PREMIUM LEGAL RESOURCES
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Such things as are proper and requisite for tlie sustenance of man.
The term necessaries is not confined merely to what is requisite barely to support life, but includes many of the conveniences of refined society. It is a relative term, which must be applied to the circumstances and conditions of the parties. Ornaments and superfluities of dress, such as are usually worn by the party's rank and situation in life, have been classed among necessaries.
Persons incapable of making contracts generally, may, nevertheless, make legal engagements for necessaries for which they, or those bound to support them, will be held responsible. The classes of persons who, although not bound by their usual contracts, can bind themselves or others for necessaries, are infants and married women.
Infants are allowed to make binding contracts whenever it is for their interest; when, therefore, they are unprovided with necessaries, which, Lord Coke says, include victuals, clothing, medical aid, and "good teaching and instruction, whereby he may profit himself afterwards," they may buy them, and their contracts will be binding.
A wife is allowed to make contracts for necessaries, and her husband is generally responsible upon them, because his assent is presumed, and even if notice be given not to trust her, still he would be liable for all such necessaries as she stood in need of; but in this case, the creditor would be required to show she did stand in need of the articles furnished. But if the wife elopes, though it be not with an adulterer, ho is not chargeable even for necessaries; the very fact of the elopement and separation, is sufficient to put persons on inquiry, and whoever gives credit to the wife afterwards, gives it at his peril.