Thursday, May 26, 2011
What kind of remedy is specific performance?
SPECIFIC PERFORMANCE & CONTRACT CLAIMS Specific performance is an equitable remedy that may be awarded upon a showing of breach of contract. Blue Moon Venture, L.L.C. v. Horvitz, No. 14-09-00459-CV, 2010 WL 4013533, at *1 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] Oct. 14, 2010, no pet.) (mem. op.) (citing Stafford v. S. Vanity Magazine, Inc., 231 S.W.3d 530, 535 (Tex. App.—Dallas 2007, pet. denied)). Elements of claim for specific performance A party seeking specific performance must plead and prove (1) compliance with the contract including tender of performance unless excused by the defendant’s breach or repudiation and (2) it was ready, willing, and able to perform at relevant times. Id. (citing DiGiuseppe v. Lawler, 269 S.W.3d 588, 593–94, 601 (Tex. 2008)). When do Texas courts award specific performance? Whether to award specific performance is a matter committed to the trial court’s discretion. Chapman v. Olbrich, 217 S.W.3d 482, 491 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2006, no pet.) (citing Bell v. Rudd, 144 Tex. 491, 191 S.W.2d 841, 843 (1946); Roundville Partners, L.L.C. v. Jones, 118 S.W.3d 73, 79 (Tex. App.—Austin 2003, pet. denied)). A trial court abuses its discretion when it acts in an arbitrary or unreasonable manner or, stated differently, without reference to any guiding rules or principles. Downer v. Aquamarine Operators, Inc., 701 S.W.2d 238, 241–42 (Tex. 1985). Further, a clear failure by the trial court to analyze or apply the law correctly constitutes an abuse of discretion. Walker v. Packer, 827 S.W.2d 833, 840 (Tex. 1992) (orig. proceeding). SOURCE: Houston Court of Appeals (case transferred from Beaumont) - 14-08-00329-CV - 5/26/11