Suppose Party A agrees to mow B`s lawn for $100. However, A decides he wants $200 for the job instead. If A and B renegotiate the terms of the contract, A receives $200 in exchange for mowing B`s lawn and doing B`s homework, then there is a consideration and therefore a valid contract. However, suppose A refuses to mow B`s lawn until B gives A $200 instead of the originally agreed $100. That alone would not necessarily constitute coercion, but a court would certainly be more concerned about the circumstances. An example of a necessity defence is when a nurse working at night is forced to break into a pharmacy to obtain life-saving medication for a patient who is about to die. If the nurse is then arrested and charged with burglary and theft of medication, she can use the defence of necessity to prove that the damage caused is less than the damage that would have occurred if he had not committed an illegal act. Coercion occurs when a person has been wrongly coerced or forced into a contract. Physical coercion and threats of harm are common examples of behaviour that constitutes coercion. Another form of conduct that could constitute legal coercion is unlawfully withholding a party`s property or threatening to unfairly withhold property until a contract is signed. In rare cases, a court may be coercive when one party unfairly exploits the economic necessity of another party.
However, these claims generally do not take precedence. Financial coercion can be internal in nature, for example when a company borrows more than prudently or engages in questionable merger activities. These self-inflicted injuries can permanently damage a business. In other cases, coercion may come from external forces, such as the impact of a large-scale economic recession on a company. Financial coercion describes an environment in which business leaders make tough decisions under pressure. These suboptimal decisions are often made outside of normal operational and financial conditions. For example, to keep a business afloat, a manager may sell an asset because they know it will disrupt the business in other ways. To successfully assert the defense of coercion, four elements must be demonstrated: Professor Ronald Griffin, Florida Agricultural & Mechanical College of Law, Orlando, FL, simply expresses physical coercion: „Your money or your life.“ In Barton v. Armstrong, a decision of the Privy Council, Armstrong (respondent) attempted to force Barton (plaintiff) to execute an act related to the sale of certain companies by threatening to have him assassinated. Although the plaintiff took the threats seriously, there were other business reasons for signing the contract. An innocent party who wishes to terminate a contract against the person for coercion only has to prove that the threat was made and that this was a reason for concluding the contract.
Once it is established that the threat was made, the onus is on the person who made the threat to prove that the threat did not contribute to the applicant`s decision to enter into the agreement.  Moreover, there must be no reasonable alternative to accepting the other party`s terms to prove economic coercion. Economic coercion is difficult to use as a defence against a treaty. This is due to the subjective standard of incentive; In other words, the risk of economic harm must actually trigger the contract, taking into account age, training, the relationship between the parties and the victim`s ability to receive advice. In contract law, this mainly concerns actual violence or threats of violence against the contractual partner or its related parties. As a result, the contract can be avoided. The notion of economic coercion has gained ground, reflecting the fact that economic pressures can influence behaviour and be reprehensible. See also INAPPROPRIATE INFLUENCE.
n. the use of force, arbitrary detention or threats (and possibly psychological torture or „brainwashing“) to force someone to act against their will or interests. If coercion is used to get someone to sign an agreement or execute a will, a court can declare it null and void. An accused in a prosecution may argue with the defence that others used coercion to compel him or her to participate in an alleged crime. The most famous case is the publication of heiress Patty Hearst, who was kidnapped, raped, imprisoned and psychologically tortured until she joined her captors in a bank robbery and made statements justifying her actions. She was later convicted of robbing the bank, but was eventually pardoned by President Jimmy Carter. Coercion can be used as a defense against the commission of a crime. In criminal law, coercion occurs when a person has been deprived of his or her free will by an immediate threat of violence or a threat to personal liberty. A person who acts under duress cannot be held responsible for the crimes he commits.
When a person presents a coercive defense, the accused admits to having committed the crime, but generally argues that his or her actions should be excused because of the coercion. If coercion is used in a situation, one party will benefit, but the other party will only receive what was originally promised. A promise to do what a person was already legally obliged to do is not something in return. Note that this does not automatically mean that coercion was used, but the fact that only the party was enriched by the amended agreement is highly suspect. However, if both parties benefit, it must be taken into account what makes it unlikely that coercion was a factor. The two main categories of coercion are: Physical coercion can be directed against a person or property. If a person wishes to revoke an earlier contract on the grounds that it was concluded under duress, he or she must prove that the damage was threatened by the other party and that the threat was the reason for the conclusion of the contract. The burden of proof then lies with the other party, who must prove to the court that the threats against the person did not compel him to conclude the contract. The unlawful exercise of economic pressure can result in coercion of an individual and risk unwittingly engaging in risky financial practice. In McCord v. Goode, 308 p.w.3d 409, the court defined coercion as „unlawful conduct or threat of unlawful conduct likely to destroy the exercise of the other party`s agency and judgment. The threat must be imminent and the party must have no current means of protection.
A similar definition was given by the court in Williams v. Williams, 939 So.2d 1154, in which the court stated that coercion is „a state of mind produced by undue outside pressure or influence which effectively destroys a party`s freedom of action and causes him to perform an act or contract without his own will.“ For example, coercion is when an accountant is forced to sign a document authorizing the transfer of money to another person with a gun to his head. If the accountant refuses to sign the document, he is immediately threatened with bodily injury or even death. The accountant can sign the document and terminate the contract later using coercion as a defense in court. But mere legal forms used to cover up coercive proceedings for an unjust and unlawful reason, when used or threatened to obtain consent to a contract, will invalidate it; Under this rule, wrongful arrest or solicitation of bail invalidates a contract entered into under his pressure. Coercion occurs when one party withholds the property of another party until the party enters into an illegal contract. This leaves the party with no choice but to give in to coercion. This was demonstrated in Hawker Pacific Ltd vs Helicopter Charter Pty Ltd (1991) when Hawker Pacific held a helicopter from Helicopter Charter until it made further payments to repair a botched livery. The court annulled the contract on the grounds that it had been concluded under duress.
Personal financial coercion can be caused in many ways. For example, a person may lose their job or end up foreclosing their home if they are unable to pay their mortgage. A health crisis and high medical bills could wipe out a savings account. Theoretically, these events could cause a person to act illegally due to the stress of the situation. It is important to note that coercion is not determined by the type of pressure a person is undergoing, but by the state of mind induced in the victim. For example, let`s say a 100-pound person threatens to punch a professional heavyweight boxer in the stomach if they don`t sign a contract. Here, the threat of physical violence in this scenario cannot increase to a level of coercion, as the boxer may not actually be threatened by the smaller person. As mentioned above, a person can make a forced defense if he is under pressure and is forced to enter into a contract or perform a contract by the threat of force, personal freedom or excessive economic pressure. Coercion can be used when a contract has been concluded or when a contract has been amended. Coercion in the context of contract law is a common law defence that is invoked when one of the parties to the contract held an ascendant position vis-à-vis the other party and abused that position by subjecting the other party to threats.