Legal Question in Consumer Law in Texas

Can a minor sigh a legal agreement

My 16 year old daughter signed an agreement with a neighbor to purchase a car. He knew that she was 16, and he accepted the agreement with only her signature.

There is a dispute over the final amount to pay because the car was not running as specified in the agreement. He is threatning to sue her for the full balance.

Can he sue a minor? And do my wife an I have any liability since we did not sign the note with her?

Thank you

Asked on 3/21/03, 10:46 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Re: Can a minor sigh a legal agreement

Without knowing the full story or seeing the written agreement...let's assume it satisfies the basic elements of a contract. You then have to determine whether there are any defenses that challenge the validity of the contract.

The one that may help would be capacity of the parties. In order to be bound to a contract, the parties must be competent to enter into the legal arrangement. A minor (underage) usually are not bound by the contracts they enter.

I recommend that you speak with an attorney and discuss the agreement and facts with her or him.

You should ask if 16 is considered underage for the purposes of enforcing a contract. Bring everything you have relating to this for your attorney to review (the agreement, letters, emails, repair bill, estimates, table of payments and be able to show the cancelled checks or something similar as proof of payment. This will help your attorney to be able to help you more efficiently.

If you did not sign the agreement or any document (including co-sign), you may not have a problem.

If you do not want to bear the expense of calling an attorney, call a legal clinic. Many legal clinics have attorneys who volunteer their time to assist others at no or little cost.

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Answered on 3/21/03, 11:58 am

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