De Wut v Hendricks – Case Summary

De Wut v Hendricks

Court of Common Pleas

Citations: (1824) 2 Bingham 314; (1824) 130 ER 326.


The claimant decided to raise a loan to fund rebel Greeks against the government of a Spanish island. As part of his plot to achieve this, he lodged a fraudulent document purporting to be signed by the Exarch of Ravenna with the defendant stockbroker. The claimant failed to raise the loan and the defendant refused to return the documents when asked. The claimant sued for their return.

  1. Did the fraudulent nature of the claimant’s transaction affect his right to have his property returned to him?

The Court held for the defendant. Since the arrangement between the claimant and defendant was part of the claimant’s illegal scheme to commit fraud and bolster enemy insurgents against a friendly nation, it was unenforceable.

This Case is Authority For…

The courts will not allow legal remedies to be used in the furtherance of illegal activities.