• Current through October 23, 2012

Unless displaced by the particular provisions of this subtitle, the principles of law and equity, including the law merchant and the law relative to capacity to contract, principal and agent, estoppel, fraud, misrepresentation, duress, coercion, mistake, bankruptcy, or other validating or invalidating cause shall supplement its provisions. The age of majority as it pertains to the capacity to contract is eighteen years of age.

(Dec. 30, 1963, 77 Stat. 631, Pub. L. 88-243, § 1; July 22, 1976, D.C. Law 1-75, § 6, 23 DCR 1183.)



Prior Uniform Statutory Provision

Sections 2 and 73, Uniform Sales Act; Section 196, Uniform Negotiable Instruments Act; Section 56, Uniform Warehouse Receipts Act; Section 51, Uniform Bills of Lading Act; Section 18, Uniform Stock Transfer Act; Section 17, Uniform Trust Receipts Act.


Rephrased, the reference to "estoppel" and "validating" being new.

Purposes of Changes

1. While this section indicates the continued applicability to commercial contracts of all supplemental bodies of law except insofar as they are explicitly displaced by this Act, the principle has been stated in more detail and the phrasing enlarged to make it clear that the "validating", as well as the "invalidating" causes referred to in the prior uniform statutory provisions, are included here. "Validating" as used here in conjunction with "invalidating" is not intended as a narrow word confined to original validation, but extends to cover any factor which at any time or in any manner renders or helps to render valid any right or transaction.

2. The general law of capacity is continued by express mention to make clear that section 2 of the old Uniform Sales Act (omitted in this Act as stating no matter not contained in the general law) is also consolidated in the present section. Hence, where a statute limits the capacity of a non-complying corporation to sue, this is equally applicable to contracts of sale to which such corporation is a party.

3. The listing given in this section is merely illustrative; no listing could be exhaustive. Nor is the fact that in some sections particular circumstances have led to express reference to other fields of law intended at any time to suggest the negation of the general application of the principles of this section.

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 28:1-103.

1973 Ed., § 28:1-103.

Legislative History of Laws

Law 1-75, the "District of Columbia Age of Majority Act," was introduced in Council and assigned Bill No. 1-252, which was referred to the Committee on Public Services and Consumer Affairs. The Bill was adopted on first and second readings on April 6, 1976 and April 20, 1976, respectively. Signed by the Mayor on May 14, 1976, it was assigned Act No. 1-116 and transmitted to both Houses of Congress for its review.