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Louros v. Dimitriou

2005 WL 2509894 (N.J. Super. App. Div. 2005), Unpublished (Unpublished)

ACCORD AND SATISFACTION—For an accord and satisfaction to be effective, a party seeking to settle for less than is claimed must, by his words or conduct in making the offer, clearly inform the other of what is sought and expected and must do so in a language understood by the other party.

A buyer sent payment to his seller with a “final payment” notation on the check. The lower court found the notation to be meaningless because the seller, as payee, “did not read English and [the payor] acknowledged that he knew this limitation.” In reaching its decision, the lower court did not believe that such a notation presented to an individual who did not read English would support a defense of accord and satisfaction. It believed that prior case law made it “very clear that the court has to analyze all of the circumstances in a particular case to determine whether or not—or to constitute and accord and satisfaction, it must appear that the [payor] offered the partial payments and that [payee] accepted them with the intention that they operate as a satisfaction of the [payor’s] entire liability.” Essentially, the lower court believed that “[a] party seeking to settle for less than is claimed must, by his words or conduct in making the offer, clearly inform the other of what is sought and expected.” On appeal, the Appellate Division agreed.


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