FACTS On June 11, 1964, Chagnon bought a 1959 Edsel from Keser for $995. Chagnon, who was then a twenty-year-old minor, obtained the contract by falsely advising to Keser that

FACTS On June 11, 1964, Chagnon bought a 1959 Edsel from Keser for $995. Chagnon, who was then a twenty-year-old minor, obtained the contract by falsely advising to Keser that he was over twenty-one years old, the age of majority. On September 25, 1964, two months and four days after his twenty-first birthday, Chagnon disaffirmed the contract and, ten days later, returned the Edsel to Keser. He then brought suit to recover the money he had paid for the automobile. Keser counterclaimed that he suffered damages as the direct result of Chagnon’s false representation of his age. A trial was had to the court, sitting without a jury, all of which culminated in a judgment in favor of Chagnon against Keser in the sum of $655.78. This particular sum was arrived at by the trial court in the following manner: the trial court found that Chagnon initially purchased the Edsel for the sum of $995 and that he was entitled to the return of his $995; and then, by way of setoff, the trial court subtracted from the $995 the sum of $339.22, apparently representing the difference between the purchase price paid for the vehicle and the reasonable value of the Edsel on October 5, 1964, the date when the Edsel was returned to Keser.
DECISION Judgment affirmed except as to the calculation of damages for misrepresentation.
OPINION McWilliams, J. Before considering each of these several matters, it is deemed helpful to allude briefly to some of the general principles pertaining to the longstanding policy of the law to protect a minor from at least some of his childish foibles by affording him the right, under certain circumstances, to avoid his contract, not only during his minority but also within a reasonable time after reaching his majority. In [citation] we held that when a minor elects to disaffirm and avoid his contract, the ”contract” becomes invalid ab initio and that the parties thereto then revert to the same position as if the contract had never been made. In that case we went on to declare that when a minor thus sought to avoid his contract and had in his possession the specific property received by him in the transaction, he was in such circumstance required to return the same as a prerequisite to any avoidance.
In [citation] it is said that a minor failing to disaffirm within a ”reasonable time” after reaching his majority loses the right to do so and that just what constitutes a ”reasonable time” is ordinarily a question of fact. As regards the necessity for restoration of consideration, in [citation] it is stated that the minor after disaffirming is ”usually required *** to return the consideration, if he can, or the part remaining in his possession or control.”
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Keser’s *** contention that Chagnon upon attaining his majority ratified the contract by his failure to disaffirm within a reasonable time after becoming twentyone and by his retention and use of the Edsel prior to its return to the seller is equally untenable. In this connection it is pointed out that Chagnon did not notify Keser of his desire to disaffirm until sixty-six days after he became twenty-one and that he did not return the Edsel until ten days after his notice to disaffirm, during all of which time Chagnon had the possession and use of the vehicle in question. As already noted, when an infant attains his majority he has a reasonable time within which he may thereafter disaffirm a contract entered into during his minority. And this rule is not as strict where, as here, we are dealing with an executed contract. There is no hard and fast rule as to just what constitutes a ”reasonable” time within which the infant may disaffirm. *** Suffice it to say, that under the circumstances disclosed by the record we are not prepared to hold that as a matter of law Chagnon ratified the contract either by his actions or by his alleged failure to disaffirm within a reasonable time after reaching his majority. ***
Finally, error is predicated upon the trial court’s finding in connection with Keser’s setoff for the damage occasioned him by Chagnon’s admitted false representation of his age. In this regard the trial court apparently found that the reasonable value of the Edsel when it was returned to Keser by Chagnon was $655.78, and accordingly went on to allow Keser a setoff in the amount of $339.22, this latter sum representing the difference between the purchase price, $995, and the value of the vehicle on the date it was returned. Finding, then, that Chagnon was entitled to the return of the $995 which he had theretofore paid Keser for the Edsel, the trial court then subtracted therefrom Keser’s setoff in the amount of $339.22, and accordingly entered judgment for Chagnon against Keser in the sum of $655.78. Whether it was by accident or design we know not, but $655.78 is apparently the exact amount which Chagnon ”owed” the Public Finance Corporation on his note with that company.
INTERPRETATION States vary on the rights of a minor and a defrauded party when a minor fraudulently misrepresents her age when entering into a contract.
ETHICAL QUESTION If a minor misrepresents his age, should he forfeit the right to avoid the contract? Explain.
CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION What rule would you apply in this case? Explain.


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