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Westside Fuel Service Inc. v. Steiker

New Jersey Supreme Court


Decided: January 31, 1946.

WESTSIDE FUEL SERVICE, INC., A CORPORATION OF THE STATE OF NEW JERSEY, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
v.
SIDNEY G. STEIKER, T/A STEIKER MOTORS, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT

On appeal from the District Court.

For the defendant-appellant, Hein & Smith and Seymour A. Smith.

For the plaintiff-appellee, Hugh C. Spernow.

Before Justices Case, Bodine and Perskie.

Bodine

[133 NJL Page 591]

The opinion of the court was delivered by

BODINE, J. The parties to this suit entered into a contract September 15th, 1944, for the purchase and sale of a truck.

[133 NJL Page 592]

The plaintiff made a down payment of $500.The sale was not consummated because the plaintiff could not obtain a permit for the purchase of the truck from the Office of Defense Transportation. The plaintiff recovered the down payment.

The defendant appeals claiming that the contract was complete and regular upon its face, and that its written terms could not be varied by parole. There is some doubt whether the contract was complete upon its face. It seems not to have been and lacks acceptance but we make no point of that. Federal regulations in existence at the time the contract was made required that the purchaser obtain a permit from the Office of Defense Transportation. These regulations were known to both the buyer and the seller and any contract which they made was subject to such regulation, and the court in which the action was brought was obliged to take notice thereof.

Since the plaintiff could not obtain a permit he could not make the purchase and the defendant could not make the sale. When such fact became known to the defendant it was his duty to return the deposit.

Having failed so to do after demand, the action was properly brought and the judgment of the District Court is affirmed, with costs.

19460131


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