In order that the court may validly order a party to perform specific performance, the following elements must be present: a valid and enforceable contract, a breach of the contract, the award for damages is inadequate, the enforcement of the performance must be practical and there are no defenses that apply in the case. From the given scenarios, it can be noted that in scenario 1, specific performance may be ordered by the court because there is already a valid and enforceable contract involving a real property. Specific performance is proper when it involves real property.
In scenario 2, the breach of contract by Marita involves rendering personal service. Jurisprudence and the law is consistent that the court cannot award an order of specific performance involving personal services (Denicola, 2002) because it will be tantamount to rendering involuntary servitude that is a violation of a person’s constitutional rights.
In scenario 3, it would be improper for the court to order specific performance. According to Rivera (n.d.), the court usually refrains from ordering specific performance on the sale of the personal property without resorting to the exhaustion of other legal remedies such as monetary damages that is equivalent to the value of the goods that is the object of the contract. In this scenario, the rare coin is a personal property that does not automatically warrant the order for a specific performance.
In scenario 4, the object of the contract is also a personal property, that is, a share of stocks. The court may first resort to awarding damages in lieu of specific performance with the same doctrine applied in scenario 3.
It can be noted that specific performance is mainly an equitable remedy granted by the court. It is only resorted when there are no other lawful remedies available to the party, such as when the payment of monetary damage is deemed inadequate.
Denicola, R. (2002). The law of contracts. USA: Boston Legal Publishing.
Rivera, J. (n.d.). What is specific performance? Retrieved on November 25, 2014 at http://www.legalmatch.com/law-library/article/specific-performance-lawyers.html.