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Legal question - hypothetical


ksdaddy

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In 1964 a kid of about 16 went into a local music store (since closed) and "bought" a new '64 Strat, paying a little down and a promise to pay so much a week or month. He never paid another dime on it and since he was a minor, he couldn't legally enter into such an agreement so the music store lost out. Side note, he still has that Strat and brags about how he acquired it almost 50 years ago.

 

I've watched Judge Wapner back in the 80s and there were similar cases involving the sale of (typically) used goods, private party sale, where the "kid" wanted his money back for WHATEVER reason and the judge basically "un-did" the transaction based on the fact that the minor was unable to legally enter into such an agreement in the first place. Most of the time a vehicle was involved but not always.

 

About 15 years ago a kid wanted to buy a dirt bike from me and I insisted I would sell it to his father but not him. I was afraid he would go out and absolutely destroy it over the weekend and then want his money back on Monday morning. No issues, I sold it to his father, end of story.

 

Which brings me to my point. If a minor can't legally enter into a "contract" where he/she exchanges money for an item, which I figure is like any sale of any goods... how is it possible for a minor to walk into Walmart ad buy something? I mean, a sale is a sale, right? So if the other cases had any correlation, a kid could buy a laptop computer at WalMart, let's say, or a piece of software, even better, something that's non-returnable.... and then on "Monday morning" they want to undo the deal based on the fact that a minor made the (null) transaction?

 

Am I making sense? If a minor can't legally buy some tangible goods from a private seller, where is the legal basis of them entering into a transaction at a store?

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Typically in cases such as the ones you cited, the minor gives a deposit with the promise of paying a certain amount in a certain time frame. Well, the minor, in the eyes of the law, does not have the mental capacity to understand whatthey are agreeing to or the legal ramifications they might incur if tthey fail to meet their legal obligation whereas - hypothetically - an adult should know or does know what the legal ramifications of their nonpayment.

 

In the case of a minor making a purchase at Walmart, they are not entering into a payment arrangement (asking for credit, so to speak). They either have to pay in full with cash or a gift card, which in the eyes of the law is viewed the same as legal tender, or leave the store empty handed. There is no negotiation on price or payment terms. You either pay what Walmart charges or you go elsewhere!

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Times have changed..... in 1965, when I was 16, I bought a 1960 Oldsmobile from a used car lot. I paid like $200 down, and had payments for like $35 a month

for 18 months.

 

I never missed a payment, and eventually gave that car to my dad, (who didn't own a car at the time).

 

I'd sooner die than beat someone out of what is rightfully theirs.

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Times have changed..... in 1965, when I was 16, I bought a 1960 Oldsmobile from a used car lot. I paid like $200 down, and had payments for like $35 a month

for 18 months.

 

I never missed a payment, and eventually gave that car to my dad, (who didn't own a car at the time).

 

I'd sooner die than beat someone out of what is rightfully theirs.

Unfortunatley, they attitude today is **** them if you can get away with it. Im like you, I don't mind paying for what I get

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Technically, yes, a minor could go to WalMutts, purchase a ______________, then return it the next day for a full refund and if the WalMutts Service Desk balked, the minor could play the underage card. But, WalMutts would probably put him on their, 'do not sell' list for major items. A kid could get by with it once or twice if he spaced out his purchases over time, but eventually, the store would get wise to the kid and refuse to sell to him. His photo would then be pasted on the employee lunch room "Do Not Sell To" bulletin board.

 

Too, a cash purchase is different than a time payments purchase, which WalMutts doesn't do. Time payments require a contract. Most retailers today wouldn't think twice about entering into a contract with a minor. Back in the day a kid could enter into a verbal contract that was as good as the paper it wasn't written on, as DanvillRob posted. However the seller probably knew the Rob and his family. The kid's reputation spoke for itself. And if the kid defaulted, the seller would likely contact the dad. The dad, back then, would do the right thing to protect the family name by assuming the loan.... then take the boy out to the woodshed.

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And about that not so young now man who stiffed the guit tar shop on the Strat. Next time he brought it up, I'd tell him I knew how much he paid for it as it was still on the books when the shop closed, then ask if he ever paid it off.... Maybe that will tone him down a bit.

 

Then again, if he is bragging that he stiffed the store, I'd make sure he knew how low that was. Most folks are embarrassed by some of the dumb stuff they pulled as a kid. Usually, adults make it right, if they can.

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Technically, yes, a minor could go to WalMutts, purchase a ______________, then return it the next day for a full refund and if the WalMutts Service Desk balked, the minor could play the underage card. But, WalMutts would probably put him on their, 'do not sell' list for major items. A kid could get by with it once or twice if he spaced out his purchases over time, but eventually, the store would get wise to the kid and refuse to sell to him. His photo would then be pasted on the employee lunch room "Do Not Sell To" bulletin board.

 

Too, a cash purchase is different than a time payments purchase, which WalMutts doesn't do. Time payments require a contract. Most retailers today wouldn't think twice about entering into a contract with a minor. Back in the day a kid could enter into a verbal contract that was as good as the paper it wasn't written on, as DanvillRob posted. However the seller probably knew the Rob and his family. The kid's reputation spoke for itself. And if the kid defaulted, the seller would likely contact the dad. The dad, back then, would do the right thing to protect the family name by assuming the loan.... then take the boy out to the woodshed.

 

 

The car lot didn't know us, but I was making pretty good money back then, and the sales guy probably had probably heard of the group...it's just too many years ago now.

 

I don't recall if there was even anything written up....but I remember I had to pay Bank Of America every month...I had like a passbook that got stamped when I made a payment.

 

I recall how concerned I was that I'd be able to come up with $35 each month for 18 months.

 

I also got an 'in-store' credit account with some jewelers when I was about 17.... so when I was maybe 21 or so, and applied for a MasterCard, I already had a credit history.

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Actually Rosemarie pretty well nailed it in terms of legal issues.

 

It's funny how times have changed, and integrity becoming the loser.

 

I sold my first dealership car when I was a cupla months from hitting 14. Dad was ill, the signature-approving salesman out of town, so I called around to get the salesman back in town and took the buyer out for lunch while awaiting his arrival. The buyer ended up happy with his buy and Dad was happy with our sale. My age didn't even really come into it other than that it took an "adult" to do the paperwork.

 

When D-Rob and I were kids, even city folk doing business knew that there were traditional values worth holding, and integrity was one of 'em. Now... I get the feeling it's not taught.

 

Yet the funny thing is, thousands of years ago pretty much all cultures taught it.

 

If I may, this is Tao Te Ching:

 

In dwelling, be close to the land.

In meditation, go deep in the heart.

In dealing with others, be gentle and kind.

In speech, be true.

In ruling, be just.

In daily life, be competent.

In action, be aware of the time and the season.

No fight: No blame.

 

Where I live now? Imagine four kids under 18 getting into a $60,000 pickup truck pulling a $50,000 horse trailer with something like $100,000 in horseflesh and tack, the folks giving each cash to eat on and a credit card to cover possible vehicle problems, and telling 'em to have a good weekend at the rodeo.

 

Then I watch television news where they talk about a "young 19-year-old teenager" - not "adult" and ignoring that he/she can vote or sign binding contracts - and compare it to 16-year-old ranch kids. Yes, there are youngsters today in cities who have equal integrity, but those young folks have to watch their backs.

 

Yeah, I s'pose somebody could talk me into moving into a city again for some solid six figures but... I figure it's about as likely as the sun rising in the west.

 

m

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Oh, brother, Brother...

 

<grin>

 

I think whoever wrote that piece wouldn't have qualified as an astronomer 1,000 years ago in the Islamic world. Even then the Islamic astronomers were questioning the geocentric concept of astronomy that put "earth" at the center rather than the sun and "allowed" the apparent retrograde movement of Mars.

 

One might note that somewhat before 1600, an observatory in Istanbul lasted only a few years before clerical factions opposed to observatories saw it would be destroyed.

 

m

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