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Operation of Law


OPERATION OF LAW. Independent of the act of parties rights and liabilities in contract may be transferred from one person to another. Rights arising from contract are transferred by operation of law to others in the case of interests in realty which run with the land, and when by the death or bankruptcy of a party his representa tives acquire his rights and liabilities for certain pur poses.

Covenants that Run with the Land. Agreements or covenants in a lease which "touch and concern the thing demised," as to repair, pass to the assignee of the lessee whether expressed to have been made with the lessee and "assigns" or not. (Anson on Cont. p. 232; Leppla v. Mackey, 31 Minn. 75.) And by statute the assignee of the reversioner or landlord is entitled to maintain an action on the covenants of the lease. (Baldwin v. Walker, 21 Conn. i68; Smith v. Harrison, 42 0. St. 184.) At Common Law covenants entered into with the owner of land, and for his benefit, if not merely per sonal, and concerning the land, pass to his assignees; while covenants entered into by the owner of land which restrict his enjoyment of the land do not bind his assignees unless an easement' is created. (Keppel v. Bailey, 2 Myln-e & Keen, 517; Cole v. Hughes, 54 N. Y. 444.) The reason of the rule is the impolicy of al lowing land to be trammeled in its transfer by con tracts of previous owners. (National Bank v. Segur, 39 N. J. L. 184.) The common law rule just stated that covenants lim iting the enjoyment do not pass to assignees is changed by the courts of equity, which enforce restrictive cov enants made between parties to a deed though the land has been assigned. (Stines v. Dorman, 25 Ohio St. 460; Anson on Cont. p. 234-5.) The Death or Bankruptcy of a Party. The death of a party passes to his personal representative all his per sonal estate, and all rights in action affecting it, and all liabilities chargeable upon it. Covenants affecting freehold pass to the heir or devisee of the realty. (An son on Cont. 235.) The exception to this rule is that contracts of personal service expire with either of the parties to them, and performance of contracts which depend upon personal skill, or service cannot be de manded of the personal representative. Nor can a breach of a contract which involves a purely personal loss, as a breach of promise to marry, give a right of action to the executors. (Chamberlain v. Williamson, 2 M. & S. 408; Grubb, Admr. v. Still, 32 Grat. 203.) The assignee of a bankrupt is appointed for the pur pose of collecting the assets and settling the liabilities of the estate. The same principles which apply to per sonal representatives apply largely to him.

land, covenants, personal and rights