The Law School Authority

In re Greene Case Brief

Summary of In re Greene (1930) 45 F.2d 428

? = Mistress

? = Estate of Greene

F:         ? claimed that under a written agreement, the decedent promised to pay her $ 1,000 a month during their joint lives, to assign her a life insurance policy on his life ($100,000), and to pay rent on an apartment she leased. ? also claims to have paid consideration to bankrupt in the amount of $1 plus his release from certain debts that she believed he owed her (in reality he was not obligated to pay her anything so there really was no consideration given).

No objection from the bankrupt person to pay the money – but might he have been extorted, or might he have intentionally drafted the document so that it would not be enforceable?

I:          Is there valid and adequate consideration?

R:         The ct. is not allowed to determine the adequacy of consideration (see St. Peter, above) but in this case the ct. essentially held that there was no exchange of consideration.

Essentially, there is no bargained-for exchange. This ct. has found that there could be a fraud on the ct.; i.e. they are trying to convince the ct. that something was exchanged when it actually was not.

A:         No consideration = no agreement. See pg. 136 for why each form of consideration asserted by ? is invalid.

Even if the bankrupt had gone to ct. to say that he did want the mistress to receive the money this contract still would not be enforceable. The cohabitation would constitute past “consideration”. Moral obligation doctrine does not apply here (we will discuss later).

C:         Ct. reversed lower order and held the contract to be invalid for lack of consideration.



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