Six Essential Elements of an Enforceable Contract In normal everyday life contracts are utilized for various situations and reasons. Some contracts are more binding as compared to others based on the six elements of offer, acceptance, consideration, the parties’ capacity to contract, the parties’ intent to contract and the object of the contract. This paper examines the above mentioned elements using a contract existing between a customer and a phone dealer.
The phone dealer dealt with used but clean phones and because the customer could not afford a new phone, he approached the phone dealer who promised to deliver a functional and clean used smart phone at the price of $74 after two days. The payment was to be made after the delivery of the phone but on the condition that the phone would be fully functional and the customer could return the phone within the following week if it developed any problem.
On the appointed day, the phone dealer delivered the phone as promised and the customer made the payment as he had promised too. After two days of using the phone the customer started to experience so many complications with the phone and it finally went off completely. When he returned the phone to the phone dealer, the dealer told him that once the phone was sold the customer could not return it. When the customer threatened to sue him for breach of contract, the dealer affirmed that there were no grounds because there was no written contract.
The customer however went on with the suit because though the verbal contract between them was initially fulfilled through the delivery of the phone within the appointed time, it was breached when the dealer refused to accept back the phone within the agreed grace period. A breach of contract is defined as any form of violation that occurs on conditions contained in an enforceable contract. To ascertain the breach of contract the first step is affirming that a contract existed between the customer and the phone dealer. This can be done using the six elements of a contract.
The phone can be identified as the object of the contract because it is legal ascertaining the enforceable nature of the contract. As per the first element the verbal offer of providing the phone within two days at $74 can be recognized as part of the binding contract between the two regardless of the fact that it was written. Under acceptance or genuine assent, the customer engaged in expressed acceptance of the offer within the stipulated conditions set by the dealer. The mutual promise between the customer and the phone dealer to eet their sides of the contract can be equated to consideration. Both the customer and the dealer had the capacity to contract because none was coerced into the agreement. The fact that both agreed to enter into the contract considering all the stipulated conditions, shows their intent to enter into the contract. The above clearly indicates that though no written contract existed between the dealer and the customer, a verbal contract existed between the two of them and the dealer breached the contract by refusing to honor one of the stipulated conditions in the contract.
The major two remedies that could be utilized to counter the breach of contract could be the dealer accepting back the phone and issuing the customer with another phone or refunding back his money as an out of court settlement because a court settlement can prove to be very expensive both on the dealer and the customer or the customer can go ahead and sue with the aim of acquiring a court settlement of the issue now that the dealer was unwilling to accept the first remedy.
Though this would be costly on both of them, though the customer has better chances of winning the case because he can easily prove that though a verbal contract existed between them, it could be identified as an enforceable contract using the six essential elements of an enforceable contract. Based on this evidence the court will definitely find the phone dealer guilty of breach of contract because he did not meet one of the major conditions of the contract between him and the customer.
This will culminate into a stiffer punishment for the dealer which would have been avoided if he met all the conditions of the contract initially. In conclusion, though a verbal contract existed between the dealer and the customer, it can still be identified as an enforceable contract using the six essential elements of an enforceable contract and hence the phone dealer is liable for the breach of contract. References: Adamson, J. E. (2012). Law for business and personal use. Mason, OH: South-Western Cengage Learning.
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