Specific Performance Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Specific Performance, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Specific Performance?

(n) Specific performance is the request of the plaintiff to get relief in the form of performance of the contract itself. In such case monitory compensations will not satisfy the plaintiff. Such pleadings are made when the contract is for delivery of artwork, articles having ancestral worth etc where costing and compensation in cash is not possible and acceptable

History and Meaning of Specific Performance

Specific performance is a legal remedy in which a party is ordered to perform as promised in a contract. This type of relief is typically sought when monetary damages are not sufficient and the contract involves a unique item or property, such as a piece of artwork or a one-of-a-kind real estate property. The origins of specific performance can be traced back to British common law, where it was seen as a way to enforce the principles of good faith and fair dealing in contractual relationships.

Examples of Specific Performance

  1. A buyer of a rare antique car can seek specific performance if the seller fails to deliver the car as promised in the sales contract.

  2. A landowner can seek specific performance if a developer fails to honor a promise to build a unique structure on the property.

  3. An artist can seek specific performance if a gallery fails to display and sell their artwork as promised in a representation agreement.

Legal Terms Similar to Specific Performance

  1. Injunction - an equitable remedy that orders a party to refrain from doing a particular act.

  2. Rescission - a legal remedy that cancels a contract and restores the parties to their original positions.

  3. Reformation - a legal remedy that allows a contract to be reworded to better reflect the parties' intentions.