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Impolitic Agreements

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IMPOLITIC AGREEMENTS. Agree ments or contracts against public policy are such as the precedents have established to be so. Like the ques tion of morality, the question of what constitutes an impolitic object of contract is not to be canvassed for every contract, and unless there is some recognized au thority that a certain contract is contrary to settled public policy this is not a good defense.

Among the contracts which are adjudged impolitic and void are: Contracts in restraint of marriage or trade, that is, in general restraint of marriage or trade, for a contract not to marry a particular person, or not to go into a certain trade in a limited district may be good. Agreements in restraint of marriage arc dis couraged for political and moral reasons; so a promise under seal to marry no one but the promisee, where there was no promise of marriage on either side was held void, as being purely restrictive. (Anson on Cont. p. 187; Chalfact v. Payton, 91 Ind. 202.) So marriage brocage contracts, or promises to pay money for bring ing about marriages, are against public policy. And agreements looking to the future separation of hus band and wife are also illegal. (Phillips v. Thorp, to Oreg. 496; Johnson v. Hunt, 81 Ky. 322; Randall v. Randall, 37 Mich. 571.) Until about 187o it was settled law that a contract in which one of the parties agreed not to carry on a par ticular business within a State was void as in restraint of trade. (Taylord v. Blanchard, 13 Allen 370.) But now the rule is modified, the restraint, it is said, may extend far enough to afford a fair protection to the purchaser ()fa business, and this may include the terri tory of a State. (Beal v. Chase, 31 Mich. 49o; Chappel V. Brockway, 21 Wend. 162; Arnold v. Kreutzer, 67 Ia. 214.) But if there is no limitation as to the territory the contract is void. (Thomas v. Miles, 3 Ohio St. Wiley v. Baumgardner, 97 Ind. 66.) The contract may be unlimited as to time.

Contracts to stifle or prevent a criminal prosecution, or to induce an officer not to perform his duty are against public policy. (McMahon v. Smith, 47 Conn. 223.) So are lobbying contracts, or agreements to advocate a claim with members of the legislature or se cure legislation through personal influence or by cor rupt measures. (Trist v. Child, 21 Wall. 441 ; ney v. Chandler, 22 Kans. 692.) So are contracts to withdraw opposition to a divorce proceeding. (Stout enburg v. Lybrand, in 0. St. 228.) So is the sale of a public office, or the assignment of his salary before due by a public officer. (Hall v. Gavit, i8 Ind. 390; Morse v. Ryan, 26 Wis. 356; Bliss v. Lawrence, N. Y. 66 Cal. 72.) And agreements in which the parties are bound to submit all disputes arising therein to arbitra tors are void as being attempts to oust the courts of their jurisdiction. (D. & H. Canal Co. v. Pa. Coal Co. 50 N. Y. 25o; Reed v. Washington Ins. Co., 138 Mass 572.) But the parties may stipulate for the determina tion of specific questions by arbitration, as the amount of damages sustained by a breach, and make such de termination, or a bona fide effort to obtain it, a condi tion precedent to the right of action on the contract. (Mentz v. Armenia Fire Ins. Co., 79 Pa. St. 480; Phoe nix Ins. Co. v. Badger, 53 Wis. 288.)

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