University of Chicago - Law Class notes - Capacity to Contracts - Minors.

Capacity to Contracts – Minors. Contracts involving continuing obligations. Steinberg v Scala. Contracts for necessaries. Nash v Inman. Minor’s benefit. Doyle v White City Stadium.


Capacity to Contracts – Minors

Contracts involving continuing obligations

Steinberg v Scala (Leeds) Ltd (1923) 2 Ch 452 (CA)


The plaintiff while he was an infant applied for shares in a company and paid on allotment (portions)
The shares were allotted to her
She never attended any of the company meetings and never received any dividends
18 months later while she still was a minor decided to repudiate the contract
She asked for a repayment of the money she paid to the company


She was a minor so she was entitled to repudiate the contract, but there was no failure of consideration so she was not entitled to recover the money.

Infant can not be fully bound by a contract
When he reaches majority he can decide if he wants to adopt the contract or not
If an infant pays for goods that are not of necessity he can claim for the money
The question to consider is whether there has been a failure of consideration

Contracts for necessaries

Nash v Inman (1908) 2 KB 1 (CA)


The defendant was a minor, a Cambridge graduate
The plaintiff supplied clothing for him to the value of 145 pounds
The clothing included 11 fancy waistcoats
The defendant argued that he was a minor at the time and that those clothes were not necessaries to him
His father gave evidence that he had a lot of clothes


The goods supplied were not of a necessity to the minor
He was already adequately supplied with such goods
The minor was not liable to pay the money

Minor’s be

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