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66 Wesson v.
Mann v. Taylor
272 | Rail R. Co., Taylor v. 277 Marshall v. Flinn 199
399 Mathis v. Bryson 508 Reid v. Largent
454 Mayo v. Gardner 359 Rippy, Morris v.
533 Mears v. Speight
420 | Roberts v. Watson 319 Mizell v. Burnett
249 | Robinson, Purvis v. 96 Moore, Houston v. 522 Rogers, Bynum v. 399 Shaw v.
25 Roseman, Propst v. 130 Morris v. Rippy
533 | Rowland v. OʻRorke 337 Morton, Cohoon v. 256 | Rutherford, Stewart v. 485 Murrell, Averitt v. 322 | Runyon v. Clark
323 Murphy, Phillips v. 45 Salem Man. Co. v. Brower 429
Sasser, Smith v.
43 Neal, Pugh v.
367 Savage, Warbritton v. 382 v. Wilcox
146 Scott v. W.&.R.R.R. Co. 432 Newby, Jacocks v. 266 | Shaw v. Moore
25 Newlin v. Osborne 157
McKinley v. 197 Niblett?v. Herring 262 | Sharpe, Journey v. 165 N. C. R. R. Co, Freedle v. 89 | Shelton, Edmondston v. 451 Northern, Symons v. 241 Shepherd, Smithwick v 196
Shipp, Forney v. 527 O'Rorke, Rowland v. 337 Sikes, Johnston, v.
70 Osborne, Newlin v. 157 Silverthorn v. Fowle 362 Oxford, Estes v.
473 Simmons, Bartlett v. 285
Stephenson v. 12 Palmer, Giles v.
386 | Smithwick v. Shepherd 196 Parham, Hare v.
Wakefield v. 327 Parsons v. McBryde 99 | Smith v. Eason
34 Paul, IIoell v.
43 Peeler, Kerns v.
513 Pendergrass, Johnston v. 479
Hollingsworth v. 270 Perry, Boykin v. 325 Sowell, Lowe v.
235 Phillips, Chasteen v.
459 | Speight, Mears v. 420 v. Murphy 45 Spencer v. Carter 287 Plummer, Warden v. 524 | Stafford, Blum v.
94 Pool, Joyner v. 293 State v. Bond
9 v. Hunter
463 Pritchard v. Fox
7 Propst v. Roseman 130
421 Pugh v. Neal 367
353 Purvis v. Robinson
107 v. Albritton 170
5 v. Guilford
83 Qualls, Gardner v. 223
266 v. IIarvell
55 Rail Road Co. v. Leach 340 v. Ilopkins
State v. Ingold
216 | Vanover v. Thompson 485 v. McDonald 19 | Vinson, Washington v. 380 v. Mott
*449 v. Privett
100 Wakefield v. Smithwick 327 v. Ross 315 / Waldo v. Jolly
440 Wallace v. McIntosh 434 v. Stanly 290 Wall, Blanton v.
532 v. Wright
308 Warbritton v. Savage 282 V. Whit 349 Ward v. Herrin
23 Stephenson v. Simmons 12 Warden v. Plummer 524 Stephenson v. Stephenson 472 Washington v. Vinson 380 Stewart v. Rutherford 485 Watkins v. Easley 286 Stowe, Wright v. 516 Watt v. Jobnston
190 Streator, Carter v. 62 Watson, Gunter v. 455 Symons v. Northern 241
420 Taylor, Mann v.
127 | Wesson v. R. R. Co. 399 v.
272 Wheeler, Hailey v. 159 v. Gooch 436 White v. Griffin
139 v. R. R. Co. 277
116 Daws v.
301 Thompson, Laws v. 104 Whitman, Thompson v. 47 v. Whitman 47 | Wilcox, Neal v.
146 Vanover v.
485 | Williams v. Council 206 Thornton, Green v. 230
31 Turner v. White
116 W.&R.R.R. Co., Scott v. 432 Wilson, Gordon v.
64 Underwood v. McLaurin 17 Winder v. Blake
332 Wright v. Stowe
CASES AT LAW
ARGUED AND DETERMINED
SUPREME COURT OF NORTH CAROLINA,
DECEMBER TERM, 1856.
JOHN FREEMAN vs. ROBERT M. BRIDGER.
Timber furnished to an infant to enable him to build a dwelling on his land,
is not a necessary. An infant, who has a guardian, cannot contract for necessaries.
This was an action of ASSUMPSIT, commenced by attachment, and tried before SAUNDERS, Judge, at the Fall Term, 1855, of Bertie Superior Court.
The defendant pleaded “general issue and infancy;" to the latter plea, the plaintiff replied that part of the articles furnished were necessaries.
The action was brought for the price of timber furnished by the plaintiff to the defendant for the building of a house, and for other articles. The defendant was an infant at the time those articles were furnished, and lived with his mother. He had at that time a guardian, who took no control over him or his property. Before these articles were furnished to him he had married and had a child, and the house, for the build
Freeman v. Bridger.
ing of which the timber was bought, was for the residence of himself and his family, and he was residing in it at the time of the trial. It was conceded at the trial, that the articles charged, to the amount of fourteen dollars, were necessaries suitable to the condition in life of the defendant, and that the value of the timber delivered was $55. It was proved that he owned no other house, and that the one built was suitable to his estate and station in society, and such a one as is usually occupied by prudent and economical young men just setting out in life with estates like that of the defendant.
His Honor charged the jury, that the defendant was bound to pay for the timber in question. For which the defendant excepted.
Verdict and judgment for the plaintiff. Appeal by the defendant.
Winston, Jr., for the plaintiff. No counsel, for the defendant.
PEARSON, J. An infant is presumed not to have sufficient discretion to enable him to transact business and make contracts. So, the general rule is, that the contract of an infant is not binding on him. The exception is, that an infant is bound to pay for goods sold and delivered to him, provided they are necessary for his support. This is put on the ground, that unless an infant can get credit for “necessaries” “he may starve”; or as it is expressed in some of the cases, "an infant must live, as well as a man, therefore, the law gives a reasonable price to those who furnish him with necessaries ad victum et vestitum, i. e. for victuals and clothes." LORD CORE says, Co. Lit. 172, a, “It is agreed by all the books, that an infant may bind himself to pay for his necessary meat, drink, apparel, physic and such other necessaries.” These last words embrace boarding; for shelter is as necessary as food and clothing. They have also been extended so as to embrace schooling, and nursing (as well as physic) while sick. In regard to the quality of the clothes and the kind of food, &c., a
Freeman v. Bridger.
restriction is added, that it must appear that the articles were suitable to the infants degree and estate.
This is familiar learning, but in making the application, it is proper to bear in mind the principle upon which the exception is made. His Honor was of opinion that a contract for fifty-five dollars worth of timber, for the purpose of building a house, made by the defendant while an infant living with his mother, fell within the exception, inasmuch as the timber was used for building a house on the infant's land “suitable to his estate and station in society,” and “such as are usually occupied by prudent economical young men just setting out in life with estates like the defendant’s”; it also appearing that he had married, and was living in the house with his wife and child at the time of the trial.
We agree, that if an infant marries, the principle of the exception extends to his wife and child. They are to be furnished with necessary food and clothing; for there is no more reason why they should “starve” than the infant himself; but in regard to the timber, and the necessity for building a house, we differ with his IIonor.
The plaintiff's counsel was unable to cite any authority, or even a dictum, in support of his Honor's opinion, and it is manifestly against the reason of the thing. If the infant is bound to pay for the timber, he must pay for the nails, glass, &c., the wages of the workman; in other words, for the whole house; and if this be so, on the ground that it is necessary for him to have a house to live in, it follows that he must pay for a horse, a wagon, a plough, &c.; because such things are necessary to enable him to cultivate his land; then would follow a few cattle and hogs; so, the result would be to make the exception broader than the general rule, and take from infants that protection which the law considers they stand in need of, by reason of their want of discretion.
There is another fact set forth in the case which makes the decision erroneous, not only in respect to the timber, but in respect to the fourteen dollars worth of articles admitted to be necessaries, if the defendant's counsel had insisted upon