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C.Fortunato, Attorney
Category: Legal
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Experience:  Admitted NYS Bar, member ABA, NYSBA, NYCBA, QCBA, Licensed Real Estate Broker
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In which of the following situations might a court grant specific

Resolved Question:

In which of the following situations might a court grant specific performance as a remedy for the breach of the contract? Explain.

a) Tarrington contracts to sell her house and lot to Rainier. Then, on finding another buyer willing to pay a higher purchase price, she refuses to deed the property to Rainier.

b) Marita contracts to sing and dance in Horace’s nightclub for one month, beginning June 1. She then refuses to perform.

c) Juan contracts to purchase a rare coin from Edmund, who is breaking up his coin collection. At the last minute, Edmund decides to keep his coin collection intact and refuses to deliver the coin to Juan.

d) Astro Computer Corp. has three shareholders. Among them are Coase, who owns 48%, and Cary, who owns 4%. Cary contracts to sell his 4% to DeValle but later refuses to transfer the shares to him.

In responding to the question be sure to:

-- Define Specific Performance.

-- Discuss the elements of Specific Performance.

-- Analyze whether or not the scenarios in above cases are covered under the doctrine of Specific Performance.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  C.Fortunato replied 6 years ago.

Hi rpcola,

Specific performance is a court order that requires someone to perform a particular act, rather than paying money, and is usually granted only when necessary to make the other party whole. The elements are: 1) the existence of a valid contract 2) breach of that contract 3) no adequate defenses to the breach 4) monetary damages insufficient to make the damaged party whole 5) enforcement of the order must be practical.

a) Since houses are unique, the judge would likely grant specific performance for this breach.

b) Specific performance not necessary here, as the nightclub can be made whole by getting money to cover the lost profits.

c) Specific performance would likely be granted here, as the particular coin is unique, and cannot be easily replaced.

d) If DeValle can be made whole with money, it is unlikely that specific performance would be granted, unless he can prove that he needs the shares - and not the money - to be able to assert more influence over the company (by becoming a majority shareholder).

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