Boone v. Coe

Court of Appeals of Kentucky, 1913.

153 Ky. 233, 154 S.W. 900.

Dawson, pp. 100-102


Facts: The defendant made an oral contract with the plaintiffs to move to Texas and work on his farm for a year.  When they got there, the defendant repudiated and the plaintiffs had to go back to Kentucky.  The plaintiffs sued for the cost of making the trip.  The defendants demurred and won dismissal of the case.  The plaintiffs appealed.


Issue: Can the plaintiffs recover reliance damages on a contract that is unenforceable under the statute of frauds?


Rule: Damages cannot be recovered when a contract is held to be unenforceable under the statute of frauds unless the defendant receives benefit from part performance of a service contract, in which case the plaintiff may obtain restitution for services rendered.


Analysis: Because the defendant received no benefit, he has no obligation to pay, since the contract was unenforceable in the first place.


Conclusion: The judgment of the lower court was affirmed.


Back to Reliance and Restitution

Back to Casebook Notes