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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.
Farlex Financial Dictionary. © 2012 Farlex, Inc. All Rights Reserved


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.

The Complete Real Estate Encyclopedia by Denise L. Evans, JD & O. William Evans, JD. Copyright © 2007 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
313, 333, 350 (1971) (indicating that a patentee is collaterally estopped from suing a party for infringement of an invalid patent so long as "the prior case was [not] one of those relatively rare instances where the courts wholly failed to grasp the technical subject matter and issues in suit ...
Earlier this year, the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit found that an IPR petitioner would not be estopped from raising in other proceedings a noninstituted ground that the PTAB rejected as "redundant," even though the Board had instituted IPR on other grounds for the same claims.
Mars Inc., a similar case from the 6th Circuit, the court noted them as: 1) There must be conduct or language amounting to a representation of material fact; 2) the party to be estopped must be aware of the true facts and 3) must also intend that the representation be acted on, or the party asserting the estoppel must reasonably believe he so intends that; 4) the asserting party must be unaware of the true facts, and 5) he must rely on the representation to his detriment.
In a bill of lading the words "shipped in good order and condition" do not import a warranty, but they do amount to a representation of fact that the goods were shipped in apparent good order and condition; and, if an endorsee changes his position on the faith of this representation and afterwards sues the shipowner for delivering the goods in bad condition, the shipowner (at any rate where he was not induced to make the statement by fraud) will be estopped from denying that the goods were shipped in apparent good order and condition.
(11) In this view, a person who intends to commit a crime and takes some proximate act towards this end can rightly be said to be acting in denial of the rights of others, and thereby be estopped from asserting his own rights, to a proportionate extent.
Monroe's estate is bound ("estopped") by the position it took after her death.
The ILCC also pronounced that it "is not legally estopped from sanctioning AB/Wedco/City Bev for the current status of license ownership...[and] the Commission has substantial discretion in determining whether or not to issue, renew or revoke a license in accordance with the Liquor Control Act."
Certain Underwriters at Lloyds, held that when the insured accepts the prompt payment of the appraisal award, the insured is estopped from pursuing additional claims.
The court held that against the facts upon which the lower court relied in rendering its decision for Liberty, it had to balance the equities in favor of the plaintiff and estopped the defendants from asserting their right to dismiss the plaintiff's complaint because they unjustifiably waited until the day of trial to raise this dispositive issue.
As long as Israel does not qualify its armed conflict with Hamas as international, it is estopped from relying any of its practices within the framework of this conflict on the San Remo Manual.
The defendant filed a motion for summary judgment, arguing that the trial court's decision not to rescind the suspension collaterally estopped re-litigation of the issue of probable cause.
However, the court had then to decide whether Mr Leonard's membership of the association from the outset when the leases were agreed, at which time the garage was part of the communal assets, meant that Mr Leonard was estopped from asserting his claim to the title of the garage.