Gay v. Alter/Opinion of the Court

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Opinion of the Court

United States Supreme Court

102 U.S. 79

Gay  v.  Alter

It is contended by the appellant that the contract whereby Ames agreed to sell his judgment for $8,000, was a synallagmatic contract, which he had a right to rescind if the agreement of the other party as-to the payment of the purchase-money was not performed. This is undoubtedly the law of Louisiana; but that law also requires that, if a party to a contract wishes to rescind it for such a cause, he must return to the other party what he has received, so as to put him in the same situation he was in before. In the present case, it is not to be supposed that it was Ames's duty to return the $3,000 which he received, because it was really received from Aymar, the debtor. But he was at least bound to credit that amount on the judgment, which would have been a substantial return; and in that case he would have a right to maintain his judgment for the whole balance, and Gay, his vendee, would have had the same right. But he did not do this: nor has Gay done it; but, on the contrary, the latter has endeavored to collect the whole judgment without any deduction whatever. This conduct is totally inconsistent with the position taken. It shows, not a rescission of the contract, and a return or credit of the amount paid thereon, but a determination to regard the transaction as altogether void and the whole judgment still due.

We think that this position cannot be maintained.

Decree affirmed.


This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work of the United States federal government (see 17 U.S.C. 105).