Chapter One: General Contract Law

Void Contracts
Void contracts have no legal force at all.
In Louisiana, void contracts are called null.
Example: You pay someone $10,000 to burn down your house and he takes
the money and leaves town. You cannot enforce that contract in court
because the contract was illegal to start with.
Contracts are also void if they violate anti-discrimination laws.
Example: Broker Billstipulates in a listing contract that the property be
sold to a person of a certain race. Since this is a violation of antidiscrimination laws, the contract is void.
Voidable Contracts
Voidable contracts (Able to be voided) may seem to be valid but may be rescinded
by the injured or incompetent party. The incompetent party could be a minor,
mentally impaired person, person under duress or undue influence.
Example: A minor contracts to buy a car, the contract can be voided by the
minor because of lack of sufficient age. If the minor decided to enforce the
contract, the contract is valid and the minor’s lack of age cannot be used
the as a defense by other party.
The contract would also be voidable if misrepresentation or duress was involved.
Example: Steve Buyer contracted to buy10 acres from Bob Seller. Based
on a survey it was discovered that Mr. Seller only owns only 8 ½ acres.
That contract is voidable by Mr. Buyer and he has a reasonable time from
the discovery of the misrepresentation to void that contract.
Voidable contracts are called “relatively null” in Louisiana.
Unenforceable Contracts
Unenforceable contracts cannot be enforced by legal action. It does not mean that
they are not good contracts. It means that it would be impossible for a court to
decide who should be forced to perform.