The rule seems to be that, where an infant acquires an interest in permanent property, to which obligations attach, or enters into a contract which involves continuous rights and duties, benefits and liabilities, and takes benefits under the contract, he may become bound, unless he expressly disaffirms the contract.9
As illustrating this rule, an infant lessee, who occupies the premises after reaching his majority, is liable for arrears of rentwhich accrued during his minority.10 Persons who have become possessed of shares in a corporation during infancy, if they hold them after they reach their majority, are liable for calls which accrued while they were infants.11 An infant may become a partner, and at com-
8 Ante, p. 174.
9 Clemmer v. Price (Tex. Clv. App.) 125 S. W. 604. Some cases declare that, while an infant's executory contracts are inoperative until ratified, his executed contracts are good until rescinded. Minock v. Shortridge, 21 Mich. 304; Edgerly v. Shaw, 25 N. H. 514, 57 Am. Dec. 349; Beardsley v. Hotchkiss. 96 N. Y. 201. But the cases are in conflict, as is shown by the different views entertained as to whether a conveyance is ratified by silence and acquiescence after majority. Post, p. 210. On the other hand, if an infant purchases property and retains it for an unreasonable time after majority without disaffirmance, he is generally held to have ratified. Boyden v. Boydeu, 9 Metc. (Mass.) 519; Ellis v. Alford, 64 Miss. 8, 1 South. 155; post, p. 209. See "In fonts;' Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) § 57; Cent. Dig. §§ 136-148, 151.
10 Rolle, Abr. 731.
11 Northwestern R. Co. v. McMichael, 5 Exch. 114. It was said in this case: "They have been treated, therefore, as persons in a different situation from mere contractors, for then they would have been exempt; but in truth they are purchasers who have acquired an interest, not in a mere chattel, but In a subject of a permanent nature, either by contract with the company, or purchase or devolution from those who have contracted, and with certain oblimon law may be entitled to benefits, though not liable for debts, arising from the partnership during his infancy; though equity would not allow him to claim the benefits without being charged with the losses. Unless, on attainment of majority, there is an express rescission and disclaimer of the partnership, the infant will be liable for losses accruing after he became of age. By holding himself out as a partner he contracts a continual obligation, and that obligation remains until he puts an end to it by a disclaimer.12 And so, where shares in a corporation were assigned to an infant who attained his majority some months before an order was made for winding up the company, it was held that, in the absence of any disclaimer of the shares, he was liable as a contributory.13