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Jones v Padavatton [1969] 1 WLR 328 Court of Appeal

A mother promised to pay her daughter $200 per month if she gave up her job in the US and went to London to study for the bar. The daughter was reluctant to do so at first as she had a well paid job with the Indian embassy in Washington and was quite happy and settled, however, the mother persuaded her that it would be in her interest to do so. The mother's idea was that the daughter could then join her in Trinidad as a lawyer. This initial agreement wasn't working out as the daughter believed the $200 was US dollars whereas the mother meant Trinidad dollars which was about less than half what she was expecting. This meant the daughter could only afford to rent one room for her and her son to live in. The Mother then agreed to purchase a house for the daughter to live in. She purchased a large house so that the daughter could rent out other rooms and use the income as her maintenance. The daughter then married and did not complete her studies. The mother sought possession of the house. The question for the court was whether there existed a legally binding agreement between the mother and daughter or whether the agreement was merely a family agreement not intended to be binding.

Held:

The agreement was purely a domestic agreement which raises a presumption that the parties do not intend to be legally bound by the agreement. There was no evidence to rebut this presumption
.

 

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