Specific Performance: Equitable Remedy to Enforce Affirmative Obligation

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A decree of specific performance is an equitable remedy ‘not granted as a matter of right or grace but as a matter of sound judicial discretion’ governed by legal and equitable principles.

January 18, 2021
David Adelstein - Florida Construction Legal Updates

When a party breaches an agreement, particularly when dealing with real estate, there is an equitable remedy known as specific performance that requests the trial judge issue an order to affirmatively force the breaching party to perform, i.e., close on the real estate contract. You are asking the court to require the other party to specifically perform an affirmative obligation. See Melbourne Ocean Club Condominium Ass’n, Inc. v. Elledge, 71 So.3d 144, 146 (Fla. 2011).

A decree of specific performance is an equitable remedy ‘not granted as a matter of right or grace but as a matter of sound judicial discretion’ governed by legal and equitable principles. Specific performance shall only be granted when 1) the plaintiff is clearly entitled to it, 2) there is no adequate remedy at law, and 3) the judge believes that justice requires it.

Castigliano v. O’Connor, 911 So.2d 145, 148 (Fla. 3d DCA 2005) (internal citations omitted).

An example of specific performance may play out, as mentioned, in a real estate contract where a seller refuses to close on the transaction.

Mr. Adelstein may be contacted at dma@kirwinnorris.com



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