Contracts I, Pages 565–571

Webster Street Partnership, Ltd. v. Sheridan

Supreme Court of Nebraska, 1985

Facts:

Plaintiff leased defendant an apartment for $250, due the first day of each month; a $150 security deposit; $20 per month for utilities; and $5 per day for late payments.

At the time the lease was executed, both tenants were minors. The tenants paid for September and October but not for November.

Procedural History:

Municipal court entered judgment in favor of plaintiff for $630.94. On appeal, the district court found that plaintiff was entitled to a judgment of $146.75 and defendant to $150, leading to a $3.25 judgment in defendant's favor.

Issue:

Are the defendant minors liable for rent payments?

Defendant's Argument:

Defendants were minors and the lease was therefore voidable.

Rule:

A infant is liable for necessaries provided to him.

Explanation:

The term 'necessaries,' as used in the law relating to the liability of infants therefor, is a relative term, somewhat flexible, except when applied to such things as are obviously requisite for the maintenance of existence, and depends on the social position and situation in life of the infant, as well as upon his own fortune and that of his parents.

Reasoning:

Defendants were living away from home with the understanding that they could return at any time. The apartment was not a necessary.

Holding:

Not if they could return to their parents' homes. Reversed and remanded.

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