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Lexington Park, MD 20653
Under Maryland law, a party may bring a claim
for specific performance where there is a valid and enforceable contract, where
the party has tendered performance on the contract and that tender was rejected
by another party to the contract, or where the party was ready, willing, and
able to perform, and there is no adequate remedy at law. The most common scenario where specific
performance is seen is where an individual places a contract to purchase a
parcel of real estate, such as a house, and then the seller refuses to go to
closing to complete the sale.
In order to be entitled to specific
performance, a contract must be definite and certain in its terms. If there is inadequate description of what is
being contracted for, the court may find that there is no meeting of the minds
and deny a claim for specific performance.
Specific performance may be awarded regardless of how difficult it is
for the defendant.
The court has the authority to deny a claim
for specific performance, even if the plaintiff meets the requirements. The law provides however, that the court
should grant the remedy if the contract is fair, reasonable and certain in its
terms. The court may consider the intent
of the parties in deciding whether to allow for specific performance. Specific performance is usually awarded by
the court in cases where money damages would not adequately address the damage
done to the plaintiff.
In determining whether specific performance is
warranted, or whether monetary damages will suffice, the court will consider
three factors: the difficulty of proving damages with reasonable certainty, the
difficulty of procuring a suitable substitute performance by means of money
awarded as damages; and the likelihood that an award of damages could not be
A court may award damages in addition to a
decree of specific performance. These
damages are generally incidental to the breach.
These damages would be for any monetary loss that the plaintiff suffers
during the pendency of the action.
Generally, attorney’s fees are not awarded in a specific performance
action. If specific performance becomes
unavailable for any reason, the court may award monetary damages instead. Monetary damages would place the plaintiff
back in the place that they would have been but for the breach, i.e. the
plaintiff gets the benefit of the bargain that was contracted for.
The information contained on this page is
provided as general information and does not constitute legal advice. The experienced attorneys at Baldwin &
Briscoe, P.C. can assist you if you are involved in a specific performance
dispute or any civil litigation matter.
We’d be happy to sit down with you and review your situation and provide
appropriate advice. Call today for your
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With an office conveniently located in Lexington Park, The Law Offices of Baldwin, Briscoe & Stienmetz, P.C. serves clients in the counties and cities of Lexington Park, Leonardtown, Hollywood, Mechanicsville, Loveville, Helen, Breton Bay, Chaptico, Charlotte Hall, Golden Beach, Avenue, La Plata, Waldorf, Newburg, Port Tobacco, Port Charles, Solomons Island, Prince Frederick, Chesapeake Shores, Hughesville, Benedict, Nanjemoy, Lusby, Port Republic, St. Mary's County, Charles County, Calvert County, Prince George's County, Southern Maryland.