If one, at the time of conferring a benefit upon another, confers it as a gift, that is, without intending thereby to establish contractual relations, it cannot afterward be claimed that the benefit was conferred in misreliance upon a supposed contract. Consequently, though the donor's intention may subsequently be altered, no quasi contractual obligation to make restitution will arise:
Cicotte v. Church of St. Anne, 1886, 60 Mich. 552; 27 N. W. 682: Action to recover the value of legal services rendered by the plaintiff, an attorney at law, for the benefit of the defendant church corporation of which he was a trustee. Sherwood J. (p. 558): "The simple fact that services are rendered does not raise a liability on the part of the person for whom they are rendered, even though done at his request, if the circumstances are such as to rebut the inference that compensation is to be made. When services are performed from kindly motives, and with charitable intentions, the law will not imply a promise to compensate for them."1
This rule is interestingly exemplified in the two cases of St. Joseph's Orphan Society v. Walpert2 and Shepherd v. Young, Admr.3 In the former the plaintiff had supported and educated four children who were supposed, when received, to be penniless, but were afterwards discovered to have money; in the latter the plaintiff had supported a destitute grandchild, who was killed in a railway accident and whose administrator subsequently recovered damages from the company. In both cases relief was denied upon the ground that the support had been furnished without intention to charge therefor.
In an English case,4 where the guardians of the poor had supplied necessaries to an infant who afterward became entitled to a legacy, the court allowed a recovery, saying, "I cannot agree that a pauper who takes relief in the shape of necessaries which keep him alive, takes that relief so entirely of right, that he is not under a legal liability to pay if he afterwards comes into money." Unless this decision rests solely upon considerations of public policy, it may be upheld only upon the theory that guardians of the poor furnish support to paupers, not as a gift, but with the intention of charging therefor and collecting if they can. If this be true, although the attitude of the pauper may prevent the formation of a contract, the case is at least one of dutiful intervention in the pauper's affairs under circumstances which raise an obligation to make restitution (post, Sec. Sec. 202, 204). It has frequently been held in America, however, that in the absence of express contract a pauper incurs no liability for relief afforded him,1 and this appears to be the law even where the pauper had property when the relief was furnished.2
1 Also: Hughes v. Dundee Mortgage, etc., Co., 1884, 21 Fed. 169, (legal services); Osier v. Hobbs, 1878, 33 Ark. 215, (care of child); Levy v. Gillis, 1897, 1 Pennewill (Del.) 119; 39 Atl. 785, (work in political campaign); Dunlap v. Allen, 1878, 90 111. 108, (services in family with which plaintiff was staying); Evans v. Henry, 1896, 66 111. App. 144, (services as foreman); Simon v. Tipton, 1899,50 S. W. 1106 (Ky.), (services in obtaining mail contract); Ayland v. Rice, 1871, 23 La. Ann. 75, (friendly services as painter); Brown v. Tuttle 1888,80) My. 162 , 13 Atl. 583, (services of common law wife ; 'Kerr v.Cusenbary, 1895, 60 Mo. App. 558, (procuring a lease); but see Hay v. Walker, 1877, 65 Mo. 17, (clerk and bookkeeper); Potter v. Carpenter,1879, 76 N Y 157, (use of barn and teaming) ; Van Buren v. Reformed Church, 1872, 62 Barb. (N. Y. Sup. Ct.) 495, (church music); Pickslay p. Starr, 1894, 76 Hun 10; 27 N. Y. Supp. 616, (gift of check); Swires v. Parsons, 1843, 5 Watts & Serg. (Pa.) 357, (services of reputed wife); Gross v. Caldwell, 1892, 4 Wash, 670; 30 Pac. 1052, (mutual favors between brokers). See Kaufman Advertising Agency v. Snellenburgh, 1904, 43 Misc. Rep. 317; 88 N. Y. Supp. 199, ("write ups" to secure patronage).
2 1882, 80 Ky. 86.
3 1857, 8 Gray (Mass.) 152; 69 Am. Dec. 242.
4 In re Clabbon,  2 Ch. 465, 467. See also Birkenhead Union v. Brookes, 1906, 70 J. P. 406.
Another illustration of the rule is furnished by the cases holding that one who performs the conditions contained in an offer of a reward in ignorance that a reward has been offered,3 or with knowledge of the offer but without intention to claim the reward,4 cannot recover. These cases, it is true, are de-cided upon the theory that there is no contract, but it seems equally clear that no quasi contractual obligation to pay the value of the service arises. Even where the service is rendered with the intent to claim any reward that may be offered, but without knowledge that a reward has been offered, it can scarcely be said that there is misreliance upon a supposed contract.
1 Jones County v. Norton, 1894, 91 la. 680; 60 N. W. 200, (insane pauper); Inhabitants of Deer-Isle v. Eaton, 1815, 12 Mass. 328; Chariton County v. Hartman, 1905,190 Mo. 71; 88 S. W. 617; Charles-town v. Hubbard, 1838, 9 N. H. 195. But an obligation may be imposed upon the pauper by statute. See Kennebunkport v. Smith, 1843, 22 Me. 445.
2 Inhabitants of Stow v. Sawyer, 1862, 3 Allen (Mass.) 515; City of Albany v. McNamara, 1889, 117 N. Y. 168; 22 N. E. 931; 6 L. R. A. 212. But see Chester V. Underhill, 1844, 16 N. H. 64, 66.
3 Williams v. West Chicago, etc., R. Co., 1901, 191 I11. 610; 61 N. E. 456; 85 Am. St. Rep. 278; Lee v. Flemingsburg, 1838, 7 Dana (37 Ky.) 28, (but see Auditor v. Ballard, 1873, 9 Bush (72 Ky.) 572; 15 Am. Rep. 728); Smith v. Vernon County, 1905, 188 Mo. 501; 87 S. W. 949; 70 L. R. A. 59; 107 Am. St. Rep. 324; Fitch v. Snedaker, 1868, 38 N. Y. 248; 97 Am. Dec. 791; Howland v. Lounds, 1873, 51 N. Y. 604; 10 Am. Rep. 654; Stamper v. Temple, 1845, 6 Humph. (25 Tenn.) 113; 44 Am. Dec. 296; Broadnax v. Ledbetter, 1907, 100 Tex. 375; 99 S. W. 1111; 9 L. R. A. (N. S.) 1057. Contra: Eagle v. Smith, 1871, 4 Houst. (Del.) 293; Dawkins v. Sappington, 1866, 26 Ind. 199; Auditor v. Ballard, 1873, 9 Bush (72 Ky.) 572; 15 Am. Rep. 728; Russel v. Stewart, 1872, 44 Vt. 170.
4 Hewitt v. Anderson, 1880, 56 Cal. 476; 38 Am. Rep. 65.