Thank You For Submiting Feedback!
One who by error in computation, or by mistake of any fact, pays a real or supposed creditor more than is his due, or pays a debt previously discharged, may recover the overpayment; and generally speaking, money paid over under a mutual mistake of an essential fact, or under a unilateral mistake as to such a fact where the defendant has parted with nothing and the plaintiff has not received an expected return, may be recovered.
Defendants Valencia were the owners of a band of sheep. They contracted to sell and deliver these sheep in the band to a company, and the balance to plaintiff Smart. The animals were delivered to both purchasers on the same day. The sheep were first delivered to the company, thereafter, the remaining were counted out to plaintiff. But when the sheep purchased by plaintiff were again counted, it was found that there were hundred animals that was miscounted. Hence, plaintiff demanded reimbursement for the payment they made on the said extra animals that was counted, but it was refused. This suit was then instituted upon the theory of mutual mistake in the count. The trial court found for the plaintiff sheep buyer, and defendant sought review.
Did the trial court err in ruling in favor of plaintiff in an action instituted upon the theory of mutual mistake?
On appeal, the court affirmed the judgment in favor of the plaintiff sheep buyer's claim for overpayment of a purchase. As the court held that it was a well-established rule of law that money paid in excess of the amount due through a mutual mistake was recoverable. The court further held that the plaintiff stated a valid claim, the court then rejected defendant's remaining allegations of error.