specific performance – a court-ordered remedy that requires precise fulfillment of a legal or contractual obligation when monetary damages are inappropriate or inadequate

     This page is continued from Civil Law Self-Help >>>> Section 3: Are you seeking damages, injunctive relief, or both? >>>> Legal Terms pertaining to Types of Remedies >>>> Remedy >>>> Equitable Remedy:

************************

specific performance:
(18c)

1. The rendering, as nearly as practicable, of a promised performance through a judgment or decree; specifically, a court-ordered remedy that requires precise fulfillment of a legal or contractual obligation when monetary damages are inappropriate or inadequate, as when the sale of real estate or a rare article is involved.  *  Specific performance is an equitable remedy that lies within the court’s discretion to award whenever the common-law remedy is insufficient, either because damages would be inadequate or because the damages could not possibly be established. — aka specific relief; performance in specie. [1]

1. The actual accomplishment of a contract by the party bound to fulfill it.  Guadulupe County Board of Education b O’Bannon, 26 NM 606, 195 P 801.

The remedy by which a party to a contract is compelled to do precisely what he ought to have done without being coerced by a court. Edwards v Tobin, 132 Or 38, 284 P 562, 68 ALR 152.

The equitable remedy of compelling performance of a contract as distinguished from an a action for damages at law for breach through nonperformance. Acme Food Co. v Older, 64 W Va 255, 61 SE 235. [2]

1. The equitable remedy of compelling performance of a contract, as distinguished form an action at law for damages for breach of contract due to nonperformance.  Specific performance may be ordered in circumstances where damages are an inadequate remedy, for EXAMPLE, when a seller fails to perform a contract for the sale of land.
     See contract for sale of land.

2. The actual accomplishment of a contract by the party bound to fulfill it. [3]

     Excerpt from Harold Greville Hanbury, Modern Equity: The Principles of Equity 445-»46 (3d ed. 1943):

     “The rationale of specific performance is that the common law remedy of damages was often inadequate. It would in effect compel a promisee to sell his right to performance for a pecuniary consideration.  Now there are many cases into which the personal element enters to such an ‘extent that no amount of damages can really compensate a disappointed promisee, who wants performance and only performance.  To give him an unwanted cheque is a condonation of iniquity. For instance, A., after waiting for years for the opportunity of getting the old family mansion of Dale into his hands again, at length has prevailed on 3., its owner, to agree to sell it to him.  Clearly no amount of money will assuage his disappointment if the cup is dashed at the last moment from his lips. The object of the equitable remedy is to put A. into the same position, by personal compulsion of B., as he would already have been in if B. had performed voluntarily what now he is being compelled to do.[4]

     Excerpt from G.W. Keeton’s An Introduction to Equity 304 (5th ed. 1961):

     “In essence, the remedy of specific performance enforces the execution of a contract according to its terms, and it may therefore be contrasted with the remedy of damages, which is compensation for non-execution. In specific performance, execution of the contract is enforced by the power of the Court to treat disobedience of its decree as contempt, for which the offender may be imprisoned until he is prepared to comply with the decree.  Actually, . . . it is not strictly accurate to say that the Court enforces execution of the contract according to its terms, for the Court will not usually intervene until default upon the contract has occurred, so that enforcement by the court is later in time than performance carried out by the person bound, without the intervention of the Court.

References:

Disclaimer: All material throughout this website is compiled in accordance with Fair Use.

[1]: Black’s Law Dictionary Deluxe Tenth Edition by Henry Campbell Black, Editor in Chief Bryan A. Garner. ISBN: 978-0-314-61300-4

[2]: Ballantine’s Law Dictionary with Pronunciations Third Edition by James A. Ballantine (James Arthur 1871-1949).  Edited by William S. Anderson.  © 1969 by THE LAWYER’S CO-OPERATIVE PUBLISHING COMPANY.  Library of Congress Catalog Card No. 68-30931

[3]:  Ballantine’s Law Dictionary Legal Assistant Edition
by Jack Ballantine 
(James Arthur 1871-1949).  Doctored by Jack G. Handler, J.D. © 1994 Delmar by Thomson Learning.  ISBN 0-8273-4874-6.

************************

Back to Equitable Remedy

Back to Remedy

Back to Section 3: Are you seeking damages, injunctive relief, or both?

Back to Civil Law Self-Help

Home Page

Like this website?

Please Support Our Fundraiser

or donate via PayPal:

 

Disclaimer: Wild Willpower does not condone the actions of Maximilian Robespierre, however the above quote is excellent!

This website is being broadcast for First Amendment purposes courtesy of

Question(s)?  Suggestion(s)?
Distance@WildWillpower.org.
We look forward to hearing from you!