Contracts I, Pages 30–32

Dougherty v. Salt

New York Court of Appeals, 1919

Facts:

Dougherty was an eight-year-old boy who was given a promissory note for value received for $3,000 by his aunt for being a "nice boy."

Procedural History:

The trial jury found in favor of the defendant, but the judge set it aside in favor of the plaintiff. The appellate court reversed that decision and reinstated the verdict, saying that the note showed consideration.

Issue:

Is a promissory note enough to form an enforceable contract?

Rule:

There must be some consideration by exchanging something.

Reasoning:

As there is no consideration with a mere promise to give in the future, it is not a contract.

Holding:

No, there must be something given in return to form a contract.

Takeaway:

A promise to give something without something in return is not a contract.


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