Unit Two – Question # 3
Question #3: Why are quasi-contracts needed? Why is it not better to just say that unless parties express or impliedly make a contract, there is no deal? The term quasi-contract is a more accurate designation of contracts implied in law. Implied contracts are as binding as express contracts. An implied contract depends on substance for its existence. Therefore, for an implied contract to arise, there must be some act or conduct of a party, in order for them to be bound.
In contracts, it is the consent of the contracting parties which produces the obligation. In quasi-contracts no consent is required, and the obligation arises from the law or natural equity, on the facts of the case (Cheeseman pg.250). These acts are called quasi-contracts, because, without being contracts, they bind the parties as contracts do. "A quasi-contract is not really a contract at all in the normal meaning of a contract," according to one scholar, but rather is "an obligation imposed on a party to make things fair" (Wick).
A quasi-contract or implied-in-law contract is a fictional contract created by courts for equitable, not contractual purposes (Clarkson et.al. pg.224). A quasi-contract is not an actual contract, but is a legal substitute for a contract formed to impose equity between two parties. The concept of a quasi-contract is that of a contract that should have been formed, even though in actuality it was not. It is used when a court finds it appropriate to create an obligation upon a non-contracting party to avoid injustice and to ensure fairness (Clarkson et.al. pg. 224). It is invoked in circumstances of unjust enrichment, and is connected with the concept of restitution.It is also an obligation created and imposed by a court of law, in the absence of an enforceable agreement between the parties.
Quasi-contracts are needed to resolve issues with parties where there were no enforceable contracts or...