, regardless of other extenuating circumstances.
It should be noted that the court also goes into the question of whether the automobile was a “necessary”, in the sense that it was indispensable to Plaintiff and he could not be maintained without it. The court dismissed this theory, saying that Defendant could not meet the burden of proving that Plaintiff needed the vehicle.
Discussion. The contracts of minors are always per se null because it is assumed that minors cannot deal with the ramifications of breach.