What happens after a contract is broken? What kinds of remedies exist for the party who suffers as a result of a contract breach?
One such remedy is known as specific performance. Specific performance requires a party to take a specific action to essentially correct the breach of contract. For example, say a construction company is required to build a building to a height of 40 feet. But something goes wrong during construction and, in the end, the building comes out to 35 feet. If you seek specific performance as a remedy in this case, then the party that breached the contract would be required to build the building up to 40 feet.
Specific performance is used by the courts instead of compensatory damages when no other remedy will adequately compensate the other party. Typically, this remedy is used when the subject of a contract is unique, making it difficult to assign a fair amount of monetary damages.
What is Replevin?
Some statutes use the terms “specific performance” and “replevin” interchangeably, and for the most part, they are. Replevin (also called “claim and delivery”) is a legal action in which actual property must be transferred to a party in a dispute, not compensatory damages. Courts may order that a defendant in a breach of contract case give specific performance in the form of replevin as a remedy when compensatory damages are insufficient to solve the dispute.
When Won’t Courts Order Specific Performance?
There are many circumstances where specific performance will not be ordered by the court.
- When specific performance would place undue burden on the defendant
- When a contract is unconscionable
- When the claimant has misbehaved
- When specific performance is impossible
- When the contract was too vague
- When a contract stipulates that either party can renege without notice
- When mutuality was lacking when the contract was signed
- When the contract required constant supervision
If you or your business have suffered as a result of a broken contract, our business litigation attorneys are prepared to assist you in seeking the remedy you desire.