Statute of Frauds – a statute (based on the English Statute of Frauds) designed to prevent fraud and perjury by requiring certain contracts to be in writing and signed by the party to be charged

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statute of frauds:
(18c)

1.(cap.) Hist. A 1677 English statute that declared certain contracts judicially unenforceable (but not void) if they were not committed to writing and signed by the party to be charged.  *  The statute was entitled “An Act for the Prevention of Frauds and Perjuries” (29 Car. 2; ch 3). — aka Statute of Frauds and Perjuries. [1]

2. A statute (based on the English Statute of Frauds) designed to prevent fraud and perjury by requiring certain contracts to be in writing and signed by the party to be charged.  *  Statutes of frauds traditionally apply to the following types of contracts:

(1) a contract for the sale or transfer of an interest in land,
(2) a contract that cannot be performed within one year of its making,
(3) a contract for the sale of goods valued at $500 or more,
(4) a contract of an executor or administrator to answer for a decedent’s debt,
(5) a contract to guarantee the debt or
duty of another, and

(6) a contract made in consideration of marriage. UCC § 2-201. – Abbr. S/F; SOF. [1]

1. A statute which requires certain classes of contracts to be in writing.  Sometimes called a statute for  the prevention of frauds and perjuries.  49 Am J1st Stat of F § 1A term sometimes applied in England to statutes affording relief against transfers of property designed to hinder and defraud creditors.  37 Am J2d Frd Conv § 2. [2] 

1. A statute, existing in one or another from in every state, that requires certain classes of contracts to be in writing and signed by the parties.  Its purpose is to prevent fraud or reduce the opportunities for fraud.  A contract to guarantee the debt of another is an EXAMPLE of an agreement that the statute of frauds requires to be in writing. [3]

     Excerpt from P.S. Atiyah’s An Introduction to the Law of Contract 141 (3d ed. 1981):

     “The best known, and until recently, most important, Act prescribing written formalities for certain contracts only required that those contracts should be evidence d in writing, or to put it another way, that the contract would be unenforceable in a Court (but not void) in the absence of writing.  This was  the Statute of Frauds 1677, sections 4 and 17 of which required written evidence of a somewhat curious list of contracts.  Today, all that is left of these provisions is that part of section 4, which requires contracts of guarantee to be evidenced in writing, and sections 40 of the Law of Property Act 1925 (replacing another part of section 4), which deals with contracts of sale fo an interest in land. [4]

     Excerpt from James J. White & Robert S. Summers’s Uniform Commercial Code (4th ed. 1995):

     “[T]he primary theory of statutes of frauds, past and present, is that they are means to the end of preventing successful courtroom perjury. The means to this end is simply the requirement of a writing signed by the party to be charged. . . . [B]ut the statute of frauds writing requirement is . . . so far from any kind of guarantee against successful perjury that it is inappropriate even to call it a means to fraud prevention at all. [4]

Tenterden’s Act:

1. English law. An 1828 statute that amended the Statute of Frauds (1677) by preventing parties from circumventing the promise-must-be-in-writing requirement by suing instead for the tort of deceit. — aka Lord Tenterden’s Act; Statute of Frauds Amendment Act 1828. [1]

References:

Disclaimer: All material throughout this website is compiled in accordance with Fair Use.

[1]: Black’s Law Dictionary Deluxe Tenth Edition by Henry Campbell Black, Editor in Chief Bryan A. Garner. ISBN: 978-0-314-61300-4

[2]: Ballantine’s Law Dictionary with Pronunciations Third Edition by James A. Ballantine (James Arthur 1871-1949).  Edited by William S. Anderson.  © 1969 by THE LAWYER’S CO-OPERATIVE PUBLISHING COMPANY.  Library of Congress Catalog Card No. 68-30931

[3]:  Ballantine’s Law Dictionary Legal Assistant Edition
by Jack Ballantine 
(James Arthur 1871-1949).  Doctored by Jack G. Handler, J.D. © 1994 Delmar by Thomson Learning.  ISBN 0-8273-4874-6.

[5]: 1 James J. White & Robert S. Summers, Uniform Commercial Code 5 2-8, at 82 (4th ed. 1995).

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