117. As a rule, a contract entered into by an insane person, or person non compos mentis, is voidable at his option; but the rule is subject to exceptions, as follows: 4

EXCEPTIONS - (a) The following contracts are valid and binding:

(1) Contracts created by law, or quasi contracts.

(2) In most, but not all, jurisdictions, where the sane party acted fairly and in good faith, without actual or constructive knowledge of the other's insanity, and the contract has been so far executed that he cannot be placed in statu quo. (b) The following contracts are void:

(1) In most, but not all, jurisdictions, contracts by a person who has been judicially declared insane on inquisition, and placed under guardianship.

(2) In a few jurisdictions, deeds; and, in most jurisdictions, powers of attorney or other appointments of an agent.

Formerly it was thought that a man could not avoid a contract entered into while he was non compos mentis. It was said to be a maxim of the common law that no man of full age should be allowed by plea to stultify himself, and thereby avoid his own deed or contract.6 It seems, however, that this never was the common law, and that the cases so holding were erroneous.8 At any rate, the

L. Ed. 207; Manning v. Johnson, 26 Ala. 446, 62 Am. Dec. 732. See "Infants," Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) § 12; Cent. Dig. §§ 180-183.

3 Ante, p. 215, note 69.

4 In Ipock v. Atlantic & N. C. R. Co., 158 N. C. 445, 74 S. E. 352, this statement of the black letter text, together with that in Exception (a), (2), is quoted and approved. See 'Insane Persons," Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) § 73/ Cent. Dig. § 125.

5 Beverley's Case, 4 Coke, 123; Co. Litt. 147; 2 Bl. Comm. 292. See "Insane Persons," Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) § 73; Cent. Dig. § 125.

6 Fitzh. Nat Brev. 202; Yates v. Boon, 2 Strange, 1104; Webster v. Woodford, 3 Day (Conn.) 90; Mitchell v. Kingman, 5 Pick. (Mass.) 431; Camerondoctrine has long since been exploded, and it is almost universally held that a contract made by a person who is lacking in mental capacity, unless he has been judicially declared insane, is at most voidable.7

The incapacity may result from lunacy,8 from idiocy,9 from imbecility,10 from senile dementia,11 or any other defect or disease of the mind, whatever may be its cause.12 To render a person thus incapable of contracting, his infirmity need not be so great as to dethrone his reason, nor amount to entire want of reason;13 but, on the other hand, it must be something more than mere weakness of intellect.14 It must be such as to render the person incapable of comprehending the subject of the contract, and its nature and probable consequences.18 He need not be permanently insane; it is enough if he is insane at the time he enters into the contract.19 A contract made during a lucid interval is binding.17

Barkley Co. v. Thornton Light & Power Co., 138 N. C. 365, 50 S. E. 695, 107 Am. St Rep. 532. See "Insane Persons," Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) § 73; Cent. Dig. $125.

7 Post, p. 227. Prior to inquest, sanity is presumed, and the burden of proof is on the party alleging insanity. Hill-Dodge Banking Co. v. Loomis, 140 Mo. App. 62, 119 S. W. 967. See "Insane Persons," Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) § 73; Cent. Dig. § 125.

8 Merritt v. Gumaer, 2 Cow. (N. Y.) 552. See "Insane Persons," Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) § 12; Cent. Dig. § 125.

9 Burnham v. Kidwell, 113 I11. 425; Ball v. Mannin, 3 Bligh (N. S.) 1, Ewell, Lead. Cas. 534. See "Insane Persons," Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) § 12; Cent. Dig. § 125.

10 Smith's Committee v. Forsythe, 90 S. W. 1075, 28 Ky. Law Rep. 1034. See "Insane Persons," Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) § 12; Cent. Dig. § 125.

11 As to weakness of intellect or imbecility from old age, see Guild v. Hull, 127 I11. 523, 20 N. E. 665; Peabody v. Kendall, 145 I11. 519, 32 N. E. 674; Argo v. Coffin, 142 I11. 368, 32 N. E. 679, 34 Am. St. Rep. 86; Lynch v. Doran, 95 Mich. 395, 54 N. W. 882; King v. Cummings, 60 Vt. 502, 11 Atl. 727; Keeble v. Cummins, 5 Hayw. (Tenn.) 43; Coleman v. Frazer, 3 Bush (Ky.) 300; Bres-sey's Adm'r v. Gross (Ky.) 7 S. W. 150; Clark v. Kirkpatrick (N. J. Ch.) 16< Atl. 309; Trimbo v. Trimbo, 47 Minn. 389, 50 N. W. 350; Cole v. Cole, 21 Xeb. 84, 31 N. W. 493; Crowe v. Peters, 63 Mo. 429; Shaw v. Ball, 55 Iowa, 55, 7 N. W. 413; Marshall v. Marshall, 75 Iowa, 132, 39 N. W. 230. Old age is not of itself evidence of incapacity. Buckey v. Buckey, 3S W. Va. 168, 18 S. E. 383. And see cases cited above. See "Insane Persons," Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) § 12; Cent. Dig. § 125.

12 See Henderson v. McGregor, 30 Wis. 78; Brothers v. Bank, 84 Wis. 381, 54 N. W. 786, 36 Am. St. Rep. 932; .Somes v. Skinner, 16 Mass. 348; Hale v. Brown, 11 Ala. 87; Conant v. Jackson, 16 Vt. 335; Wilson v. Oldham, 12 B. Mon. (Ky.) 55; Johnson v. Chadwell, 8 Humph. (Tenn.) 145. Result of habitual drunkenness: Bliss v. Railroad Co., 24 Vt. 424; Menkins v. Lightner, 18 I11. 282. See "Insane Persons," Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) § 12; Cent. Dig. § 125.

13 Ball v. Mannin, 3 Bligh (N. S.) 1, Ewell, Lead. Cas. 534. For good illustration of degree of mental infirmity sufficient to constitute incapacity, see Smith's Committee v. Forsythe, 90 S. W. 1075, 28 Ky. Law Rep. 1034. See "Insane Persons," Dec. Dig] (Key-No.) § 12; Cent. Dig. § 125.

14 Dennett v. Dennett, 44 N. H. 531, 84 Am. Dec. 97; Stone v. Wilbern. 83 I11. 105; Lawrence v. Willis, 75 N. C. 471; Simonton v. Bacon. 49 Miss. 582; Des Moines Nat Bank v. Chisholm, 71 Iowa, 675, 33 N. W. 234; Farnam v.

Nor need the insanity be general. A person who is laboring under an insane delusion is incapable of making a binding contract if his delusion is so connected with the subject-matter of the contract as to render him incapable of comprehending its nature and probable consequences. If such was his condition, he may avoid the contract, though he may have been perfectly sane in respect of other matters, and might have been able to make a binding contract in reference to some other subject-matter.18

Brooks, 9 Pick. (Mass.) 212; Guild v. Hull, 127 I11. 523, 20 N. E. 665; Davis v. Phillips, 85 Mich. 19S, 48 N. W. 513; White v. Farley, 81 Ala. 563, 8 South. 215; Maddox v.' Simmons, 31 Ga. 528; Kimball v. Cuddy, 117 I11. 213, 7 N. E. 589; Dewey v. Allgire, 37 Neb. 6, 55 N. W. 276, 40 Am. St. Rep. 468; Caiu v. Warford, 33 Md. 23; Cadwallader v. West, 48 Mo. 483. The fact that a person is deaf and dumb does not alone render him incapable. See Brower v. Fisher, 4 Johns. Ch. (N. Y.) 441; Brown v. Brown, 3 Conn. 299, 8 Am. Dec. 187; Barnett v. Barnett, 54 N. C. 221. See "Insane Persons," Dec. Dip. (Key-No.) § 72; Cent. Dig. § 125.

15 Dennett v. Dennett, 44 N. H. 531, 84 Am. Dec. 97; Perry v. Pearson, 135 I11. 218, 25 N. E. 636; Bond v. Bond, 7 Allen (Mass.) 1; Young v. Stevens, 48 N. H. 135, 2 Am. Rep. 202, 97 Am. Dec. 592; Musselman v. Cravens, 47 Ind. 1; Lilly v. Waggoner, 27 I11. 396; Baldwin v. Dunton, 40 I11. 188; Titcomb v. Vantyle, 84 I11. 371; Worthington v. Worthington (Md.) 20 Atl. 911; Brown v. Brown, 108 Mass. 386; Crowther v. Rowlandson, 27 Cal. 381; Somers v. Pumphrey, 24 Ind. 231; Burnham v. Mitchell, 34 Wis. 136; Henderson v. McGregor, 30 Wis. 78; Hovey v. Chase, 52 Me. 304, 83 Am. Dec. 514; Hovey v. Hobson, 55 Me. 256; Aiman v. Stout, 42 Pa. 114; Noel v. Karper, 53 Pa. 97; Dicken v. Johnson, 7 Ga. 484; Lozear v. Shields, 23 N. J. Eq. 509; Tolson's Adm'r v. Garner, 15 Mo. 494; Swartwood v. Chance, 131 Iowa, 714, 109 N. W. 297; Ratliff v. Baltzer's Adm'r, 13 Idaho, 152, 89 Pac. 71. See "Insane Persons,"Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) § 72; Cent. Dig. § 125.

16 Curtis v. Brownell, 42 Mich. 165, 3 N. W. 936; Peaslee v. Bobbins, 3 Metc. (Mass.) 164; Jenners v. Howard, 6 Blackf. (Ind.) 240. See "Insane Persons," Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) § 72; Cent. Dig. § 125.

17 Hall v. Warren, 9 Ves. 605; Lilly v. Waggoner, 27 I11. 395; McCormick v. Littler, 85 I11. 62, 28 Am. Rep. 610; Smith v. Smith, 108 N. C. 365, 12 S. E. 1045, and 13 S. E. 113; Jones' Adm'r v. Perkins, 5 B. Mon. (Ky.) 222; Norman v. Trust Co., 92 Ga. 295, 18 S. E. 27; Beckwith v. Butler, 1 Wash. (Va.) 224; Carpenter v. Carpenter, 8 Bush (Ky.) 283; Staples v. Wellington, 58 Me. 453; Stewart v. Redditt, 3 Md. 81; Wright v. Market Bank (Tenn.) 60 S. W. 623. The authorities are conflicting as to whether the burden is-on the other party to show that the contract was made in a lucid interval. That it is, see Fishburne v. Ferguson's Heirs, 84 Va. 87, 4 S. E. 575; Sheet? v. Bray, 125 Ind. 33, 24 N. E. 357; Hall y. Warren, 9 Ves. 605. Contra, Wright v. Wright, 139 Mass. 177, 29 N. E. 380. See "Insane Persons," Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) § 72; Cent. Dig. § 125.

18 Bond v. Bond, 7 Allen (Mass.) 1; Riggs v. Tract Soc., 95 N. Y. 503;

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