covenant(redirected from covenantal)
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An agreement, contract, or written promise between two individuals that frequently constitutes a pledge to do or refrain from doing something.
The individual making the promise or agreement is known as the covenantor, and the individual to whom such promise is made is called the covenantee.
Covenants are really a type of contractual arrangement that, if validly reached, is enforceable by a court. They can be phrased so as to prohibit certain actions and in such cases are sometimes called negative covenants.
There are two major categories of covenants in the law governing real property transactions: covenants running with the land and covenants for title.
Covenants Running with the Land
A covenant is said to run with the land in the event that the covenant is annexed to the estate and cannot be separated from the land or the land transferred without it. Such a covenant exists if the original owner as well as each successive owner of the property is either subject to its burden or entitled to its benefit. A covenant running with the land is said to touch and concern the property. For example, an individual might own property subject to the restriction that it is only to be used for church purposes. When selling the land, the person can only do so upon an agreement by the buyer that he or she, too, will only use the land for church purposes. The land is thereby burdened or encumbered by a Restrictive Covenant, since the covenant specifically limits the use to which the land can be put. In addition, the covenant runs with the land because it remains attached to it despite subsequent changes in its ownership. This type of covenant is also called a covenant appurtenant.
Certain easements also run with the land. An easement, for example, that permits one landowner to walk across a particular portion of the property of an adjoining landowner in order to gain access to the street would run with the land. Subsequent owners of both plots would take the land subject to such easement.
A covenant in gross is unlike a covenant running with the land in that it is personal, binding only the particular owner and not the land itself. A subsequent owner is not required to keep the promise as one would with a covenant appurtenant.
Covenants for Title
When an individual obtains title to, or possession and ownership of, real property, six covenants are ordinarily afforded to him or her. They are (1) covenant for seisin; (2) covenant of the right to convey; (3) covenant against encumbrances; (4) covenant for Quiet Enjoyment; (5) covenant of general Warranty; and (6) covenant for further assurances.
A deed to real property that provides for usual covenants generally includes the first five of these covenants. When a deed provides for full covenants, it is regarded as giving such protection as is extended pursuant to all six covenants.
Covenants for seisin and of the right to convey are ordinarily regarded as being the same thing. Essentially, they make a guarantee to the grantee that the grantor is actually the owner of the estate that he or she is transferring.
The covenant against encumbrances promises to the grantee that the property being conveyed is not subject to any outstanding rights or interests by other parties, such as mortgages, liens, easements, profits, or restrictions on its use that would diminish its value. The existence of Zoning restrictions do not constitute breach of this covenant; however, the existence of a violation of some type of zoning or building restriction might be regarded as a breach thereof.
The covenants of quiet enjoyment and general warranty both have the legal effect of protecting the grantee against all unlawful claims of others, including the grantor and third parties, who might attempt to effect an actual or constructive eviction of the grantee.
The sixth covenant, which is the covenant for further assurances, is not widely used in the United States. It is an agreement by the grantor to perform any further necessary acts within his or her ability to perfect the grantee's title.
The first three covenants of title ordinarily do not run with the land, since they become personal choses in action—rights to initiate a lawsuit—if breached upon delivery of the deed. The others are covenants appurtenant or run with the land and are enforceable by all grantees of the land.
In order to recover on the basis of a breach of a covenant of title, financial loss must actually be sustained by the covenantee, since such covenants are contracts of indemnity. In most jurisdictions, the maximum amount of damages recoverable for such a breach is the purchase price of the land plus interest.
Land use planning is often effected through the use of covenants. Covenants facilitate the creation of particular types of neighborhoods as part of a neighborhood plan. A housing developer might, for example, buy up vacant land to divide into building lots. A low price is paid for the undeveloped land, which the developer subsequently sells burdened with a number of restrictive covenants. The developer might stipulate in the contract of sale that the owner must retain the original size of a lot. Developers can also make owners agree that houses to be constructed upon the lots must be larger than a certain size and include other specifications to ensure that such property will more than likely sell for premium prices because of the desirability of the neighborhood. Courts enforce such covenants provided they benefit and burden all the property owners in a neighborhood equally.
Covenants will not, however, be enforced if they are intended to accomplish an illegal purpose. The Supreme Court ruled in Shelley v. Kraemer, 334 U.S. 1, 68 S. Ct. 836, 92 L. Ed. 1161 (1948), that no court or state officials have the power under law to take any action toward the enforcement of a racial covenant. In this case, a group of neighbors were bringing suit to prohibit a property owner from selling his home to blacks, based on the argument that the owner had purchased the home subject to the restrictive covenant not to sell to blacks. The covenant was found to be unenforceable based on equal housing laws. To enforce it would constitute a Civil Rights violation.
Bell, Cedric D. 2000. The Law of Real Property. London: Old Bailey.
Brinig, Margaret F., and Steven Nock. 1999. "Covenant and Contract." Regent University Law Review 12 (spring): 9–26.
Kraut, Jayson, et al. 1983. American Jurisprudence. Rochester, N.Y.: Lawyers Cooperative.
1) n. a promise in a written contract or a deed of real property. The term is used only for certain types of promises such as a covenant of warranty which is a promise to guarantee the title (clear ownership) to property, a promise agreeing to joint use of an easement for access to real property, or a covenant not to compete which is commonly included in promises made by a seller of a business for a certain period of time. Mutual covenants among members of a homeowners association, are promises to respect the rules of conduct or restrictions on use of property to insure peaceful use, limitations on intrusive construction, etc., which are usually part of the recorded covenants, conditions and restrictions which govern a development or condominium project. Covenants which run with the land, such as permanent easement of access or restrictions on use, are binding on future title holders of the property. Covenants can be concurrent (mutual promises to be performed at the same time), dependent (one promise need be performed if the other party performs his/hers), or independent (a promise to be honored without reference to any other promise). Until 1949 many deeds contained restrictive covenants which limited transfer of the property to the Caucasian race. These blatantly racist covenants were then declared unconstitutional. 2) v. to promise. (See: contract, deed, covenant not to compete>
covenantnoun agreement, arrangement, avowal, binding agreement, collective agreement, commitment, compact, concordat, contract, contractual obligation, connractual statement, conventio, convention, engagement, guarantee, mutual understanding, oath, pacisci, pact, pactio, pactum, pledge, promise, stipulation, understanding, warranty, written agreement, written pledge
Associated concepts: breach of covenant, collateral covenants, concurrent covenants, covenant against incummrances, covenant appurtenant to the land, covenant for quiet enjoyment, covenant not to institute suit, covenant in praesenti, covenant not to convey, covenant of future assurrance, covenant of general warranty, covenant of title, covenant of warranty, covenant running with the land, covenant to pay, dependent covenant, doctrine of implied covenants, joint covenant, negative covenants, restrictive covenant
See also: adjustment, agree, agreement, assurance, bargain, bond, cartel, certificate, clause, commitment, compact, contract, coverage, deed, duty, guaranty, indenture, insurance, league, obligation, pact, pledge, promise, protocol, provision, responsibility, sign, specialty, stipulate, stipulation, term, testament, treaty, understanding, undertake, undertaking, vow, warrant, warranty
covenanta promise contained in a deed. The word is used more generally, however, to denote an agreement or undertaking in a contract or instrument of transfer. So, to covenant to do something (e.g. pay £10 per annum to a charity) is to undertake to do that thing. The point about the requirement for a deed is that a promise contained in a deed is prima facie enforceable with anything further (such as consideration). A covenant may be express, in that its terms are created by the parties themselves, or implied by law. For example, on a conveyance on sale of freehold land by a person expressed to convey as beneficial owner, the Law of Property (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1994 implies four covenants by the transferor, namely:
- (1) that the transferor has the power to convey the subject matter of the conveyance;
- (2) that the purchaser will not be disturbed in his physical occupation (known as the covenant for quiet enjoyment);
- (3) that the property is free from encumbrances other than those expressly mentioned;
- (4) that the vendor will, at the request and expense of the purchaser, execute all such documents and do all such acts and things as may be necessary to give effect to the transfer.
Where the land is leasehold, a further covenant is implied, namely, that the transferor (assignee) has paid all rent due and observed all covenants contained in the lease. Covenants may be positive or negative. For negative covenants, see RESTRICTIVE COVENANT.
COVENANT, remedies. The name of an action instituted for the recovery of
damages for the breach of a covenant or promise under seal. 2 Ld. Raym. 1536
F; N. B. 145 Com. Dig. Pleader, 2 V 2 Id. Covenant, A 1; Bouv. Inst. Index,
2. The subject will be considered with reference, 1. To the kind of claim or obligation on which this action may be maintained. 2. The form of the declaration. 3. The plea. 4. The judgment.
3.-1. To support this action, there must be a breach of a promise under seal. 6 Port. R. 201; 5 Pike, 263; 4 Dana, 381; 6 Miss. R. 29. Such promise may be contained in a deed-poll, or indenture, or be express or implied by. law from the terms of the deed; or for the performance of something in futuro, or that something has been done; or in some cases, though it relate to something in presenti, as that the covenantor has, a good title. 2 Saund. 181, b. Though, in general, it is said that covenant will not lie on a contract inpresenti, as on a covenant to stand seized, or that a certain horse shall henceforth be the property of another. Plowd. 308; Com. Dig. Covenant, A 1; 1 Chit. PI.. 110. The action of covenant is the peculiar remedy for the non-performance of a promise under seal, where the damages are unliquidated, and depend in amount on the opinion of a jury, in which case neither debt nor assumpsit can be supported but covenant as well as the action of debt, may be maintained upon a single bill for a sum certain. When the breach of the covenant amounts to misfeasance, the covenantee has an election to proceed by action of covenant, or by action on the case for a tort, as against a lessee, either during his term or afterwards, for waste; 2 Bl. R. 1111; 2 Bl. R. 848; but this has been questioned. When the contract under seal has been enlarged by parol, the substituted agreement will be considered, together with the original agreement, as a simple contract. 2 Watt's R. 451 1 Chit. Pl. 96; 3 T. R. 590.
4.-2. The declaration must state that the contract was under seal and it should make proffer of it, or show some excuse for the omission. 3 T. 11. 151. It is not, in general, requisite to state tho consideration of the defendant's promise, because a contract under seal usually imports a consideration; but when the performance of the consideration constitutes a condition precedent, such performance must be averred. So much only of the deed and covenant should be set forth as is essential to the cause of action: although it is usual to declare in the words of the deed, each covenant may be stated as to its legal effect. The breach may be in the negative of the covenant generally 4 Dall. R. 436; or, according to the legal effect, and sometimes in the alternative and several breaches may be assigned at common law. Damages being the object of the suit, should be laid sufficient to cover the real amount. Vide 3 Serg. & Rawle, 364; 4 Dall. R. 436 2 Yeates' R. 470 3 Serg. & Rawle, 564, 567; 9 Serg. & Rawle, 45.
5.-3. It is said that strictly there is no general issue in this action, though the plea of non est factum has been said by an intelligent writer to be the general issue. Steph. Pl. 174. But this plea only puts in issue the fact of scaling the deed. 1 Chit. Pl. 116. Non infregit conventionem, and nil debet, have both been held to be insufficient. Com. Dig. Pleader, 2 V 4. In Pennsylvania, by a practice peculiar to that state, the defendant may plead covenants and under this. plea, upon notice of the special matter, in writing, to the plaintiff, without form, he may give anything in evidence which he might have pleaded. 4 Dall. 439; 2 Yeates, 107; 15 Serg. & Rawle, 105. And this evidence, it seems, may be given in the circuit courts of the United States in that state without notice, unless called for 2 W. C. C. R. 4 5 6.
6.-4. The judgment is that the plaintiff recover a named sum for his damages, which he has sustained by reason of the breach or breaches of covenant, together with costs.
COVENANT, contracts. A covenant, conventio, in its most general
signification, means any kind of promise or contract, whether it be made in
writing or by parol. Hawk. P. C. b. 1, c. 27, Sec. 7, s. 4. In a more
technical sense, and the one in which it is here considered, a covenant is
an agreement between two or more persons, entered into in writing and under
seal, whereby either party stipulates for the truth of certain facts, or
promises to perform or give something to the other, or to abstain from the
performance of certain things. 2 Bl. Com. 303-4; Bac. Ab. Covenant, in pr.;
4 Cruise, 446; Sheppard, Touchs. 160; 1 Harring. 151, 233 1 Bibb, 379; 2
Bibb, 614; 3 John. 44; 20 John. 85; 4 Day, 321.
2. It differs from an express assumpsit in this, that the former may be verbal, or in writing not under seal, while the latter must always be by deed. In an assumpsit, a consideration must be shown; in a covenant no consideration is necessary to give it validity, even in a court of equity. Plowd. 308; 7 T. R. 447; 4 Barn. & Ald. 652; 3 Bingh. 111.
3. It is proposed to consider first, the general requisites of a covenant; and secondly, the several kinds of covenants.
4.-1. The general requisites are, 1st. Proper parties. 2d. Words of agreement. 3d A legal purpose. 4th. A proper form.
5.-1st. The parties must be such as by law can enter into a contract. If either for want of understanding, as in the case of an idiot or lunatic; or in the case of an infant, where the contract is not for his benefit; or where there is understanding, but owing to certain causes, as coverture, in the case of a married woman, or duress, in every case, the parties are not competent, they cannot bind themselves. See Parties to Actions.
6.-2d. There must be an agreement. The assent or consent must be mutual for the agreement would be incomplete if either party withheld his assent to any of its terms. The assent of the parties to a contract necessarily supposes a free, fair, serious exercise of the reasoning faculty. Now, if from any cause, this free assent be not given, the contract is not binding. See Consent.
7.-3d. A covenant against any positive law, or public policy, is, generally speaking, void. See Nullity; Shep. Touchs. 163. As an example of the first, is a covenant by one man that he will rob another; and of the last, a covenant by a merchant or tradesman that he will not follow his occupation or calling. This, if it be unlimited, is absolutely void but, if the covenant be that he shall not pursue his business in a particular place, as, that he will not trade in the city of Philadelphia, the covenant is no longer against public policy. See Shep. Touchs. 164. A covenant to do an impossible thing is also void. Ib.
8.-4th. To make a covenant, it must, according to the definition above given, be by deed, or under seal. No particular form of words is necessary to make a covenant, but any words which manifest the intention of the parties, in respect to the subject matter of the contract, are sufficient. Sec numerous examples in Bac. Abr. Covenant, A Selw. N. P. 469; Com. Dig. Covenant, A 2; 3 Johns. R. 44; 5 Munf. 483.
9. In Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Missouri, it is declared by statute that the words grant, bargain, and sell, shall amount to a covenant that the grantor was seised of an estate in fee, free from all incumbrances done or suffered by him, and for quiet enjoyment against his acts. But it has been adjudged that those words in the Pennsylvania statute of 1715, (and the decision will equally apply to the statutory language in the other two states,) did not amount to a general warranty, but merely to a covenant that the grantor had not done any act, nor created any incumbrance whereby the estate might be defeated. 2 Bin. 95; 11 S. & R. 111, 112; 4 Kent, Com. 460.
10.-2. The several kinds of covenants. They are, 1. Express or implied. 1. An express, covenant, or a covenant in fact, is one expressly agreed between the parties and inserted in the deed. The law does not require any particular form to create an express covenant. The formal word "covenant" is therefore not indispensably requisite. 2. Mod. 268; 3 Keb. 848; 1 Leon, 324; 1 Bing. 433; 8 J. B. Moore, 546; 1 Ch. Cas. 294; 16 East, 352; 12 East, 182 n.; 1 Bibb, 379; 2 Bibb 614; 3 John. 44; 5 Cowen, 170; 4 Day, 321 4 Conn. 508; 1 Harring. 233. The words "I oblige;" "agree," 1 Ves. 516; 2 Mod. 266; or, "I bind myself to pay so much such a day, and so much such another day;" Hardr. 178; 3 Leon. 119, Pl. 199; are held to be covenants; and so are the word's of a bond. 1 Ch. Cas. 194. But words importing merely an order or direction that other persons should pay a sum of money, are not a covenant. 6 J. B. Moore, 202, n. (a.)
11.-1. An implied covenant is one which the law intends and implies, though it be not expressed in words. 1 Common Bench Rep. 402; co. Lit. 139, b; Vaughan's Rep. 118; Rawle on Covenants, 364. There are some words which of themselves do not import an express covenant, yet being made use of in certain contracts, have a similar operation and are called covenants in law. They are as effectually binding on the parties as if expressed in the most unequivocal terms. Bac. Ab. Covenant, B. A few examples will fully explain this. If a lessor demise and grant to his lessee a house or lands for a certain term, the law will imply a covenant on the part of the lessor, that the lessee shall during the term quietly enjoy the same against all incumbrances. Co. Litt. 384. When in a lease the words "grant," 1 Mod. 113 Freem. 367; Cro. Eliz. 214; 4 Taunt. 609; "grant and demise," 4 Wend. 502; "demise," 10 Mod. 162; 4 Co. 80; Hob. 12; or "demiserunt," I Show. 79 1 Salk. 137, are used, they are so many instances of implied covenants. And the words "yielding and paying" in a lease, imply a covenant on the part of lessee, that he will pay the rent. 9 Verm. 151; 3 Penn. 461, 464.
12.-2. Real and personal. 1st. A real covenant is one which has for its object something annexed to, or inherent in, or connected with land or other property. Co Litt. 334; enk 241; Cruise, Dig. tit. 32, c. 25, s. 22; Platt. on Cov. 60, 61; 2 Bl. Com. 304. A covenant real, which necessarily runs with the land, as to pay rent, not to cut timber, and the like, is said to be an inherent covenant. Shep. To. 161. A covenant real runs with the land and descends to the heir; it is also transferred to a purchaser. Such covenants are said to run with the land, so that he who has the one is subject to the other. Bac. Ab. Covenants, E 2. See 2 Penn. 507; 10 Wend 180; 12 Mass. 306; 17 Mass. 586; 5 Cowen, 137; 5 Ham. 156; 5 Conn. 497; 1 Wash. C. C. 375; 8 Cowen 206; 1 Dall. 210; 11 Shep. 283; 6 Met. 139; 3 Mete. 81; 3 Harring. 338; 17 Wend. 136.
13.-2. As commonly reckoned, there are five covenants for title, viz: 1. Covenant for seisin. 2. That the grantor has perfect right to convey. 3. That the grantee shall quietly possess and enjoy the premises without interruption, called a covenant for quiet enjoyment. 4. The covenant against incumbrances. 5. The covenant for further assurance. 6. Besides these covenants, there is another frequently resorted to in the United States, which is relied on more, perhaps, than any other, called the covenant of warranty. See Rawle on Covenants for Title, where the import and effect of these covenants are elaborately and luminously discussed.
14.-3. A personal covenant relates only to matters personal, as distinguished from real, and is binding on the covenantor during life, and on his personal representatives after his decease, in respect of his assets. According to Sir William Blackstone, a personal covenant may be transformed into a real, by the mere circumstance of the heirs being named therein, and having assets by descent from the covenantor. 2 Bl. Com 304. A covenant is personal in another sense, where the covenantor is bound to fulfill the covenant himself; as, to teach an apprentice. F.N.B. 340, A.
15. Personal covenants are also said to be transitive and intransitive; the former, when the duty of performing them passes to the covenantor's representatives; the latter, when it is limited to himself; as, in the case of teaching an apprentice. Bac. Ab. h.t.
16. As they affect each other in the same deed, covenants may be divided into three classes. 1st. Dependent covenants are those in which the performance, of one depends on the performance of the other; there may be conditions which must be performed before the other party is liable to an action on his covenant. 8 S. & R. 268; 4 Conn. 3; 1 Blackf. 175; John. 209; 2 Stew. & Port. 60; 6 Cowen 296; 3 Ala. R. 330; 3 Pike 581; 2 W. & S. 227; 5 Shep. 232; 11 Verm. 549; 4 W. C. C. 714; Platt on Cov. 71; 2 Dougl. 689; Lofft, 191; 2 Selw. N. P. 443, 444. To ascertain whether covenants are dependent or not, the intention of the parties is to be sought for and regarded rather than the order or time in which the acts are to be done, or the structure of the instrument, or the arrangements of the covenant. 4 Wash. C. C. 714; 1 Root, 170; 4 Rand. 352; 4 Rawle, 26; 5 Wend. 496; 2 John. 145; 13 Mass. 410; 2 W. & S. 227; 4 W. & S. 527; Willis, 157; 7 T. R. 130; 8 T.R. 366; 5 B. & P. 223; 1 Saund. 320 n.
17.-2d. Some covenants are mutual conditions to be performed at the same time; these are concurrent covenants. When, in these cases, one party is ready and offers to perform his part, and the other refuses or neglects to perform his, he who is ready and offers, has fulfilled his engagement, and may maintain an action for the default of the other, though it is not certain that either is obliged to do the first act. 4 Wash. C. C. 714; Dougl. 698; 2 Selw. N. P. 443; Platt. on Cov. 71.
18.-3d. Covenants are independent or mutual, when either party may recover damages from the other for the injury he may have received by a breach of the covenants in his favor, and when it is no excuse for the defendant to allege a breach of the covenants on the part of the plaintiff. 2 Wash. C. C. R. 456; 5 Shepl. 372; 4 Leigh, 21; 3 Watts & S. 300; 13 Mass. 410; 2 Pick. 300; 2 John. 145; 10 John. 203; Minor 21; 2 Bibb, 15; 3 Stew. 361; 1 Fairf. 49; 6 Binn. 166; 2 Marsh. 429; 7 John. 249; 5 Wend. 496; 3 Miss. 329; 2 Har. & J. 467; 4 Har. & J. 285; 2 Marsh. 429; 4 Conn. 3.
19. Covenants are affirmative and negative. 1st. An affirmative covenant is one by which the covenantor binds himself that something has already been done or shall be performed hereafter. Such a covenant will not deprive a man of a right lawfully enjoyed by him independently of the covenant; 5 as, if the lessor agreed with the lessee that he shall have thorns for hedges growing upon the land, by assignment of the lessor's bailiff; here no restraint is imposed upon the exercise of that liberty which the law allows to the lessee, and therefore he may take hedge-bote without assignment. Dy. 19 b, pl. 115; 1 Leon, 251.
20.-2d. A negative covenant is one where the party binds himself that he has not performed and will not perform a certain act; as, that he will not encumber. Such a covenant cannot be said to be performed until it becomes impossible to break it. On this ground the courts are unwilling to construe a covenant of this kind to be a condition precedent. Therefore, where a tailor assigned his trade to the defendant, and covenanted thenceforth to desist from carrying on the said business with any of the customers, and the defendant in consideration of the performance thereof, covenanted to pay him a life annuity of 190, it was held that if the words "in consideration of the performance thereof," should be deemed to amount to a condition precedent, the plaintiff would never obtain his annuity; because as at anytime during his life he might exercise his former trade, until his death it could never be ascertained whether he had performed the covenant or not. 2 Saund. 156; 1 Sid. 464; 1 Mod. 64; 2 Keb. 674. The defendant, however, on a breach by plaintiff, might have his remedy by a cross action of covenant. There is also a difference between a negative covenant, which is only in affirmance of an affirmative covenant precedent, and a negative covenant which is additional to the affirmative covenant. 1 Sid. 87; 1 Keb. 334, 372. To a covenant of the former class a plea of performance generally is good, but not to the latter; the defendant in that case must plead specially. Id.
21. Covenants, considered with regard to the parties who are to perform them, are joint or several.
1st. A joint covenant is one by which several parties agree to perform or do a thing together. In this case although there are several covenantors there is but one contract, and if the covenant be broken, all the covenantors living, must be sued; as there is not a separate obligation of each, they cannot be sued separately.
22.-2d. A several covenant is one entered into by one person only. It frequently happens that a number of persons enter into the same contract, and that each binds himself to perform the whole of it; in such case, when the Contract is under seal, the covenantors are severally bound for the performance of it. The terms usually employed to make a several covenant are "severally," or "each of us." In practice, it is common for the parties to bind themselves jointly and severally, and then the covenant is both joint and several. Vide Hamm. on Parties 19; Cruise, Dig. tit. 32, c. 25, s. 18; Bac. Ab. Covenant D.
23. Covenants are executed or executory.
1st. An executed covenant is one which relates to an act already performed. Shep. To. 161.
24.-2d. An executory covenant is one to be performed at a future time. Shep. To. 161.
25. Covenants are obligatory or declaratory.
1st. An obligatory covenant is one which is binding on the party himself, and shall never be construed to raise a use. 1 Sid. 27; 1 Keb. 334.
26.-2d. A declaratory covenant is one which serves to limit and direct uses. 1 Sid. 27; 1 Heb. 334.
27. Covenants are principal and auxiliary.
1st. A principal covenant is one which relates directly to the principal matter of the contract entered into between the parties; as, if A covenants to serve B for one year.
28.-2d. An auxiliary covenant is one, which, not relating directly to the principal matter of the contract between the parties, yet relates to something connected with it; as, if A covenants with B, that C will perform his covenant to serve him for one year. In this case, if the principal covenant is void, the auxiliary is discharged. Anstr. 256.
29. Covenants are legal or illegal. 1st. A legal covenant is one not forbidden by law. Covenants of this kind are always binding on the parties.
30.-2d. An illegal covenant is one forbidden by law, either expressly or by implication. A covenant entered into, in violation of, the express provision of a statute is absolutely void. 5 Har. & J. 193; 5 N. H. Rep. 96; 6 N. H. Rep. 225; 4 Dall. 298; 6 Binn. 321; 4 S.& R. 159; 1 Binn. 118; 4 Halst. 252. A covenant is also void, if it be of immoral nature; as, a covenant for future illicit intercourse and cohabitation; 3 Monr. 35; 3 Burr. 1568; S. C. 1 Bl. Rep. 517; 1 Esp. 13; 1 B. P. 340; or against public policy; 5 Mass. 385; 7 Greenl. 113; 4 Mass. 370; 5 Halst. 87; 4 Wash. C. C. 297; 11 Wheat. 258; 3 Day, 145; 2 McLean, 464; 7 Watts, 152; 5 Watts & S. 315; 5 How. Miss. 769; Geo. Decis. part 1, 39 in restraint of trade, when the restraint is general; 21 Wend. 166; 19 Pick. 51; 6 Pick. 206; 7 Cowen, 307; or fraudulent between the parties; 5 Mass. 16; 4 S. & R. 488; 4 Dall. 250; 7 W. & S. 111; or third persons; 3 Day, 450; 14 S. & R. 214; 3 Caines, 213; 15 Pick. 49; 2 John. 286 12 John. 306.
31. Covenants, in the disjunctive or alternative, are those which give the covenantor the choice of doing, or the covenantee the choice of having, performed one of two or more things at his election; as, a covenant to make a lease to Titus, or pay him one hundred dollars on the fourth day of July, as the covenantor, or the covenantee, as the case may be, shall prefer. Platt on Cov. 21.
32. Collateral covenants are such as concern some collateral thing, which does not at all, or not so immediately relate to the thing granted; as, to pay a sum of money in gross, that the lessor shall distrain for rent, on some other land than that which is demised, or the like. Touchs. 161; 4 Burr. 2446; 2 Wils. R. 27; 1 Ves. R. 56. These covenants are also termed covenants in gross. Vide 5 Barn. & Ald. 7, 8; Platt on Cov. 69, 70.