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 nature of the subject-matter is such that it shows when taken in connection with the language of the contract that personal performance by the adversary party is a material element of the contract, such contract can not be assigned.1
A contract for support can not be assigned by the person who is to furnish such support.2 A son can not assign a contract whereby he has agreed to furnish his father a home and support.3 The mother of an illegitimate child can not assign a contract between herself and the child's father for the support and maintenance of the child by the mother.4
13 Sickles v. Lauman, - Ia. - , 169 X. W. 670.
1 England. Griffith v. Publishing Go. , 1 Ch. 21.
United States. Foster v. Callaghan, 248 Fed. 944.
Florida. Parker v. Evening News Publ. Co., 54 Fla. 544, 45 So. 309.
Illinois. Sloan v. Williams, 138 111. 43, 12 L. R. A. 496, 27 N. E. 531.
Indiana. Ellis v. State, 4 Ind. 1.
Iowa. Sickles v. Lauman, - Ia. - , 169 N. W. 670.
Kansas. Campbell v. Sumner Co., 64 Kan. 376, 67 Pac. 866.
Michigan. Detroit Postage Stamp Service Co. v. Schermack, 179 Mich. 266, 146 N. W. 144.
Nebraska. Hilton v. Crooker, 30 Neb. 707, 47 N. W. 3; Corson v. Lewis, 77 Neb. 446, 109 N. W. 735.
New Jersey. Schlesinger v. Forest Products Co., 78 N. J. L. 637, 30 L. R. A. (N.S.) 347, 76 Atl. 1024.
Washington. Deaton v. Lawson, 40 Wash. 486, 111 Am. St. Rep. 922, 2 L. R. A. (N.S.) 392, 82 Pac. 879.
2Shearn's Estate, 38 Utah 492, 114 Pac. 131.
4 People's Bank & Trust Co. v. Weid-inger, 73 N. J. L. 433, 64 Atl. 179.
A contract by which A insures B's property is personal, and A is not bound to assent to a sale of such property by B to C, so as to keep such policy in force upon such property after such sale.5 However, it is held that a part owner of a vessel may sell his interest in the vessel to one of the other part owners, and he may assign to such other part owner his interest in a policy of marine insurance upon such interest.6
A lease of a farm on shares is personal and non-assignable.7 A contract of agency can not be assigned.8 A contract by which B is to act as sales agent for A, and to guarantee sales, and to be responsible for collections, is personal.9 A contract whereby A agrees to allow B to use A's name in business can not be assigned by B to C.10 Permission to use the name and the picture of one who has discovered a proprietary medicine, can not be assigned.11
5 Hunt v. Springfield Fire and Marine Ins. Co., 196 U. S. 47, 49 L. ed. 381; Wyman v. Prosaer, 36 Barb. (N. Y.) 368; Shotwell v. Jefferson Ins. Co., 5 Bosw. (N. Y.) 247. It is said that equity will recognize such assignment. Bank v. Ins. Co., 153 Fed. 440; Gourdon v. Ins. Co., 3 Yeates (Pa.) 327.
See also, Rousset v. Ins. Co., 1 Binn. (Pa.) 429.
That the policy may be assigned before loss, see Stratton v. Bankers' Life Co.. 102 Neb. 755, 1 A. L. R. 1671, 169 N. W. 722.
6 Spring v. South Carolina Ins. Co., 21 U. S. (8 Wheat.) 268, 5 L. ed. 614.
7 Meyer v. Livesley, 45 Or. 487, 106 Am. St. Rep. 667, 78 Pac. 670.
8 Illinois Finance Co. v. Interstate Rural Credit Association, - Del. - , 101 Atl. 870; Globe & Rutgers Fire Ins. Co. v. Jones, 129 Mich. 664, 89 N. W. 580; Detroit Postage Stamp Service Co. v. Schermack, 179 Mich. 266, 146 N. W. 144; Barber Agency Co. v. Cooperative Barrel Co., 133 Minn. 207, L. R. A. 1916F, 88, 158 N. W. 38.
9 Standard Sewing Machine Co. v.
Smith, 51 Mont. 245, L. R. A. 1918A, 292, 152 Pac. 38.
10Bagby, etc., Co. v. Rivers, 87 Md. 400, 67 Am. St. Rep. 357, 40 L. R. A. 632, 40 Atl. 171.
11 Edison v. Edison Polyform Mfg. Co., 73 N. J. Eq. 136, 67 Atl. 392.
12 Holyoke v. Millmann, 151 Wis. 551, 43 L. R. A. (N.S.) 790, 139 N. W. 392.
"Primarily a corporation when it offers its stock for sale has the right to select the purchasers. It may sell to one man and refuse to sell to another. Generally it desires to interest men of means and of good reputation, and shuns crooks and cranks. Certain stockholders may be a decided advantage in a business way while others may not be. Undesirable stockholders may be and frequently are, as troublesome as undesirable partners and harder to get rid of. Katz v. De Wolf, 151 Wis. 337, 138 N. W. 1013. Mapel at best had but one executory contract for the purchase of stock to the amount of $4,000. As a matter of fact he never purchased that amount. What he attempted to do in reality was to assign to the petitioner his right to purchase $1,500 of the stock covered by the alleged agreement. It is true that in form he attempted to assign the stock itself, but he never owned it. The minds of the parties never met on accepting Holyoke as a stockholder, and he never was accepted. Unless Mapel had a right to foist an apparently obnoxious stockholder on the corporation by transferring an interest in his executory agreement to buy stock, no rights were acquired by Holyoke. Holyoke v. Millmann, 151 Wis. 551, 43 L. R. A. (N.S.) 790, 139 N. W. 392.
Contracts between the state and an owner of property, exempting his property from taxation, are personal in their nature and can not be assigned with such property,13 unless it appears to be the legislative intention that such right should pass with the property.14