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Estoppel
May 25, 2022

It was legal day today at ente, and we learnt of a fancy new term: estoppel.

It's the legal equivalent of 'no takesies backsies'.

You say we're going out for pizzas, but then when we're in the mall you say you want to sushi instead. I can throw a tantrum at that point, "but dude, you said pizzas!", because I may already be mentally fantasizing about a chunky pizza.

Now let's say I drag you to court, with the allegation that the change caused me mental distress.

In this case, the legal principle which the court will use to prevent you from changing your mind is called 'estoppel' (There is a "stop" in there, if it helps remembering what the word means).

Let's take a less contorted example. Suppose I'm renting your house, and you agree to sell me the house down the line. No contract, no legal agreement, just a verbal promise. Over the next few years, I spend time and money in doing various home improvements. But then you go ahead and sell it to someone else. At this point, I can take this to court as a case of estoppel, and the court can prevent you from going back on your promise.


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