Mills v. Wyman

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Mills v. Wyman
Court Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court
Citation 20 Mass. (3 Pick.) 207 (1825)
Date decided 1825


The plaintiff took care of the defendant’s son. The son was 25 years old, and no longer officially apart of the defendant’s family, because he had moved out and was of age and on his own. He had returned from a sea voyage, and became very ill.

The plaintiff took him into their home, and took care of him until he died. The son’s parents then wrote a note to the plaintiff, promising to pay them back for their expenses in taking care of their son.

Procedural History

Trial court directed to non-suit, to which the plaintiff filed exceptions.


Whether legally binding consideration exists when a promise is made with a moral intent, but no other actual consideration exists.


Judgment entered for the defendant.


The general position that moral obligation is a sufficient consideration for an express promise, is to be limited in its application, to cases where at some time or other a good or valuable consideration has existed.