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Related to Promissory estoppel: Detrimental reliance, Equitable 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 ?
A cause of action for promissory estoppel is not available where the claim would be barred by the statute of frauds.
Breach of contract and quasi-contract claims, such as promissory estoppel, have had the most success at surviving in federal courts.
Like many doctrines of the law, promissory estoppel is not defined
Since it is possible to characterize these three situations, promissory estoppel, contractual rescission and replacement, and Robiehaud practical benefit, as situations outside the doctrine of consideration, and therefore as a challenge to the orthodox requirement of consideration and to knowing when consideration is required for the enforcement of promises, it remains to ask whether there are other factual situations closer to the contractual modification paradigm where slight changes to existing ongoing contracts are at issue of the sort associated with Gilbert Steel when the price change was the only issue, as was the case in Roffey also.
As previously discussed here, the doctrine of promissory estoppel requires that plaintiff's reliance on the promise resulted in a substantial change in his or her position.
The court then noted that it had referenced the elements of promissory estoppel in Quake Construction, Inc v American Airlines, Inc, 141 Ill 2d 281, 309-10, 565 NE2d 990, 1004 (1990), as well as in earlier cases dating back as far as the 19th century.
Plaintiffs promissory estoppel and confidentiality claims concern [Defendant's] alleged representations during such negotiations.
It has evolved during the last 150 years in a sequence of separate developments: proprietary estoppel, estoppel by representation of fact, estoppel by acquiescence, and promissory estoppel.
Suit seeks promissory estoppel and wage claim for declaratory, injunctive and equitable relief and money damages.
The attorneys say that "such a term is implied by reason of "(i) the parties course of performance (ii) industry custom and practice and (iii) promissory estoppel.
Taylor Displays sued Roark, and after several years of legal maneuvering, the jury found Roark guilty of "common law fraud, promissory estoppel and interference with prospective business advantage.