COVENANT NOT TO SUE. This is a covenant entered into by a party who had a
cause of action at the time of making it, and by which he agrees not to sue
the party liable to such action.
2. Covenants of this nature, are either covenants perpetual not to sue, or covenants not to sue for a limited time; for example, seven years.
3.-1. Covenants perpetual not to sue. These will be considered with regard to their effect as relates, 1. To the covenantee; 2. To his partners or co-debtors.
4.-1. A covenant not to sue the covenantee at all, has the effect of a release to him, and may be pleaded as such to avoid a circuity of action. Cro. Eliz. 623; 1 T. R. 446; 8 T. R. 486; 1 Ld. Raym 688; S. C. Holt, 178; 2 Salk. 575; 3 Salk. 298; 12 Mod. 415, 548; 7 Mass. 153, 265; 16 Mass. 24; 17 Mass. 623. And see 11 Serg. & Rawle, 149.
5.-2. Where the covenantee is jointly and severally bound with another to the covenantor, a covenant not to sue him will be no protection to the other who may be sued on his several obligations and such a covenant does not mount to a release to him. 2 Salk. 575; S. C. 12 Mod. 551; 8 T. R. 168; 6 Munf. 6; 1 Com. 139; 4 Greenl. 421; 2 Dana, 107; 17 Mass. 623, 628; 16 Mass. 24; 8 Mass. 480. A covenant not to sue, entered into by only one of several partners, cannot be set up as a release in an action by all the partners. 3 P. & D. 149.
6.-2. Covenant not to sue for a limited time. Such a covenant does not operate as a release, nor can it be pleaded as such, but is a covenant only for a breach of which the obliger may bring his action. Carth. 63; 1 Show. 46; Comb 123, 4; 2 Salk. 573; 6 Wend. 471.