Pinnel's Case


Pinnel's Case

"Pinnel's Case" cite book
last=Coke
first=Edward
authorlink=Edward Coke
editor=Thomas, John Henry and Fraser, John Farquhar
title=The Reports of Sir Edward Coke
origyear=1604
url=http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=DlYDAAAAQAAJ&printsec=titlepage&source=gbs_summary_r&cad=0#PRA8-PA238,M1
accessdate=2008-10-11
volume=3
date=1826
publisher=Butterworth's
pages=238-239
quote=Pinnel's Case (1602) 5 Co Rep 117a
] (otherwise known as "Penny v Cole") is an important case in English contract law, on the doctrine of part performance.

Facts

The plaintiff sued the defendant for the sum of £8 10s. The defence was based on the fact that the defendant had, at the plaintiff's request, tendered £5-2s-6d before the debt was due, which the plaintiff had accepted in full satisfaction for the debt.

Rule

The rule in "Pinnel's Case" is that:

:"payment of a lesser sum on the day in satisfaction of a greater, cannot be any satisfaction for the whole, because it appears to the Judges that by no possibility, a lesser sum can be a satisfaction to the plaintiff for a greater sum: but the gift of a horse, hawk, or robe, etc. in satisfaction is good ... [as] more beneficial to the plaintiff than the money."

The rule is obiter; in "Pinnel's Case" itself the debt was paid before the date of satisfaction, which was considered good consideration.

Application

The decision was applied by the House of Lords in "Foakes v Beer" ["Foakes v Beer" [1884] 9 A.C. 605.] to another part payment of debt.

This can be contrasted with the parallel authority of "Stilk v Myrick", ["Stilk v Myrick" (1809) SC 6 Esp 129.] where it was agreed that crewman would be given additional wages to help guide the ship home. The Court of Common Pleas held that the crewmen did no more than they were originally contracted to do, meaning they offered no consideration for the new contract, rendering it void.

"Pinnel's Case" and the line of authority that flowed from it was distinguished in the decision of "Williams v Roffey Bros", ["Williams v Roffey Bros" [1991] 1 QB 1.] where the English Court of Appeal held that performing an existing obligation could be good consideration where it conferred some "practical benefit" above what was originally envisaged. In that case, it was held the a subcontractor who had asked for additional remuneration to do previously agreed work was enforceable, as avoid the subcontractor going into bankruptcy (which otherwise would have happened) constituted a practical benefit. The reasoning in "Williams v Roffey Bros" has been doubted in subsequent cases, although it has not been overruled.

There are several well defined exceptions to "Pinnel's Case", most notably being settlement in litigation where the parties agree to compromise by a payment a lesser sum without admitting that the greater sum was due. Payment of a lesser sum will also be sufficient where the currency changes, where the time of payment is brought forward, or where the place or manner of payment is changed (applying the long established rule that the Court will not look into the adequacy of the consideration; that is, if a creditor is foolish enough to take 50 pence in the pound to get his money a week earlier, he is entitled to do so). The rule will also not undermine an agreement to accept a lesser sum when the original agreement is novated, or where the agreement to accept a lesser sum is made by way of a deed, or specialty contract.

References

ee also

* "D & C Builders Ltd. v. Rees"
* "Foakes v Beer"


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Foakes v Beer — House of Lords Entschieden am 1. April 1884 Vollständiger Name: John Weston Foakes v Julia Beer Fundstellen …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Consideration in English law — is one of the three main building blocks of a contract. Consideration can be anything of value (such as an item or service), which each party to a legally binding contract must agree to exchange if the contract is to be valid. If only one party… …   Wikipedia

  • Consideration under English law — Consideration is one of the three main building blocks of a contract in English contract law. Consideration can be anything of value (such as an item or service), which each party to a legally binding contract must agree to exchange if the… …   Wikipedia

  • D & C Builders Ltd. v. Rees — [1965] 2 QB 617 is a leading English decision of the equitable accord and satisfaction.BackgroundD C Builders Ltd. was hired to do work for Rees. Once the job was complete Rees had an outstanding debt of £432. Initially, Rees did not pay. Eventu …   Wikipedia

  • Contract — law …   Wikipedia

  • Estoppel (English law) — Estoppel is a legal doctrine that may be used in certain situations to prevent a person from relying upon certain rights, or upon a set of facts (eg. words said or actions performed) which is different from an earlier set of facts. Estoppel could …   Wikipedia

  • English contract law — is an influential system regulating the law of contract that operates in England and Wales. Its doctrines form the basis of contract law across the Commonwealth, including Australia, Canada, India, New Zealand and South Africa and more generally… …   Wikipedia

  • Foakes v Beer — English case infobox name=John Weston Foakes v. Julia Beer court=Appeal Cases date decided=31 March, 1 April 1884 full name= John Weston Foakes and Julia Beer citations= [1881 85] All ER Rep 106; 9 App Cas 605; 54 LJQB 130; 51 LT 833; 33 WR 233… …   Wikipedia

  • D & C Builders Ltd v Rees — Court Court of Appeal Date decided November 12 1965 Citation(s) [1965] …   Wikipedia

  • consideration — con·sid·er·a·tion n: something (as an act or forbearance or the promise thereof) done or given by one party for the act or promise of another see also contract compare motive ◇ Except in Louisiana, consideration is a necessary element to the… …   Law dictionary