What is a special performance and when can it be ordered by the court?

A special performance is used when monetary damages are seen as unfit or not sufficient remedy. The court can order a party to carry out specific actions to make the other party whole and to remedy the consequences of that party’s actions or inactions. Courts will only enforce a special performance if it is deemed fair and equitable. For example, the court can order the defendant to carry out the original contractual obligations in a breach of contract action if no other remedy can compensate the plaintiff. Commonly, special performance orders are necessary when the contract in discussion involved unique matters such as the sale of property, and can only be remedied by the defendant carrying out the contractual duties agreed upon. In other cases, when a plaintiff can be adequately compensated by money, courts will always lien in favor of the monetary damages rather than making the other party do specific activities. The special performance is mainly left to the discretion of the court and should ensure that the plaintiff has not breached their contractual duties as well.

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