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.
The party who is prevented by the act of the adversary party from performing the contract further may treat such conduct as a discharge of the contract.1 The delay of the government in approving plans for an unreasonable time operates at least as an extension of time for performance.2 The act of a vendor, who has obtained a decree of foreclosure conditioned upon the failure of the vendee to pay the purchase price, in preventing the vendee from having an opportunity to make such payment, is said to operate as a breach, so as to impose upon the vendor liability for damages which naturally result therefrom.3 If A sells property to B under a contract which gives B the option to return such property in a specified time, A's act in leaving the state before such time has elapsed and in not returning until after such time has elapsed, excuses B's delay in tendering such property if such tender is made in a reasonable time after A's return.4 If a lighting company delays the completion of its plant in order to ascertain the result of a referendum election upon the ordinance under which it is to act, and such delay results in its delay in reducing the rate for electricity furnished for commercial purposes, such facts do not prevent the lighting company from recovering for electricity furnished to the city.5 One who has prevented the performance of a contract for the transfer of mining claims by failing to return the deed therefor to the grantee after it has been returned to the grantors for correction, can not take advantage of such failure to perform as a breach.6 If A has agreed to support B, and B makes performance on A's part impossible,7 by refusing to remain at a proper place to receive such support,8 or by treating A in such a way that A is justified in leaving,9 B can not treat A's failure to furnish support as a discharge.
5 Empson Packing Co v. Clawson, 43 Colo. 188, 95 Pac. 546.
6 Patterson v. Meyerhofer, 204 N. Y. 06, 97 N. E. 472.
1 Gill v. Hale & Kilburn Co., 257 Fed. 906; Sellers v. Catron, 5 Ind Terr. 263, 82 S. W. 742; Board of Education v. Roxbury Township, - N. J. - , 107 Atl. 259.
2 American Dredging Co. v. United States, 49 Ct CI 350
3 Loehr v. Dickson, 141 Wis 332, 30 L. R A. (N.S) 495, 124 N. W. 293.
4 Edmonds v. Evarts, 146 Mich. 485, 109 N. W. 844
5 Mena v. Tomlinson, 118 Ark. 166, 175 S. W. 1187.