– Plaintiff, wife of defendant’s brother…he died…
– Brother said that if she came down to see him, he would give her a place to reside, which is nicer than what she has now.
– Advised to sell land, and come down to stay with him.
- He has enough land for her to live on, and he wants his nephews to have a better place to live.
- Shortly after, she moved to D’s place…Lived on his land for two years…
- After two years, the D, made her go to a not-so-comfortable place in the woods, and eventually made her leave.
- Lower court awarded her, $200 for the inconvienence of having to leave the place, overruled in Supreme Court.
– Supreme Court of Alabama (state court, 1845).
– Lower courts upheld judgment of $200 in favor of plaintiff.
- On appeal, they stated that the facts were agreed upon, and if “they will sustain action” the judgment will be affirmed, otherwise it should be reversed.
- Supreme Court overruled lower court’s decision, and reversed the judgment.
– Was this a gift, or did it have the grounds for consideration which would be enforceable by law?
– Did the above facts, “sustain an action?”
– No, the facts did not sustain an action. The lower courts erred in their decision and it was reversed by the supreme court of Alabama.
– There was no “bargain” in this situation…there was nothing bargained for…It was more of a gratuity than an act of consideration…
– The loss and in-convenience that the plaintiff sustained for breaking up and moving to brother in-laws house, was not sufficient of an act, or bargain by the plaintiff…
– It was considered a gift, vs. a consideration contract.
– Lacked a sufficient promise, or performance from the wife.
– It wasn’t a sufficient detriment on the family.
– “IF” you come down and see me….She had a choice, she really didn’t give anything up, or a performance, or fulfill a promise….
Supreme Court reversed the decision.
– Dissenting opinion of Ormond
- First inclination was that the “act of breaking up an moving 60 miles” was a sufficient action or performance for there to be a warranted consideration.
- Brothers, didn’t believe this to be true, and ultimately persuaded Ormond to change the decision.
- She had other options, she didn’t need to leave…he was essentially offering her a place to stay if she wanted to leave her place…She didn’t give up anything, in the sense of the word.