This section is from the book "The Law Of Contracts", by William Herbert Page. Also available from Amazon: Commercial Contracts: A Practical Guide to Deals, Contracts, Agreements and Promises.
If the only duress claimed to exist is duress of threats, the fact that no threats were in fact made shows that no duress exists,1 even though the party executing the instrument did so because of facts rendering him, or some other person whose danger could in law influence him,2 liable to criminal prosecution,3 as where a mother pays for goods taken by her daughter,4 or where a father pays a claim against his son for assault and battery,5 if no threats are made. Where a criminal action has been in fact instituted, a mortgage given in settlement of the fund embezzled is not given under duress where it is expressly stated that such payment can not affect the criminal action.6 Abusive and insulting language not expressing or implying a threat can not constitute duress.7 However, an implied threat of criminal prosecution of one's husband8 may be as effective duress as an express threat.
8 Batavian Bank v. North, 114 Wis. 637, 90 N. W. 1016.
9Dorsey v. Bryans, 143 Ga. 186, 84 S. E. 467.
10Jenkins S. S. Co, v. Preston, 186 Fed. 609, 108 C. C. A. 473.
11Kerting v. Hilton, 152 111. 658, 38 N. E. 941; Bonney v. Bonney, 237 111. 452, 86 N. E. 1048.
12Pratt, etc., Co. v. McClain, 135 Ala. 452, 93 Am. St. Rep. 35, 33 So. 185.
13Ruel v. Washburne, - Mich. - , 171 N. W. 378.
14Ruel v. Washburne, - Mich. - , 171 N. W. 378.
1Phelan v. De Martin, 85 Cal. 365,
24 Pac. 725; Galt v. Provan, 108 la. 561, 79 N. W. 357.
2 See Sec. 499.
3Arkansas. Goodrum v. Bank, 102 Ark. 326, 144 S. W. 198.
Connecticut. Mascolo v. Montesanto, 61 Conn. 50, 29 Am. St. Rep. 170, 23 Atl. 714.
Michigan. Francis v. Hurd, 113 Mich. 250, 71 N. W. 582; Dallavo v. Dallavo, 189 Mich. 350, 155 N. W. 538.
Nebraska. Hargreaves v. Menken, 45 Neb. 668, 63 N. W. 951.
Tennessee. Roth v. Holmes (Tenn. Ch. App.), 52 S. W. 699.