This case summary looks at the 1969 case between Jones v Padavatton.

This is a family dispute where a girl was persuaded by her mother to give her job in the city of New York in the USA. The condition was that she went to study for the Bar in London. On completion of her studies the girl was to return to practice law in Trinidad where her mother lived. The mother had agreed to pay the daughter an allowance of $200 per month during her studies. In order to do this the girl also had to leave her well paid role at the Indian embassy in Washington. This was a job that she loved and was reluctant to leave. With much persuasion the girl agree to take up the offer and went to study in London.

She struggled to live on her monthly allowance as she thought her mother meant US dollars. In fact her mother meant Trinidad dollars which meant the amount was allot lower than expected. The daughter could only afford basic rent and was struggling.  Her mother then agreed to buy a large house so that her daughter could rent out the spare rooms and generate extra income.

After a while the girl left her studies and married which caused her mother to seek possession of the property.

The question for the court was whether there existed a legally binding agreement between the girl and her mother or whether the agreement to buy the house was merely a family agreement not intended to be legally binding.

Jones v Padavatton Outcome: Held

The courts found that the agreement was not a legal matter and classed it as a domestic dispute. The agreement raised a presumption that both parties did not intend to be bound legally by the agreement to buy and there was no evidence of this to rebut the presumption.