Harvey v facey

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Harvey v. Facey, [1893] AC 552 is a Jamaican case decided by the Privy Council in contract law on the difference between an offer and an invitation to treat. The Judicial Committee held that indication of lowest acceptable price does not constitute an offer to sell. Rather, it is considered an offer to treat (i.e., to enter into negotiations). [edit] Background

The case was regarding the sale of property in Jamaica. The respondent L. M. Facey was carrying on negotiations with the Mayor and Council of Kingston for the sale of the property in question. On the 7th of October 1891, Facey was travelling from Kingston to Porus by train and the appellants caused a telegram to be sent to him saying: "Will you sell us Bumper Hall Pen? Telegraph lowest cash price-answer paid"

Facey replied on the same day: "Lowest price for Bumper Hall Pen £900."

The appellants then replied in the following words: "We agree to buy Bumper Hall Pen for the sum of nine hundred pounds asked by you. Please send us your title deed in order that we may get early possession." The defendant however refused to sell at that price. [edit] Opinion of the Court

No contract existed between the two parties. The first telegram was simply a request for information, so at no stage did the defendant make a definite offer that could be accepted.

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