Thus far we have spoken of the contracts of a person non compos mentis as being voidable only, and as a rule they are so; but, as in the case of infants, some of his contracts as valid, and some of them are held to be absolutely void. In some jurisdictions the contract is held binding where the other party acted in good faith, and without knowledge of the insanity. Of this we will presently speak at some length.
As in the case of infancy, the rule that a person may avoid a contract made while he was insane does not apply to so-called contracts created by law, or quasi contracts, for here the obligation is imposed by law without regard to the consent of the party bound.19
Nor does the rule apply to the contracts of a person non compos, mentis for necessaries furnished to himself or to his wife, or, in some jurisdictions, to his children.20 The rules on this subject are substantially the same as in the case of an infant's necessaries; except, it seems, that, unlike an infant, a person non compos mentis is liable for labor and materials furnished for the preservation of his estate, where they were necessary for its preservation.21 In all cases the credit must have been given to the insane person, and not to some third person.22 The fact that the person has been judicially declared insane, and placed under guardianship, does not prevent his liability for necessaries.23
Dennett v. Dennett, 44 N. H. 531, 84 Am. Dec. 97; Searle v. Galbraith, 73 111. 269; Alston v. Boyd, 6 Humph. (Tenn.) 504; Samuel v. Marshall, 3 Leigh (Va.) 567; Dominick v. Randolph, 124 Ala. 557, 27 South. 481. Monomania on the subject of religion or spiritualism. Boyce's Adm'r v. Smith, 9 Grat. (Va.) 704, 60 Am. Dec. 313; Lewis v. Arbuckle, 85 Iowa, 335, 52 N. W. 237, 16 L. R. A. 677; West v. Russell, 48 Mich. 74, 11 N. W. 812; Burgess v. Pollock, 53 Iowa, 273, 5 N. W. 179, 36 Am. Rep. 218. See "Insane Persons," Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) § 12; Cent. Dig. § 125.
18 Reando v. Misplay, 90 Mo. 251, 2 S. W. 405, 59 Am. Rep. 13; post. p. 644. See "Insane Persons," Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) § 75; Cent. Dig. §§ 125-182.
20La Rue v. Gilkyson, 4 Pa. 375, 45 Am. Dee. 700; Richardson v. Strong, 35 N. C. 106, 55 Am. Dec. 430; McCormick v. Littler, 85 I11. 62,.28 Am. Rep. 610; Baxter v. Portsmouth, 5 Barn. & C. 170; Van Horn v. Hann, 39 N. J. Law, 207; Read v. Legard, 6 Exch. 636; Surles v. Pipkin, 69 N. C. 513; Shaw v. Thompson, 16 Pick. (Mass.) 198, 26 Am. Dec. 655; Sawyer v. Lufkin, 56 Me. 308; Reando v. Misplay, 90 Mo. 251, 2 S. W. 405, 59 Am. Rep. 13; Pearl v. McDowell, 3 J. J. Marsh. (Ky.) 658, 20 Am. Dec. 199; Kendall v May, 10 Allen (Mass.) 59; Rhodes v. Rhodes, 44 Ch. Div. 94; Sceva v. True, 53 N. H. 627. Liability for necessaries furnished his wife. Read v. Legard, supra. And see Smith's Committee v. Forsythe, 90 S. W. 1075, 28 Ky. Law Rep. 1034, holding imbecile liable for necessaries furnished himself, wife, and children, although the other party had knowledge of his incapacity to contract. He has even been held liable for luxuries furnished in good faith. Kendall v. May, supra. See "Insane Persons," Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) § 7J; Cent. Dig. §§ S9, 128, 129.
21 Williams v. Wentworth, 5 Beav. 325. See "Insane Persons," Dec. Dig (Key-No.) § 75; Cent. Dig. §§ 89, 128, 129.