Valencia v. White

134 Ariz. 139, 654 P.2d 287 (Ct. App. 1982)

 

RULE:

Whether contracts of a minor are for necessities is ultimately a question of fact if there is some reasonable basis upon which the goods or services furnished could be considered necessaries. Where the contract is for a purpose benefiting the minor's employment or business, there is a question to be decided upon the particular facts and circumstances of each case.

FACTS:

Appellee minor sought an injunction to prohibit the sale of his truck, upon which appellant garage claimed an artisan's lien, and for return of the truck. Appellant filed a counterclaim alleging that appellee owed him money for repairs to his truck and seeking a lien on the truck. Appellant challenged the judgment of the trial court that awarded appellee damages in the amount he paid to appellant for services under a disaffirmed contract for the repair of his trucking business vehicles. The appellate court reversed the judgment.

ISSUE:

Could a minor, who owned and successfully operated a business, disaffirm contracts for necessary expenses of that business?

ANSWER:

No.

CONCLUSION:

Appellee was entitled to disaffirm the contract for appellant’s services, which were not necessities because appellee did not need to engage in business where his mother provided board, room, clothing, medical needs, and education. Appellee was liable for benefits received even though they were not necessities and could not be returned in kind because there was no evidence that appellant took advantage of his minority or that the contract was disadvantageous to appellee. Appellant was entitled to judgment in the amount of the benefit to appellee less the amount of payment made by appellee, and was required to return the engine and parts to appellee.

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