Case: Manwill v.

Oyler Parties: Plaintiff/Respondent - Manwill Defendant/Appellant - Oyler

Procedural History: Defendants petitioned and obtained leave to bring an interlocutory appeal (an appeal of a ruling by a trial court that is made before the trial itself has concluded) to challenge the denial of their motion to dismiss plaintiff's complaint by a trial court. Facts: Plaintiff alleged that he made payments on defendant's behalf aggregating $5,506.20, during the years 1950-1953, and transferred property worth $4,800 in 1954 to defendants. Plaintiff then alleged that defendants orally promised to pay in July/August 1956 those sums. Any action on these transactions was barred by the statute of limitations. After defendants filed motion to dismiss, plaintiff then amended to state that defendants orally promised to pay $5,506.20 in Oct 1957. Defendant's motion to dismiss was denied, and they then submitted an interlocutory appeal. Issue: If a property-owner , who has a moral obligation to reimburse someone who paid for property on their behalf, and years later promised to pay back these sums, bound in contract to pay back this amount, because there is sufficient consideration in the moral obligation to pay this sum back? Holding/Judgment: The court reversed the denied demurrer with directions to dismiss the action, holding that a mere moral, as distinguished from a legal, obligation was not sufficient consideration to support a contract. Reasoning: Each party had to give some legal consideration to the other by conferring a benefit or suffering a legal detriment. Plaintiff did not allege facts sufficient to make the alleged oral promise a binding contract. __________________________________________________________________________________ ___ CLASS NOTES Court says that to gets around statute of limitations by saying an action to promise to pay a debt must be in writing. Writing is evidence of person's commitment to the promise, and may get you around the consideration aspect. Is there quasi contract? Material benefit rule - if they received a benefit. Court says he couldn’t expect to be compensated for it, so it was determined to be a gift (promise to pay was made AFTER he made the payments). Cause of action is dismissed.