In most jurisdictions it is held - in some, however, by reason of express statutory provisions - that if a person has been judicially determined to be insane, and placed under guardianship, the decree and letters of guardianship take from him all capacity to contract, and that his contracts while under guardianship are absolutely void.29 It has been held, however, that this rule applies only where there has been a judgment of a court of competent jurisdiction declaring the person of unsound mind and incapable of managing his own estate, and appointing a guardian or committee for that purpose, and that it does not apply to statutory proceedings merely to determine whether a person is insane for the purpose of committing him to a hospital for the insane.80 In other jurisdictions the fact that he has been adjudged insane, and placed under guardianship, only raises a presumption of incapacity to contract, which may be rebutted; but the presumption is very strong, and the proof of capacity must be clear.81
nold v. Iron Works, 1 Gray (Mass.) 434; HOVEY v. HOBSON, 53 Me. 451, 89 Am. Dec. 705, Throckmorton, Cas. Contracts. 149; Riley v. Carter, 76 Md. 581, 25 Atl. 667, 19 L. R. A. 489, 35 Am. St. Rep. 443; Ętna Life Ins. Co. v. Sellers, 154 Ind. 370, 56 N. E. 97, 77 Am. St. Rep. 481. Contra In Alabama. Walker v. Winn, 142 Ala. 560, 39 South. 12, 110 Am. St. Rep. 50, 4 Ann. Cas. 537, where it is said: "Whatever may be the rulings of other jurisdictions upon the question, this court is fully committed to the doctrine that the contract of an insane person is absolutely void." See "Insane Persons," Deo. Dig. (Key-No.) § 61; Gent. Dig. §§ 93-99.
28 Harmon v. Harmon (C. C.) 51 Fed. 113; Allen v. Berryhlll, 27 Iowa, 534, 1 Am. Rep. 309; San Francisco Credit Clearing-House v. McDonald, 18 Cal. App. 212, 122 Pac. 964 (holding that the other party may not avoid the contract even under a statute declaring that "a person entirely without understanding has no power to make a contract of any kind"). See "Insane Persons," Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) § 61; Cent. Dig. §§ 93-99.
29 Wait v. Maxwell, 5 Pick. (Mass.) 217, 16 Am. Dec. 391; Leonard v. Leonard, 14 Pick. (Mass.) 2S0; Rannels v. Gerner, 80 Mo. 474; Fitzhugh v. Wilcox, 12 Barb. (N. Y.) 235; Bradbury v. Place (Me.) 10 Atl. 461; Mohr v. Tulip, 40 Wis. 66; Griswold v. Butler, 3 Conn. 227. Where the guardian was discharged as being an unsuitable person, and no other guardian was appointed, the decree adjudging the ward insane was not conclusive as to his incapacity after the guardian's discharge. Willwerth v. Leonard, 156 Mass. 277, 31 N. E. 299. See "Insane Persons," Deo. Dig. (Key-No.) § 26; Cent. Dig. § 36.
30 Knox v. Haug, 48 Minn. 58, 50 N. W. 934; Leinss v. Weiss, 33 Ind. App. 344, 71 N. E. 254. "His discharge as cured is as much a notice of the fact that he is sane as the inquest and admission to the asylum is notice of his insanity." Henley, J., in Leinss v. Weiss, supra. See "Insane Persons," Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) § 26; Cent. Dig. § 36.
31 As to this, see Mott v. Mott, 49 N. J. Eq. 192, 22 Atl. 997; Hart v. Dea-mer, 6 Wend. (N. Y.) 497; Parker v. Davis, 53 N. C. 4G0; Hopson v. Boyd, 6 B. Mon. (Ky.) 296; Snook v. Watts, 11 Beav. 105; In re Gangwere's Es.