Contracts/Implication-in-fact

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Contracts Treatise
Table of Contents
Contracts Outline
Introduction and Definitions
Introduction
Definitions
Elements
Contract formation
Parties
Offer
Acceptance
Intention to Bind
Formal requisites
Mailbox rule
Mirror image rule
Invitation to deal
Firm offer
Consideration
Consent
Implication-in-fact
Collateral contract
Modification
Merger
Uniform Commercial Code
Uniform Commercial Code
Course of dealing
Course of performance
UCC-1 financing statement
Uniform Commercial Code adoption
Defenses against formation
Lack of capacity
Duress
Undue influence
Illusory promise
Statute of frauds
Uncertainty
Non est factum
Contract interpretation
Governing law
Construction and Operation
Parol evidence rule
Contract of adhesion
Integration clause
Contra proferentem
Excuses for non-performance
Mistake
Misrepresentation
Frustration of purpose
Impossibility
Impracticability
Illegality
Unclean hands
Unconscionability
Accord and satisfaction
Rights of third parties
Privity of contract
Assignment
Delegation
Novation
Third-party beneficiary
Performance or Breach
Necessity of performance
Sufficiency of performance
Anticipatory repudiation
Cover
Exclusion clause
Efficient breach
Deviation
Fundamental breach
Termination
Termination
Rescission
Termination and rescission
Abrogation and rescission
Subsequent contract
Termination
Forfeiture
Remedies
Specific performance
Liquidated damages
Punitive damages
Quasi-contractual obligations
Estoppel
Quantum meruit
Actions
Actions in General
Parties to Action
Pleading
Evidence
Questions of Law and Fact
Instructions
Trial and Judgment

An implied-in-fact contract is a form of an implied contract formed by non-verbal conduct, rather than by explicit words. The United States Supreme Court has defined it as "an agreement 'implied in fact'" as "founded upon a meeting of minds, which, although not embodied in an express contract, is inferred, as a fact, from conduct of the parties showing, in the light of the surrounding circumstances, their tacit understanding."[1]

Although the parties may not have exchanged words of agreement, their conduct may indicate that an agreement existed.

For example, if a patient goes to a doctor's appointment, his actions indicate he intends to receive treatment in exchange for paying reasonable/fair doctor's fees. Likewise, by seeing the patient, the doctor's actions indicate he intends to treat the patient in exchange for payment of the bill. Therefore, it seems that a contract actually existed between the doctor and the patient, even though nobody spoke any words of agreement. (They both agreed to the same essential terms, and acted in accordance with that agreement. There was mutuality of consideration.) In such a case, the court will probably find that (as a matter of fact) the parties had an implied contract. If the patient refuses to pay after being examined, he will have breached the implied contract. Another example of an implied contract is the payment method known as a letter of credit.

Generally, an implied contract has the same legal force as an express contract. However, it may be more difficult to prove the existence and terms of an implied contract should a dispute arise. In some jurisdictions, contracts involving real estate may not be created on an implied-in-fact basis, requiring the transaction to be in writing.

Unilateral contracts are often the subject matter of these types of contracts where acceptance is being made by beginning a specified task.

Potential conduct implying implied contract[edit | edit source]

  • A prior history of similar agreements.
  • When recipient accepts something of value knowing other party expects payment.

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

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