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Charles Rickards Ltd v Oppenheim, [1950] All ER 420

Facts:

D ordered chassis from P. D wanted body built on it. P found someone who could do it w/in 6 or 7 months. D accepted and agreed on X date. Work was not completed by X. D pressed for delivery, choosing not to cancel K. Got a new date, not delivered then either. D said that is goods not delivered on Y date, then he would reject the good. Y past so he bought another car. Car finished and P claims for price of car

Issue(s):

Can you give notice making time of the essence, when the K does not make time of the essence?

Ratio:

If you waive a date of delivery, you are still entitled to give reasonable notice of a new date of delivery (making time again of the essence)
Notice must be reasonable and what is reasonable depends on:
**Time to get job done,
**Had buyer been pressing for delivery,
**Had buyer given previous notices for delivery
**Is it especially imp that the buyer get delivery by certain date,
**In original K was the time of delivery viewed as a matter of essence (if so then should be able to return to that position)
Reasonableness of notice is judged at time it is given

Analysis:

P argues that time was waived, which means it then became w/in reasonable time. If there is delays so long as beyond his control and he did not act negligently then they are not unreasonable
The initial K made time an essence – the D did waive this, but D made a request and delivery was not made in the time frame either. D was entitled to give notice of date of delivery – whether this is a sale of goods or labour
Was it reasonable notice? In determining reasonable notice must consider circumstances of the case – the includes the work remaining to be done, and also in this case that D has persistently pressed for delivery, and in this case the fact that the original K made time of the essence

Holding:

D was entitled to give notice, and the notice he gave was reasonable

Comments:

Estoppel principle is used – D waived original date – no consideration for the waiver of that original waiver date – the buyer could not and insist upon original delivery date (had to love with the extension it proposed) – had car been delivered by the extension date then D (buyer) would have had to accept the care


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