Under the early common-law rule fear of pecuniary or property loss could not amount to duress,56 but under the enlarged doctrine to which modern courts have tended, it is held that duress of property will justify a rescission of a transaction since it may and frequently does operate as a coercion of the will.57 In this respect an artificial distinction was for some time enforced at least by the English courts. It was held that an executory contract induced by wrongful seizure of property or threats regarding it could not be avoided,58 but that if money was actually paid to prevent seizure of property or to release it when it had been seized, or detained in an improper manner or under an unfounded claim, the payment might be recovered. Such a right of recovery undoubtedly exists in both England and America, whatever may be the present status of the rule as to executory contracts.59 There is obviously no merit in a distinction between executory and executed transactions, and at the present day it is probable that an executory contract would be voidable which was secured by such threats regarding property as would render an actual payment recoverable,60

Wilbur v. Blanchard, 22 Idaho, 517, 126 Pac. 1069; Kiventsky v. Sirovy, 142 la. 385, 121 N. W. 27; Cailendar Sav. Bank v. Loos, 142 la. 1,120 N. W. 317; Thompson v. Niggiey, 53 Kans. 664, 35 Pac. 290, 26 L. R. A. 803; Morse v. Woodworth, 155 Mass. 233, 29 N. E. 525, 27 N. E. 1010; Bryant v. Peck, etc., Co., 154 Mass. 460, 28 N. E. 678; Bentley v. ftobson, 117 Mich. 691, 76 N. W. 146; Hensinger v. Dyer, 147 Mo. 219, 48 S. W. 912; Springfield Fire, etc., Co. v. Hull, 51 Oh. St. 270, 37 N. E. 116, 25 L. R. A. 37, 46 Am. St. Rep. 571; Piecken-brock v. Smith, 43 Okl. 585, 143 Pac. 675; Morrison v. Faulkner, 80 Tex. 128, 15 S. W. 797; Galusha v. Sherman, 105 Wis. 263, 81 N. W. 495, 47 L. R. A. 417. Even though a threatened criminal proceeding may be thought to involve only a fine, it may, nevertheless, amount to duress. Enid, etc., Gas Co. v. Decker, 36 Okl. 367, 128 Pac. 708.

56 Sumner v. Ferryman, 11 Mod. 201.

57 United States v. Huckabee, 16 Wall. 414, 432, 21 L. Ed. 457; Spaids v. Barrett, 57 HI. 289, 11 Am. Rep. 10; Joannin v. Ogilvie, 49 Minn. 564, 52 N. W. 217, 16 L. R. A. 376, 32 Am. St. Rep. 581; Nelson v. Nelson, 99 Neb. 456, 156 N. W. 1036; Foshay v. Ferguson, 5 Hill, 154; Kilpatrick v. Germania Life Ins. Co., 183 N. Y. 163, 75 N. E. 1124, 2 L. R. A. (N. S.) 574, 111 Am. St. Rep. 722; Collins v. Westbury, 2 Bay (S. C), 211, 1 Am. Dec. 643; Oliphant v. Markham, 79 Tex. 543, 15 S. W. 569, 23 Am. St. Rep. 363; Harris v. Cary, 112 Va. 362, 71 S. E. 551, Ann. Cas. 1913 A. 1350; and see cases passim in this and the following section.

58 Skeate v. Beale, 11 Ad. & El. 983; Atlee v. Backhouse, 3 M. & W. 633.