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Dougherty v. Salt

125 N.E. 94 (1919)

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Dougherty v. Salt

New York Court of Appeals

125 N.E. 94 (1919)

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Facts

Dougherty (plaintiff), an eight-year-old boy, was given by his aunt, Salt’s (defendant) testatrix, a note promising to pay him $3,000 at the aunt’s death or before. The aunt asked Dougherty’s guardian to draft the note after she expressed to him her desire to take care of Dougherty. Dougherty’s guardian drafted the note as specified, and added the words “value received.” The aunt handed the note to Dougherty and told him that she had signed the note for him, and that he should not lose it. At the aunt’s death, Dougherty sought to recover on the note. A jury held that consideration had been provided by Dougherty and that the note was enforceable. It entered a verdict for Dougherty. The trial judge set aside the verdict, however, and dismissed the case. The appellate court reversed and reinstated the verdict. Salt appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Cardozo, J.)

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Questions and answers

Does consideration always have to be a part of a contract?

People leave money for others all the time in contracts such as wills where they receive an amount after the person is deceased. Do these contracts have no consideration because one party is not receiving something in return?

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