Law School Case Brief
Poole v. Perkins - 126 Va. 331, 101 S.E. 240 (1919)
Every contract as to its validity, nature, interpretation and effect, or, as they may be called, the right, in contradistinction to the remedy, is governed by the law of the place where it is made, unless it is to be performed in another place, and then it is governed by the law of the place where it is to be performed.
W. T. Poole and his wife F. D. Poole, then residing in Tennessee, executed a promissory note that said on its face it was payable at a bank in Virginia. In Tennessee, at the time of the execution of the note, the contracts of a married woman were voidable and could not be enforced against her where there was a plea of coverture. After the execution of the note but before the creditor filed suit to enforce the note, the debtors as a couple moved to Virginia. The creditor filed suit and obtained a money judgment against the F. D. Poole. She obtained a writ of error to the judgment.
Was F. D. Poole’s defense of the common law disability of coverture available to her?
The court held that because the note was payable in Virginia and not in Tennessee, her defense of the common law disability of coverture was not available to her. The court held that the capacity of a party to enter into a contract was determined by place of the making of the contract unless the performance of the contract was to be in another state. As the performance of the contract, the payment of the money, was to be performed in Virginia, the court held that Virginia law applied with regard to the determination of a party's capacity. Under Virginia law she was capable of entering into a contract.
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