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Chapter 9 Legal Capacity to Contract

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Presentation on theme: "Chapter 9 Legal Capacity to Contract"— Presentation transcript:

1 Chapter 9 Legal Capacity to Contract

2 9-1 Objectives Identify parties who lack contractual capacity
Explain the role of capacity in organizations

3 What is Capacity? These parties are said to be incapacitated
Some people lack maturity and control to protect themselves in a contract situation Contractual capacity – the ability to understand the consequences of a contract Certain parties to a contract have special contractual rights due to lack of such capacity: Age of Majority to contract (age you are allowed to manage yourself) The intoxicated, or intoxication - impaired by use of alcohol, drugs, or inhalants The mentally impaired, or mental incapacity – a person lacks the ability to understand the consequences of his/her contracts These parties are said to be incapacitated

4 What is Capacity? Minor – a person who has not yet reached the age of majority Minority – state of being below the age of majority You actually reach the age of majority the DAY BEFORE your 19th birthday (or the age set as the age of majority)

5 Read GLOBAL ISSUES on p157 What is the age a child in Bangladesh can leave school on their own vs the U.S.? What is the minimum age for employment in Armenia? How old does a Japanese female need to be to marry vs male in India?

6 What is Capacity? The contracts of most parties who lack capacity are considered voidable You may disaffirm the contract. Disaffirmance – a refusal to be bound by a previous legal commitment The protected party (minor, intoxicated person, etc.) will receive back whatever they put into the contract. The problem with disaffirmance is that no one will want to contract with minors in the future because they can always get out of it Contracts for necessaries cannot be cancelled without paying reasonable value for the items……see next slide

7 What is Capacity? Necessaries – things needed to maintain life Food Clothing Shelter This does NOT include non-necessaries! Computer Jewelry iPod If a protected person contracts then changes their mind, they still need to pay a reasonable value for item EX: If a minor purchased a fur coat for $5,000 , she could disaffirm the contract BUT is required to pay the cost of a good cloth coat, let’s say $200, if she chose to keep it.

8 What is Capacity? BEWARE ! Minors can find themselves bound to their contracts if they are emancipated Emancipation – ending the child-parent relationship This ends the duty of the parent to support a child and the duty of the child to obey the parent A minor naturally becomes emancipated upon reaching the age of majority Formal emancipation occurs when a court decrees it

9 What is Capacity? Informal emancipation can arise from the conduct of the minor and parent: The parent and minor agree that the parent will stop supporting the child The minor marries or moves out on their own The minor becomes a member of the armed forces The minor gives birth The minor undertakes full-time employment instead of attending school

10 Who Has Contractual Capacity in Organizations?
Some people who work for businesses or other types of organizations have the capacity/ability to bind the organizations to contracts If someone has this capacity, it is said to be within his/her scope of authority – within the range of authorized contractual acts he/she has been given permission to do People acting outside the scope of their authority generally are personally liable when the organization isn’t EX: A shoe salesman can’t enter into a contract with NIKE to purchase $10,000 in shoes over the next year

11 9-1 Assessment Answer questions #1-8

12 9-2 Objectives Recognize the time frame during which a contract can be disaffirmed Identify contracts that cannot be disaffirmed Discuss the effects of misrepresentation of age on contractual responsibilities

13 Disaffirming a Contract
A person lacking contractual capacity who wants to disaffirm (cancel) a contract must do so: Anytime while still under the incapacity (while still a minor) OR Within a reasonable time after attaining capacity (becoming legal age) Disaffirmance – a refusal to be bound by a previous legal commitment After attaining capacity, a person may ratify (action by party showing intent to be bound by contract) the contract made while under an incapacity EX: Giving a new promise or an act, such as making pmts to seller on time

14 Contracts that Cannot be Disaffirmed by Minors
There are some contracts of minors that are not necessaries that cannot be disaffirmed, these vary by state Court-approved contracts – EX: actors have their contracts approved by a court and cannot change Major commitments – entering the armed forces or education loans Banking contracts-may make withdrawals and deposits Insurance contracts-minors over a certain age may not disaffirm life insurance contracts

15 Work-related contracts (minors who engage in business cannot disaffirm agreements involving their business) Sale of Realty (a minor who owns real estate and sells it cannot disaffirm until after they reach legal age) Apartment rental (the lease of an apartment cannot be disaffirmed if you are a minor)

16 Contractual Effect of Misrepresenting Age
Minors have been known to misrepresent their ages……..NEVER  A minor who gives a false age on purpose may be held liable for the tort of false representation Minors are liable for their torts and delinquent or criminal conduct coming out of a contractual transaction

17 9-2 Assessment Answer questions #1-8

18 Additional Assignments
Chapter 9 Assessment: #1-11 (write definition and answer) & 20-21 Attached worksheets

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