Keller v. Holderman

11 Mich. 248 (1863)



Contracts made in fun are not binding.


Defendant gave plaintiff his check for three hundred dollars for a silver watch, worth fifteen, but the whole transaction was in mere frolic and banter, the one party not expecting to buy the watch nor the other to sell it. The defendant had no money in the banker’s hands and intended to insert a condition on the check that would render it useless, but failed to do so. The plaintiff sued on the check and the trial court ruled in his favor.


Can a payee recover on a check that was drawn out of fun?




It was held that no recovery could be had upon the check, notwithstanding defendant had retained the watch, and did not offer to return it until the trial. When a transaction between the parties was a frolic and a banter, the plaintiff not expecting to sell, nor the defendant intending to buy, the conclusion should have been that no contract was ever made between them.

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