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Bovard v. American Horse Enterprises, Inc.

Court of Appeal of California, Third District
247 Cal.Rptr. 340 (1988)


James Ralph (Ralph) (defendant) entered into an agreement with Robert Bovard (Bovard) (plaintiff) to purchase American Horse Enterprises, Inc. (Enterprises) (defendant). To effectuate the purchase, Ralph executed promissory notes. Upon Ralph's failure to make payment on the notes, Bovard commenced an action. During the trial there was testimony showing that Enterprises was engaged in the manufacture of both jewelry and drug paraphernalia used to smoke marijuana. The trial court then excused the jury to determine whether the contract for the sale of Enterprises was illegal and void. The trial court held that, although at the time the contract was entered into the manufacture of drug paraphernalia was not illegal, there was a state statute which made it unlawful to possess, use or transfer marijuana. It further held that implicit in this statute was a public policy against the manufacture of drug paraphernalia. The court concluded that the consideration tendered was contrary to this policy and declared that the contract was illegal and void. Bovard appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Puglia, J.)

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