Internal Code: MAS1651
Grace is over 90 years old and lives alone. She is devoted to her favourite relative, her nephew John. John tells Grace that he would like to lease her classic 1966 MGB convertible from her for two years. It has been sitting unused in Grace’s garage since her cataract operation ten years ago. John says he will pay Grace $2000 all up for the privilege. He adds that if she doesn’t agree he will stop helping her with shopping and around the house – in fact he will stop visiting her altogether.
Her hands her a page containing a written offer which he has already signed. She can’t find her spectacles because John has hidden them but, trusting him, she signs her acceptance at the foot. In fact the offer is not to lease the car but to buy it for $2000.
After giving Grace the $2000 and taking possession of the car John purports to sell it to Sam for $50,000. Grace’s niece Judy finds out what has happened and tells Grace. Grace is very upset.
Judy asks you whether Grace can recover the car from Sam. Tell Judy what rights you think Grace has, giving your reasons.
(a) Alex approached Tom purporting to act on Peter’s behalf, and on that basis wrote out a formal order for Pinot Noir (red) grapes from Tom’s vineyard which Tom accepted. At harvest time Tom delivered the grapes to Peter’s winery but Peter refused to accept them or pay for them, saying that he had told Alex to buy only Pinot Gris (white) grapes. Advise Tom. Can Tom sue Peter? Might Tom have any other options?
(b) Assume that, after accepting the order as above but before harvesting the grapes, Tom wrote to Peter saying that because Peter had not personally confirmed the order he had sold the grapes elsewhere and therefore would be unable to deliver them. Peter tells you that before hearing from Tom he had talked to Alex and had decided that
because the price was a bargain he would take the Pinot Noir (red) grapes after all. Advise Peter. Can Peter sue Tom?
Harold is a builder who has been engaged to renovate a terrace house in Paddington. The owner has moved out for the duration, and to expedite the renovation has removed all his personal property to a garage at the rear of the house.
(a) In the course of repairing an old fireplace in the dining-room Harold took out a removable panel at the back of the grate. In amongst the dust and soot in a cavity behind the panel he discovered a small box covered with faded red velvet. He took the box home, and when he opened it found it contained three rings set respectively with a large ruby, a large sapphire and several small diamonds (all subsequently confirmed for him by a jeweller).
(b) While digging a trench in the back yard Harold dug up a locked iron box, rusty but solid. He took this box home too, and after prising it open found it contained number of old gold coins. Harold has come to you about what he has found. He says that he knows the saying finders keepers losers weepers, and that he has also been told possession is nine tenths of the law. He is a bit of a rough diamond but an honest man. He wants to know whether or not he is able to keep what he has found. Advise him.
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