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Where a minor purchases an automobile, giving notes in part payment therefor, and continues to use the machine and to make payments thereon for more than six months after attaining his majority, it is too late for him to disaffirm his contract of purchase, and he is bound thereby.
Plaintiff George C. Bangham claimed that on or about October 3rd, 1924, he purchased from the defendant Herschede Motor Car Company a Star Roadster automobile and gave in trade a used Oldsmobile, on which the defendant allowed him a credit of $ 50. He further claimed that he made certain cash payments to the defendant and gave certain promissory notes. At the time he made this purchase, plaintiff was a minor and did not reach his majority until December 21, 1924. During the time between October 3, and December 21, he drove and used the car from time to time, but never was satisfied with the mechanical performance of the same, and complained constantly to the company as to its conditions. Subsequently, in July 1925, plaintiff returned the car to defendant and repudiated the contract on the ground that it was made during his minority. Plaintiff now sought to recover the money paid. The defense claimed that they did not sell the car to the plaintiff at all, but later on sold the car to plaintiff’s mother, and while admitting the fact that the car was turned in for credit and that certain cash was paid, defendant insisted, and it was admitted, that the notes were all signed by the mother, and not by the plaintiff.
Could plaintiff repudiate the contract on the ground that it was made during his minority?
The court found that the record showed that plaintiff did not repudiate his contract immediately upon reaching his majority, but that he continued to use the car and that various payments were made from that time up until July 1925. Hence, the court was of the opinion that the plaintiff minor, by his actions after reaching the age of majority, ratified the contract. The court cited authorities to support this finding, to wit: “Where a person of full age promised to perform a contract entered into during his minority, he thereby ratified the contract, although he did not know at the time of the promise that by reason of his minority at the time of the contract, he was not legally liable thereon."