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.
A dispute as to the meaning of the contract has been held not to amount to a renunciation thereof,1 at least if such dispute is left for subsequent adjustment.2 If one party demands as performance more than the adversary party concedes, and the parties then negotiate for arbitration of such dispute, such conduct is not such renunciation as justifies the adversary party in treating the contract as discharged.3 If there is a genuine dispute as to the meaning of the contract, and one party to such contract claims as contract rights thereunder more than he actually has under such contract, such claim docs not of itself amount to a renunciation of the contract.4 If A is bound by a contract with B to deliver ice to B at some time during the season, letters written by A, arguing against the propriety of B's insisting upon performance at a time when the market price of ice was so much higher than it was when A had received ice from B, in exchange for which this ice was demanded, and requesting a personal interview, do not amount to a renunciation.5 If a life insurance company makes illegal assessments, but does nothing further to repudiate liability under the contract, this is not breach by renunciation.6 The principal's claiming that the agent under a contract for buying cotton should furnish the principal with an invoice and further description of the cotton, as well as the samples stipulated for in the contract, is not renunciation.7 If A has agreed to deliver to B such quantity of a given article as B may order between certain maximum and minimum limits, A's claim that he has the right to refuse to deliver more than the minimum quantity is not of itself a breach by renunciation.8 If one party claims by virtue of the contract a right to forfeit it under existing conditions, his ineffectual attempt to declare such for feiture is not a renunciation.9 The fact that one of the parties has made an overcharge when he renders his statement, and that he demands more than is due by the terms of the contract, does not justify the adversary party in treating the contract as discharged.10 It has been held, however, that a demand by one of the parties for performance in excess of that required by the contract, if persisted in down to the time of performance, excuses the adversary party from proceeding with performance while such dispute continues;11 and accordingly the adversary party is not liable for delay caused by such dispute.12
Oregon. Krebs Hop Co. v. Llvesley, 51 Or 527, 92 Par. 1084.
Tennessee, John Deere Plow Co. v. Shellabarger, 140 Tenn. 123, 203 S. W. 756
West Virginia. Bannister v. Victoria Coal A Coke Co, 63 W Va 502, 61 S. E. 338; Roberts v. American Column & Lumber Co., 76 W Va 290, 85 S. E. 535.
2 Henderson v Henderson, 136 Ia. 564. 114 N W. 178.
3 Schillinger v. Bosch-Ryan Grain
Co., 145 la. 750, 122 N. W. 961 [for former opinion see 116 N. W. 132].
4 Ollinger & Bruce Dry Dock Co. v. Gibbony, - Ala. - , 81 So. 18.
5 Pinchbeck v. Bessemer Mining Co., 117 N. Car. 484, 23 S. E. 425.
6 Gunther v. Gunther, 181 Mass. 217, 63 N. E. 402.
1 Arkley v. Hunter-Benn & Co.'s Co., 166 Ala. 205, 51 So. 964; Armstrong v. Ross, 61 W. Va. 38, 55 S. E. 895.
2 Ackley v. Hunter-Benn & Co.'s Co, 166 Ala. 295. 51 So. 964
3 St. Regis Paper Co. v. Santa Clara Lumber Co., 186 N. Y. 89, 78 N. E. 701.
4 Alabama. Ackley v. Hunter-Benn & Co.'s Co., 166 Ala. 205, 51 So. 064.
Illinois. Lundahl v. Hansen, 147 111. 504, 35 N. E. 741.
Montana. Long v. Needham, 37 Mont. 408, 96 Pac. 731.
New York. St. Regis Paper Co. v. Santa Clara Lumber Co., 186 N. Y. 89, 78 N. E. 701.
Tennessee. Southern Publishing Association v. Clements Paper Co., 139 Tenn. 420, L. R. A. 1918D, 580, 201 S. W. 745.
Vermont. Emack v. Hughes, 74 Vt. 382, 52 Atl. 1061.
5 Dingley v. Oler, 117 U. S. 490, 29 L. ed. 984.
6 Lee v. Mutual Reserve Fund Life Association, 97 Va. 160, 33 S. E. 556.
Injunction will lie to determine the rights of the policyholders or members, and to restrain the insurance company from demanding illegal assessments. Tusant v. Grand Lodge Ancient Order of United Workmen, 183 la. 489, L. R. A. 1918P, 452, 163 N. W. 690.
7 Bell v. Maximos, 85 Tex. 140, 19 S. W. 1070.
8 Southern Publishing Association v. Clements Paper Co., 139 Tenn. 429, L. R. A. 1018D, 580, 201 S. W. 745.
9 Lundahl v. Hansen, 147 111. 504, 35 N. E. 741.