he doctrine of specific performance is applied when a party breaches a contract, and requires the breaching party to perform a specific act they had agreed to perform under the contract’s terms (Miller & Jentz, 2010). A court usually grants specific performance when damages in form of money prove inadequate to compensate for the breach.
Thel and Yorio (2011) note that the elements of specific performance include; existence of a contract because equity cannot be expected to enforce an invalid contract, the defendant must have failed to perform and the plaintiff must have suffered damages as a direct result. Moreover, an adequate remedy at law must be absent, whereby money damages alone are insufficient. Further, plaintiff’s performance of all conditions should be precedent to closing.
In the case of Rainier v Tarrington, the court may grant specific performance on account that the product on the contract is real estate therefore unique. Monetary damages would not be adequate compensation to the plaintiff because land and in this case real estate, is traditionally viewed as unique due to the fact that no two parcels of land or real estate are exactly alike (Thel & Yorio, 2011). Therefore, monetary damages would not allow the plaintiff to acquire the same house anywhere else. Conversely, on Marita’s refusal to sing in a night club does not amount to specific performance since it is a personal service contract, which would have prevented Marita from performing elsewhere during the contractual period (Thel & Yorio, 2011).
In instances where the chattel is scarce and cannot be readily repurchased in the open market even though it is unique, specific performance is enforced (Miller & Jentz, 2010). Therefore the court may enforce specific performance on Edmund for breaching the contract to sell Juan a rare coin, which is rare and unique. Consequently, specific performance will be denied where monetary compensation for the loss would be adequate (Thel & Yorio, 2011). No specific performance would thus be awarded to Devalle after Cary refuses to sell him the 4% stake because monetary damages can be determined as adequate.