Who Is a Minor in a Contract
A minor may terminate a contract only during the age of majority and only for a reasonable period after reaching the age of majority. After a reasonable period of time, the treaty is deemed to have been ratified and cannot be circumvented. Helen, 17, wanted to buy a motorcycle. She didn`t have the money to pay cash, but persuaded the merchant to sell her a cycle on credit. The dealer did this in part because Helen said she was 22 and showed her identification that incorrectly stated her age of 22. Helen rode the motorcycle. A few days later, she damaged it and returned it to the dealership, explaining that she had terminated the contract because she was a minor. The dealer said it could not do so because (a) it had given its age incorrectly and (b) the motorcycle was damaged. Can it avoid the treaty? Yes. In a state that respects the common law rule, neither property damage nor Helen`s misrepresentation of her age prevents her from terminating the contract. Some states will say Helen has to pay for the damages she caused due to a misrepresentation of her age, but she can avoid the contract. Some States would feel that Helen cannot avoid the treaty because she has distorted her age. Judicial approval of contracts by small artists is also allowed in New York.
See NY CLS Art & Cult. § 35.03 (2005). This permit is only valid for performing artists such as actors, musicians, dancers and professional athletes. The law aims to provide a certain level of security to parties entering into contracts with young children in the entertainment industry, so the validity of these contracts is less likely to be the subject of litigation. A minor who decides to terminate a contract because of his or her age must declare the entire contract null and void. The law does not allow them to continue to perform part of the contract while other parts are declared invalid. However, certain types of contracts cannot be declared void, even if the person is a minor, including: In general, anyone who enters into contracts with an infant or minor seeks to do so at their own risk. This means that the law gives young children the opportunity to invalidate or terminate the contract at their discretion. The regime`s most common justification is to protect minors from taking on obligations they cannot understand.
It is obvious that this will lead to severe results, so some general exceptions have been created. If a minor is of legal age and still under contract, he or she has a reasonable limited period of time to accept or invalidate the contract. In the past, minors and infants were all under the age of 21. However, most states have introduced laws lowering this age to 18. In most legal situations, the terms minor and infant have the same meaning. Transportation, such as a car, may be a necessity in certain circumstances. Vehicle rental contracts signed by a minor may be maintained if transportation is deemed necessary. The reason for these exceptions is that most parties would refuse to enter into a contract with a minor if all such contracts could be declared invalid whenever the minor so wishes. The rule that allows minors to invalidate contracts can have serious consequences, so there are fundamental exceptions to the laws. An exception allows a minor to terminate or accept the contract within a reasonable time after reaching the age of majority. Once a minor has reached the age of majority, he or she may ratify the treaty. Once the treaty is ratified, the former miner can no longer change his mind and avoid the treaty.
Ratification consists of the words or behaviour of the minor that show an intention to be bound by the treaty. For example, Smith bought a car from the Jones Ford Company for $10,000.00 when Smith was 17. Smith financed the car with Jones for 5 years and made monthly installment payments. Smith reached his 18th birthday and continued to pay Jones for two months, then had a wreck. Smith decided to avoid the contract and get his $10,000.00 back. However, the fact that Smith reached the age of 18 and continued to make payments for the car and use it would prevent him from terminating the contract. Smith`s conduct constituted ratification of the treaty. However, many courts refuse to recognize payments as ratification unless other evidence is presented of an intention to ratify a treaty or an agreement by a minor that the payment could constitute ratification. In the situation with Smith and Jones, Jones argued that Smith continued to use the car after the age of 18 and made payments for the car.