Legal Memorandum: Contract Enforcement in ND

Issue: What is the standard for default with regard to contract enforcement in North Dakota?

Area of Law: Business Organizations & Contracts, Litigation & Procedure
Keywords: Contract enforcement; Standard for default
Jurisdiction:  North Dakota
Cited Cases: None
Cited Statutes: None
Date: 05/01/2014

A default is “the omission or failure to perform a . . . contractual duty.”  Black’s Law Dictionary 184 (2nd Pocket Ed. 2004). 

Notice provisions are contained in a contract because parties should know when something occurring affecting their contract rights.  The importance of notice was discussed in an opinion issued by the North Dakota Attorney General.  AGO 2005-L-44 Op. Att’y Gen. (2005).  In the Opinion, Attorney General Stenehjem addressed a situation involving one of the state’s agencies that had failed to fulfill its obligation to provide notice as fully as required.  The Land Department was required to publish a series of notices for the auction of leases.  The Department engaged the services of a newspaper to run the notices.  The newspaper failed to print the notice the requisite number of times as required; but, nonetheless, the newspaper delivered a proper affidavit of publication to the Land Department.  The leases were awarded and the discrepancy came to light.  The Attorney General determined the abbreviated notice was not harmless; rather, the failure to comply with a mandatory duty had serious consequences requiring they invalidate subsequent actions.  The Attorney General directed the Land Board to correct their non-compliance with the notice requirement before it could enter valid leases for its lands.  Id.


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