235 A.D. 101, Attridge v. Pembroke

Citation235 A.D. 101
Party NameGENEVIEVE ATTRIDGE, Respondent, v. WINFIELD P. PEMBROKE, Appellant.
Case DateMarch 21, 1932
CourtNew York Supreme Court Appelate Division, Fourth Department

Page 101

235 A.D. 101

GENEVIEVE ATTRIDGE, Respondent,

v.

WINFIELD P. PEMBROKE, Appellant.

Supreme Court of New York, Fourth Department.

March 21, 1932

APPEAL by the defendant from an order of the Supreme Court, entered in the office of the clerk of the county of Monroe on the 31st day of August, 1931.

COUNSEL

Charles Van Voorhis, for the appellant.

John J. McInerney, for the respondent.

EDGCOMB, J.

The amended complaint alleges that on July 11, 1925, the parties to this action entered into a contract wherein and whereby it was mutually agreed that, if the plaintiff would terminate and break her engagement to marry Harold E. Church, the defendant would pay her the sum of $100,000, and that the plaintiff has performed the terms and conditions of said agreement on her part to be performed, and has broken her engagement with said Church, but that the defendant has neglected and refused to pay her any part of said sum, except $20,250. Damages are demanded in the sum of $79,750, and interest.

Defendant moves, pursuant to rule 106 of the Rules of Civil Practice, to dismiss the complaint upon the ground that it fails to state facts sufficient to constitute a cause of action, it being claimed

Page 102

by the movant that the contract sued upon is void as against public policy for two reasons: (1) That it bound the plaintiff to do an illegal act, viz., to violate and break her contract with Mr. Church; (2) that the agreement was an unreasonable restraint of marriage. The Special Term has denied defendant's motion, and he appeals.

The complaint shows that, at the time of the making of the contract in suit, there was a valid agreement in force between the plaintiff and Harold E. Church wherein each had promised and agreed to marry the other, and that the defendant, by his alluring offer to give the plaintiff $100,000, had induced her to break her engagement.

The law favors the observance of a contract, and frowns upon its breach. Common honesty and sound morality demand that a party be compelled to live up to his agreement, if honestly and freely made. The court will not lend its aid to one who bases his cause of action upon his illegal act in breaking his contract with a third party. ( Hocking Valley Railway Co. v. Barbour, 190 A.D. 341; Roberts v. Criss, 266 F. 296; Rhoades v. Malta Vita Pure Food Co., 149 Mich. 235.)

...

To continue reading

FREE SIGN UP
26 practice notes
  • 99 Misc.2d 159, McCall v. Frampton
    • United States
    • April 16, 1979
    ...remedy for breach, society is protected by discouraging the making of contracts contrary to the common good (see Attridge v. Pembroke, 235 A.D. 101, 256 N.Y.S. 257; Radnay v. Schor, supra ). Even if the defense of illegality is not raised in the answer, a court may, nevertheless, refuse to ......
  • 292 N.Y. 292, Reese v. Reamore
    • United States
    • New York New York Court of Appeals
    • April 13, 1944
    ...Penn. St. 514; Gumbel v. Pitkin, 124 U.S. 131; Seneca Co. Bank v. Lamb, 26 Barb. 595; Veazey v. Allen, 173 N.Y. 359; Attridge v. Pembroke, 235 A.D. 101; Coverly v. Terminal Warehouse Co., 85 A.D. 488; Sturm v. Truby, 245 A.D. 358.) Leonard H. Amdursky, Edward A. Wolff and Robert G. Iles for......
  • 62 Misc.2d 182, McGrady v. Rosenbaum
    • United States
    • February 13, 1970
    ...already been noted. (Servis v. Servis, supra; Hutcheson v. Peck, 5 Johns. 196; Bennett v. Smith, 21 Barb. 439; see Attridge v. Pembroke, 235 A.D. 101, 256 N.Y.S. 257; Ryther v. Lefferts, 232 A.D. 552, 250 N.Y.S. 699; Civil Rights Law Section 80--a). Even assuming some measure of malice atte......
  • 123 Misc.2d 780, National Recovery Systems v. Mazzei
    • United States
    • March 30, 1984
    ...159, 415 N.Y.S.2d 752) and recovery may be barred even where defendant has failed to plead the defense (see e.g., Attridge v. Pembroke, 235 A.D. 101, 256 N.Y.S. 257; Radnay v. Schor, 41 Misc.2d 789, 246 N.Y.S.2d 492). However, the presumption is that contracts are legal (and enforceable) an......
  • Free signup to view additional results
26 cases
  • 99 Misc.2d 159, McCall v. Frampton
    • United States
    • April 16, 1979
    ...remedy for breach, society is protected by discouraging the making of contracts contrary to the common good (see Attridge v. Pembroke, 235 A.D. 101, 256 N.Y.S. 257; Radnay v. Schor, supra ). Even if the defense of illegality is not raised in the answer, a court may, nevertheless, refuse to ......
  • 292 N.Y. 292, Reese v. Reamore
    • United States
    • New York New York Court of Appeals
    • April 13, 1944
    ...Penn. St. 514; Gumbel v. Pitkin, 124 U.S. 131; Seneca Co. Bank v. Lamb, 26 Barb. 595; Veazey v. Allen, 173 N.Y. 359; Attridge v. Pembroke, 235 A.D. 101; Coverly v. Terminal Warehouse Co., 85 A.D. 488; Sturm v. Truby, 245 A.D. 358.) Leonard H. Amdursky, Edward A. Wolff and Robert G. Iles for......
  • 62 Misc.2d 182, McGrady v. Rosenbaum
    • United States
    • February 13, 1970
    ...already been noted. (Servis v. Servis, supra; Hutcheson v. Peck, 5 Johns. 196; Bennett v. Smith, 21 Barb. 439; see Attridge v. Pembroke, 235 A.D. 101, 256 N.Y.S. 257; Ryther v. Lefferts, 232 A.D. 552, 250 N.Y.S. 699; Civil Rights Law Section 80--a). Even assuming some measure of malice atte......
  • 123 Misc.2d 780, National Recovery Systems v. Mazzei
    • United States
    • March 30, 1984
    ...159, 415 N.Y.S.2d 752) and recovery may be barred even where defendant has failed to plead the defense (see e.g., Attridge v. Pembroke, 235 A.D. 101, 256 N.Y.S. 257; Radnay v. Schor, 41 Misc.2d 789, 246 N.Y.S.2d 492). However, the presumption is that contracts are legal (and enforceable) an......
  • Free signup to view additional results