Jump to content

General Principle Legal Advice Please


DavidB

Recommended Posts

Situation: random Joe "Y" verbally agrees to perform services for random Joe "X". There is no written contract. Y takes the tangible property to a 3rd persons real property impeded to perform the services.2 years later X request property back. Y tells X where property is located. X claims property is missing and files a civil suit for price of now missing property.

Question: without a contract setting forth performance and liability, is Y liable for the lost property?

Link to comment

Situation: random Joe "Y" verbally agrees to perform services for random Joe "X". There is no written contract. Y takes the tangible property to a 3rd persons real property impeded to perform the services.2 years later X request property back. Y tells X where property is located. X claims property is missing and files a civil suit for price of now missing property.

Question: without a contract setting forth performance and liability, is Y liable for the lost property?

I am not an attorney and I don't play one on TV. I did however have a semester of business law. Here is how I see your problem. The answer is maybe it depends on ... 1) is there a witness to the agreement? 2) Y is responsible for any property he takes possession of provided it was not a gift. If Y had possession of X's property he is probably liable for losing it unless it was lost in a natural disaster.

As stated I am not an attorney but that is the probable outcome as I see it.

Edited to add the same disclaimer as Saints Alive:

DISCLAIMER: I am not a Lawyer or licensed to practice law in any state. This post is for novelty only and DOES NOT constitute legal advice.

Edited by ERayR
Link to comment

If Y doesn't deny having X's property he would be liable. If Y does than unless there was a witness it will likely be a case of he said / she said.

DISCLAIMER: I am not a Lawyer or licensed to practice law in any state. This post is for novelty only and DOES NOT constitute legal advice.

Edited by Saints Alive
Link to comment

Not enough information. Generally speaking, if X entrusts property to Y and doesn't abandon it, then Y is responsible for it until he returns it. (Oral contracts are still contracts, they are just harder to prove.) There may or may not have been a contract though. There has to be a meeting of the minds and each person has to get something out of it (called consideration). So if Y is doing X a favor, then there may not be a contract. But that wouldn't excuse Y from obligations to take care of X's property. OTOH, if X knows the property was taken somewhere else, that might relieve Y from his bailee position. Y could have defenses of abandonment --- who leaves property they consider theirs for years with someone else. (Y might also be able to countersue for storage of said property for all the extra time --- though if he can't produce it then that won't fly.) Y should see what it will cost to buy the same thing on ebay or somewhere else. If he returns an identical item, X's damages might be obliterated.

Link to comment

I would point out that it is generally illegal to name someone a letter and thus these aren't real people.

Disclaimer: While I am a real lawyer and play an astronaut on TV my law degree was obtained by submitting 20 Banana Bran Flakes cereal box tops (plus S&H) to an address in West Africa so degree may or may not be valid in your area.

Link to comment

As a general rule oral contracts are just as binding as written ones. Proving it in court is another matter.

With the proviso that if an oral and written contract disagree the written one takes precedence. And, as you said, proving the existence of an oral contract is very difficult. A judge will generally look for indications that both sides took action to show that they accepted the contact. Also unless there are advantages to both sides in an oral contract it is likely to be non-binding. If I made an oral promise to give you $500 with no obligations on your part it is unlikely the agreement would hold up in court.

Again, West African Banana Bran Flakes lawyer here.

Link to comment
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...