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thetall eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Quasi-contracts are not contracts in the actual sense, but they are implied by the court to achieve justice, especially in a case where an actual contract does not exist. In an actual contract, the parties agree to a set of terms and they are bound by the same. Penalties and benefits are outlined and each party is made aware about the contractual activities. However, in certain events such a contract may not exist, meaning none of the parties entered into an actual contract. In such situations, one party may render services to another but may not be compensated for the same. The servicing party is entitled to engage the court seeking a fair determination of the case. The court would then obligate the serviced party to pay the fair amount or market price for the services rendered. The obligation to pay by the court is what is known as a quasi-contract and no consent to restitution is required in this case from the serviced party.

An example of such a case would be:

A construction company engages a materials supplier and works out a contract to supply a certain amount of materials. The company later realizes the need for some extra materials which they ask the supplier to deliver. The extra material was not covered under the actual contract but natural equity requires that the supplier be paid for the extra materials delivered. In case the construction company refuses to pay, the supplier is entitled to a quasi-contract course of action.

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