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DICKINSON v DODDS

General Principle:


The revocation of an offer does not have to be communicated by one party to another directly; it can be done through a reliable third party.


Name:


Dickinson v Dodds (1876) LR 2 Ch D 463


Facts:


Dodds extended an offer to sell his house to Dickinson. He left the offer open until Friday. On Thursday, Dickinson made a decision to buy the house. He then heard from someone else that Dodds had entered into a contract with a third party for sale. On Friday, Dickinson accepted the offer. He then looked to enforce the agreement.


Ratio:


The Court of Appeal in Dickinson v Dodds held that the information that was provided by a neutral and trustworthy third party about the house being sold was seen to amount to sufficient notice of the withdrawal of the offer for sale. Therefore, his acceptance was not effective.


Application:


Revocation of an offer does not need to be communicated directly. It is acceptable that the offeror was aware of the revocation of the offer before there was acceptance.



Dickinson v Dodds

Analysis:


Alan asks his friend Elijah, who works at the town hall, to pop out at 9.00am on the 3rd March, to tell anyone who might be there that the reward, is cancelled. The general principle is that the revocation of an offer does not have to be communicated by one party to another directly. This can be done through a reliable third party. It is enough that the offeror knew about the offer being revoked before the supposed acceptance of the offer. In Dickinson v Dodds (1876) 2ChD 463 the Court of Appeal held that the information that was provided by a neutral and trustworthy third party about the house being sold was seen to amount to a sufficient amount of notice of the withdrawal of the offer for sale. The statement of acceptance could not then become effective. Applying the above authority we can conclude revocation of the offer does not need to be communicated directly. It is acceptable that the Alan asked Elijah to inform the other that the reward was revoked. Nevertheless, Darina has no idea who Elijah or Alan are or what they are talking about. This did not prevent her from starting the walk.



Dickinson v Dodds


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