Boothe v. Fitzpatrick

Supreme Court of Vermont

36 Vt. 681 (Vt. 1864)

A promise based on past consideration is enforceable where the promisor receives a valuable pecuniary benefit at the expense of the promisee.

Relevant Facts

The defendant’s bull escaped and entered onto the plaintiff’s land. The plaintiff kept and maintained the bull until he could ascertain the owner. After finding out the defendant was the owner, the plaintiff notified the defendant. The defendant told the plaintiff that he would take the bull back and pay the plaintiff for keeping and maintaining his bull. However, the defendant took almost an entire year to take the bull back. The plaintiff sued to recover a reasonable fee for taking care of the defendant’s bull. The defendant argued that any care the plaintiff provided prior to the defendant’s promise to pay was a moral obligation based on past consideration and was thus not liable for such care. The trial court found in favor of the plaintiff. The defendant appealed.

Issue

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Holding & Reasoning

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Concurrence

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Dissent

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Last updated:

December 3, 2020

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Procedural History

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Citations

36 Vt. 681 (Vt. 1864)