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Harvey v. Facey

Judicial Committee of the Privy Council
1893 AC 552 (1893)


 

Facts

Harvey, Anor (plaintiffs), and L.M. Facey (defendant) resided in Jamaica, which at the time was a British colony. The three men negotiated for the sale and purchase of Jamaican real property owned by Facey's wife, Adelaide Facey. Harvey and Anor asked Facey if he would sell them the property and the minimum price at which Facey would sell it. In response, Facey stipulated his minimum price for the property, but he was silent as to whether he was ready to sell the property to Harvey and Anor. Harvey and Anor sent Facey a telegram in which they agreed to pay Facey the stipulated price. Harvey and Anor regarded this telegram as obligating Facey to sell them the property at that price. When Facey attempted to sell the property to other buyers, Harvey and Anor accused Facey of breaching their contract and sued Facey for specific performance. The Jamaican trial judge dismissed the suit, finding there was no completed sale contract. On appeal, the Jamaican Court of Appeal found there was a valid contract and awarded Harvey and Anor monetary damages. However, the court of appeal declined to order specific performance because there was no proof that Adelaide Facey had consented to the sale. The Jamaican Supreme Court of Judicature affirmed the court of appeal's decision, and Harvey and Anor appealed to the Privy Council of the United Kingdom.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Morris, J.)

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