Same - Contract In Performance Of Legal Obligation

Nor does the rule apply where, by his contract, an infant has only done that which he was bound by law to do and could have been compelled to do. In such a case the contract is valid, and he cannot avoid it.50 Under this rule, a conveyance of land by an infant, which he could have been compelled in equity to make, is binding on him. Where, for instance, a father purchased land, and took the title in the name of his son, and the son afterwards during his minority conveyed it to a purchaser from his father, the conveyance was held to be binding on the ground that he merely parted with the naked title, and only did that which a court of equity would have compelled him to do.51 In the leading case on this point an infant mortgagee had, on payment of the mortgage debt to the persons entitled to receive it, made a reconveyance of the land, and the court held that, as this was an act which by law he could have been compelled to perform, his voluntary performance of it was binding, notwithstanding his infancy.62

44People v. Mullin, 25 Wend. (N. Y.) 698. See "Infants," Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) § 47; Cent. Dig. §§ 99-110.

45 People v. Moores, 4 Denlo (N. T.) 618, 47 Am. Dec. 272; and see McCall v. Parker, 13 Metc. (Mass.) 372, 46 Am. Dec. 735; Bordentown Tp. v. Wallace, 50 N. J. Law, 13, 11 Atl. 267; Gavin v. Burton, 8 Ind. 69; Stowers v. Hollis, 83 Ky. 544. An infant's recognizance for appearance at court is binding. State v. Weatherwax, 12 Kan. 463; Dial v. Wood, 9 Baxt (Tenn.) 296. See "Infants," Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) § 47; Cent. Dig. §§ 99-110.

46 United States v. Bainbridge, 1 Mason, 71, Fed. Cas. No. 14,497; Commonwealth v. Murray, 4 Bin. (Pa.) 487, 5 Am. Dec. 412; United States v. Blakeney, 3 Grat. (Va.) 405; In re Higgins, 16 Wis. 351; In re Hearn (D. C.) 32 Fed. 141. At common law an enlistment was not voidable by the infant or his parent. Morrissey v. Perry, 137 U. S. 157, 11 Sup. Ct. 57, 34 L. Ed. 644. See "Army and Navy," Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) § 19; Cent. Dig. §§ 45-50.

47 See Doles v. Hilton, 48 Ark. 305, 3 S. W. 193; Brown v. Wheelock, 75 Tex. 385, 12 S. W. Ill, 841; McKamy v. Cooper, 81 Ga. 679, 8 S. E. 312; Emancipation of Pochelu, 41 La. Ann. 331, 6 South. 541; Succession of Gaines, 42 La. Ann. 699, 7 South. 7S8. See "Infants," Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) § 11; Vent. Dig. § 12.

48 Wickham v. Torley, 136 Ga. 594, 71 S. E. 8S1, 36 L. R. A. (N. S.) 57. See "Infants," Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) § 46; Cent. Dig. §§ 98-110.

49 Hamm v. Prudential Ins. Co. of America, 137 App. Div. 504, 122 N. Y. Supp. 35 (age 15). See "Infants," Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) § 46; Cent. Dig. §§ 98-110.

It is said in a New York case: "When an infant is under a legal obligation to do an act, he may bind himself by a fair and reasonable contract made for the purpose of discharging the obligation. If this be not a general rule, it is at least one of pretty wide application." 53

Same - Executed Contract

In some jurisdictions it is held that, if the contract is so far executed that the infant has received the consideration, he cannot repudiate the contract, and recover what he has paid, or for what he has done, unless he can and does place the other party in statu quo. This doctrine, as we shall see, is not generally accepted in cases where the consideration cannot be returned.54

50 Co. Litt. 172a; 2 Kent, Coram. 242; Tucker v. Moreland, 10 Pet. 58, 9 L. Ed. 345; Prouty v. Edgar, 6 Iowa, 353; Jones v. Brewer, 1 Pick. (Mass.) 314; Baker v. Lovett. 6 Mass. 78, 4 Am. Dec. 88; Trader v. Jarvis, 23 W. Va. 100; Nordholt v. Nordholt, 87 Cal. 552, 26 Pac. 599, 22 Am. St. Rep. 268; Starr v. Wright, 20 Ohio St 97. A voluntary equal partition by an infant, since he could be compelled to make it, is valid. Vavington v. Clarke, 2 Pen. & W. (Pa.) 115, 21 Am. Dec. 432; Cocks v. Simmons, 57 Miss. 183. So, also, a contract by a minor with the mother of his bastard child to support it is binding. Stowers v. Hollis, 83 Ky. 544; Gavin v. Burton, 8 Ind. 69. And see note 45, supra. So a note given by an infant in settlement of his liability for a tort Ray v. Tubbs, 50 Vt 688, 28 Am. Rep. 519. See "Infants," Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) § 46; Cent. Dig. §§ 98, 99.

51 Elliott v. Horn, 10 Ala. 348, 44 Am. Dec. 488. See "Infants," Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) § 46; Cent. Dig. §§ 98-110.

52 Zouch v. Parsons, 3 Burrows, 1801. See "Infants," Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) § 46; Cent. Dig. §§ 98-110.

53 People v. Moores. 4 Denio (N. Y.) 518, 47 Am. Dec. 272. See "Infants," Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) § 46; Cent. Dig. §§ 98, 99.

54 Post P. 215.