Contracts: Defenses: [I] Incapacity/Defendant's Lack of Capacity

  • Defendant’s lack of capacity
    • Under 18; intoxicated; mentally incompetent
    • Incapacitated defendant has the right to disaffirm (avoid) the contract.
    • An incapacitated party can impliedly affirm a contract by retaining the benefit of the contract without complaint after gaining (or regaining) capacity.
      • Plaintiff can enforce contract against incapacitated D if:
        • D lacked capacity at time of agreement
        • D gains/regains capacity
        • D retains benefit of agreement without complaint.
    • An incapacitated party is liable for necessaries (food, shelter, clothing, or medical care), but only on a quasi-contract basis.