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.
Either party must be ready and willing to perform and must give notice thereof to the adversary party, to put such adversary party in default.1 To put the one party in default the other must either tender performance,2 or without formal tender of performance, must be ready and willing to perform, must offer to perform and demand performance of the adversary party.3 Without such offer and demand the adversary party is not in default, either for the purpose of considering the contract as discharged, or for the purpose of recovering damages.4 Neither party can treat the other as being in default either for the purpose of considering the contract as discharged,5 or for bringing an action for damages,6 or for the purpose of enabling the vendor to forfeit such part of the purchase money as has been paid in,7 without either tendering performance or notifying the adversary party of his willingness to perform and demanding performance by him.
4 Adams v. Turner, 73 Conn. 33, 46 Atl. 247.
5 E. C. Dailey Co. v. Can Co., 128 Mich. 691, 87 N. W. 761.
6 Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Ry. v. Hoyt, 149 U. S. 1, 37 L. ed. 625; Dunlap v. Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Ry., 151 Ill. 409, 428, 38 N. E. 89, 95.
7 Davis v. Jeffris, 5 S. D. 352, 363, 58 N. \V. 815, 928.
1 Colorado. Webb v. Smith, 6 Colo. 365.
Louisiana. J. G. Wagner Co. v. Mun-roe, 52 La. Ann. 2132, 28 So. 229.
Maine. Howe v. Huntington, 15 Me. 350.
Nebraska. Frenzer v. Dufrene, 58 Neb. 432, 78 N. W. 719.
New Hampshire. Crossett v. Brackett (N. H.), 105 Atl. 5.
Ohio. Webb v. Stevenson, 6 Ohio 282; McCoy v. Bixbee, 6 Ohio 310; Raudabaugh v. Hart, 61 O. S. 73, 76 Am. St. Rep. 361, 55 N. E. 214.
Oregon. Longfellow v. Huffman, 49 Or. 486, 90 Pac. 907.
Rhode Island. Marsh v. Babcock (R. I.), 68 Atl. 475.
Virginia. Camp v. Wilson, 97 Va. 265, 33 S. E. 591.
2 Vandegrift v. Cowles Engineering Co., 161 N. Y. 435, 48 L. R. A. 685, 55 N. E. 941.
3 Eames v. Haver, 111 Cal. 401, 43 Pac. 1120; Raudabaugh v. Hart, 61 O. S. 73, 76 Am. St. Rep. 361, 55 N. E. 214.
Readiness and willingness to perform are not sufficient without tender or notice to the adversary party of such readiness and willingness, together with a demand for performance.8
Since a contract between two parties to intermarry is made up of Concurrent covenants, neither party can put the other in default without offering performance and calling on the other to perform,9 unless the adversary party has renounced such contract, or has done some other act to excuse such offer. While it has been said that the woman need not offer to perform,10 apparently on the theory that her modesty would forbid her making such offer before she institutes a suit for breach of promise, this statement has ordinarily been made in cases in which the declaration showed a request for performance on her part,11 or in which the adversary party had refused to perform,12 or in which the adversary party had so delayed performance as to indicate a refusal on his part by his acts.13
4 Campbell v. Moran Bros. Co., 97 Fed. 477, 38 C. C. A. 293; Vandegrift v. Engineering Co., 161 N. Y. 435, 48 L. R. A. 685, 55 N. E. 941; Raudabaugh v. Hart, 61 0. S. 73, 76 Am. St. Rep. 361, 55 N. E. 214.
. 5 Ludlow v. Cooper, 4 O. S. 1; Frink v. Thomas, 20 Or. 265, 12 L. R. A. 239, 25 Pac. 717.
The vendor can not avoid:
California. Avila v. Pereira, 120 Cal. 589, 52 Pac. 840.
Iowa. Gaughen v. Kerr, 99 Ia. 214, 68 N. W. 694.
Michigan. Corning v. Loomis, 111 Mich. 23, 69 N. W. 85.
Minnesota. Johnson v. Eklund, 72 Minn. 195, 75 N. W. 14.
South Dakota. McPherson v. Fargo, 10 S. D. 611, 65 Am. St. Rep. 723, 74 N. W. 1057.
Vendee can not avoid. Mahan v. Close, 63 Minn. 21, 65 N. W. 95.
6 Raudabaugh v. Hart, 61 O. S. 73, 76 Am. St. Rep. 361, 55 N. E. 214.
7 Gaughen v. Kerr, 99 Ia. 214, 68 N. W. 694; Corning v. Loomis, 111 Mich. 23, 69 N. W. 85; Johnson v. Eklund, 72 Minn. 195, 75 N. W. 14; Frink v.
Thomas, 20 Or. 265, 12 L. R. A. 239, 25 Pac. 717.
8 Campbell v. Moran Bros. Co., 97 Fed. 477, 38 C. C. A. 293; Eames v. Haver, 111 Cal. 401, 43 Pac. 1120; Vandegrift v. Cowles Engineering Co., 161 N. Y. 435, 48 L. R. A. 685, 55 N. E. 941; Raudabaugh v. Hart, 61 O. S. 73, 76 Am. St. Rep. 361, 55 N. E. 214.
9 England. Gough v. Farr, 2 Car. & P. 631 (obiter).
Iowa. Lemke v. Franzenburg, 159 Ia. 466, 141 N. W. 332.
Kentucky. Burks v. Shain, 5 Ky. (2 Bibb.) 341, 5 Am. Dec 616; Burn-ham v. Cornwell, 55 Ky. (16 B. Mon.) 284.
New Hampshire. Crossett v. Brackets - N. H. -, 105 Atl. 5.
New Jersey. Coil v. Wallace, 24 N. J. L. 291.
Rhode Island. Clark v. Corey, 24 R. I. 137, 52 Atl. 811.
10 Seymour v. Gartside, 2 Dowl. & R. 55; Kelley v. Brennan, 18 R. I. 41, 25 AtL 346; Clark v. Corey, 24 R. I. 137, 52 Atl. 811 (dissenting opinion); Parkinson v. Murphy, - R. I. -, 107 Atl. 235.
As in the case of other contracts,14 a refusal on the part of one of the parties to perform gives a cause of action without further request on the part of the adversary party for performance.15 While renunciation of a contract in advance may excuse offer to perform by one who wishes to maintain an action for breach of such contract, it is said, however, that it does not excuse the performance of concurrent covenants.16 If A has agreed to sell certain property and to credit the price thereof upon his note which is held by B, and on A's renunciation B sells such note to X, B can not recover from A, since if B was not ready to perform, he could not have received such credit.17 This result is reached for the reason that discharge from the duty to perform a covenant does not have the same consequences as the performance of the covenant.