Legal Hypothetical: No good deed goes unrewarded… unless

 

NO good deed goes unrewarded… unless

Tara is a motoring enthusiast, her pride and joy being a cherry-red 1969 Ford Mustang.

One day, local hooligans break into her garage and they are off for the joy-ride of their lives!

Tara arrives home the next day to find her beloved Mustang gone.

She immediately calls the police and quickly begins printing leaflets offering a $10,000 reward for any information leading to the arrest of the ‘despots’ who took her car.

She distributes the leaflets around town.

Around the same time, Jim, who is into trail bike riding, comes across the abandoned car in a state forest.

He informs the police, who find strong evidence and make prompt arrests.

A week later, the Constable who had been working the case runs into Jim and casually asks him what he plans to do with the money.

Jim asks, “What money?”

Surprised, the Constable points at one of Tara’s leaflets on a local notice board.

Jim contacts Tara and says, “I’ve just found out about the reward.

“Could I give you my bank details?”

Tara refuses to pay Jim.

Jim takes Tara to Court arguing that a contract existed between them, which Tara breached by not paying him.

The Court finds that a contract did not exist because, at the time that Jim went to the police, he was unaware there was a reward on offer.

Although in the court of public opinion the outcome may have been different, this case examines the well-established principle that all parties must be conscious of an offer before it becomes a binding contractual agreement and highlights the deceptive complexity of contract law.

Thank you to Jamie Visco for his assistance with his column.

If YOU would like a particular issue addressed, please email Manny at [email protected] or call him on (02) 6648 7487.

 

By Manny WOOD, Solicitor

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