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Related to Equitable estoppel: Promissory estoppel

Agency by Estoppel

A situation in which a reasonable person may assume agency agreement exists when it does not. For example, if a person or company allows another person or company to use proprietary letterhead to send out correspondence, agency by estoppel may exist. Because the agency is assumed, the (presumed) principal may be legally bound by the agent's actions.


A doctrine that stops one from denying facts or taking a course of action because it would be unfair under the circumstances.It may be because someone else relied on former statements regarding the facts or because someone else relied upon a situation allowed to exist by a party, so that the party cannot now be allowed to change that situation.The concept commonly arises in three situations:

1. Before the sale of an income-producing property, the tenants sign estoppel certificates acknowledging they have no claims against the landlord, no defenses to any of the terms or conditions of their lease, and no outside or “side” agreements varying the terms of the lease. After the sale, the tenant cannot claim otherwise, even if all parties agree that there has been a wrong done to the tenant by the prior landlord and the tenant would otherwise be able to cancel the lease if it were not for the estoppel certificate.

2. A subdivision with restrictive covenants grows lax in the enforcement of them and per- mits many violations over the years regarding, for example, parking boats and motor homes in driveways. If one buys a home in the subdivision and keeps a motor home in the driveway, the principle of estoppel will prevent the homeowners association from suddenly deciding to enforce that particular covenant.

3. A government employee tells someone one thing, and it later turns out to be wrong. The citizen has already taken action on the incorrect information. In most circumstances, courts will not allow estoppel against a government or government agency.

References in periodicals archive ?
Judge Draper stated the majority erred by not applying the doctrine of equitable estoppel to bar the hospital from using the statute of limitations as an affirmative defense, as found in the reasoning of Beisly} (171) The dissent contended that the precedent of strict interpretation applied in Frazee should not be followed; rather, stare decisis demanded that the objectives created in O'Grady be allowed to construe the limitations liberally.
The second factor that weighs in favor of the granting of equitable estoppel is when there is a definite misrepresentation of fact to another party, having reason to believe that the other will rely upon it.
The requirements of conscionable behaviour which inform the doctrine of equitable estoppel are philosophically closely analogous to the concept of "moral duty" which has traditionally informed the exercise of jurisdiction under the Family Provision Act and its predecessors and, some of the observations in Singer v Berghouse (No 2) notwithstanding, continues to do so [Vigolo v Bostin; Palmer v Dolman [2005]
In that case, the Court refused to invoke equitable estoppel where a long-term business relationship involving large scale investment was terminated peremptorily after 70 years.
441) Thus, the doctrine of equitable estoppel protects the plaintiff's right to file a claim for relief in the same way statutes of limitation protect a defendant's right to repose.
General maritime law already embraces legal concepts of equity that would allow aggrieved employers to recover wrongly paid maintenance and cure benefits: equitable estoppel and unjust enrichment.
Nearly every Federal Court of Appeals has recognized equitable estoppel as a doctrine available under ERISA to some extent, but the United States Supreme Court has never directly decided the issue of whether estoppel has a place in ERISA jurisprudence.
The Supreme Court now has made it clear that plan participants must show that an employer committed fraud in an SPD, or that an error caused harm, before they can ask a court to impose forms of equitable relief such as equitable estoppel, plan reformation, or surcharge, Rumeld says.
Equitable estoppel, the ground used by the court to prevent the insurer from denying coverage even though the policy had lapsed, is established by proof of the following elements:
notion that the courts should give effect to equitable estoppel by