A nominal consideration is usually a small sum of money, such as a cent or a dollar, payment of which is frequently recited in a contract as a mere form.1 The fact that the consideration is small does not, of itself, show that it is nominal. Even a small sum of money, it may be suggested, may sometimes be a substantial and even adequate consideration.2 Where it is intended by the parties as a mere form, to give validity to what would otherwise be a gratuitous promise, we have a question different from that which is presented in mere inadequacy of consideration. If the consideration is merely inadequate, it is at least real and substantial; but if the consideration is nominal, it is not a real part of the transaction, but a mere form, to comply with the external requirements of the law.
276, 57 S. W. 934; Bank v. Hopkins, 8 I). C. App. 146; Bodenhofer v. Hogan, 142 la. 321, 120 N. W. 659. See also, Wolf v. Humboldt County, 30 Nev. 26, 45 L. R. A. (N.S.) 762, 131 Pac. 964.
20 Bank v. Hopkins, 8 D. C. App. 146.
See Sec. 892.
22 Kentucky. Mason v. Manning, 150 Ky. 805, 150 S. W. 1020.
Ohio. Somerset Bank v. Edmund, 76 O. S. 396, 11 L. R. A. (N.S.) 1170, 81 N. E. 641.
Oklanoma. Oklahoma Ry. Co. v. Morris (Okla.), 148 Pac. 1032; Beck v. Sulser (Okla.), 150 Pac. 107.
Virginia. Buek v. Nance, 112 Va. 28, 70 S. E. 515.
West Virginia. County Court v. Long, 72 W. Va. 8, 77 S. E. 328. (In such case the officer is usually performing a duty which he is bound by law to perform, and for this additional reason the promise to pay such compensation is without consideration.)
See Sec. 586.
See Sec. 892.
23 Collins v. Godefroy, 1 Barn. & Ad. 950; Dodge v. Stiles, 26 Conn. 463; Sweany v. Hunter, 5 N. Car. (1 Murph.) 181.
24 Lonergan v. Royal Exchange Assurance, 7 Bing. 729; Armstrong v. Prentice, 86 Wis. 210, 56 N. W. 742.
25Barrus v. Phaneuf, 166 Mass. 123, 32 L. R. A. 619, 44 N. E. 141.
26 As to the legality of such contracts, see Sec. 892.
Whether one dollar is a substantial or a nominal consideration for an option is a question of fact in each case.3