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Campbell v. Carr

    Brief Fact Summary.

    Martha Carr (Carr) refused to sell her property to Raymond Campbell (Campbell) after determining that that the fair market value of her property was greater than the agricultural assessed value of the land. 

    Synopsis of Rule of Law.

    Specific performance is an equitable remedy that can be used to enforce a contract. 

    Facts.

    Martha Carr (Carr), who suffered from schizophrenia, inherited land that was leased by Raymond Campbell (Campbell). Campbell mistakenly told Carr that the purchase price of the party $54,000.The actual purchase price of the property was $103,700, the $54,000 price quote was for if the property was used for agricultural purposes. Carr and Campbell entered into a written contract to sell the property to Campbell for $54,000. Carr refused to close on the property and Campbell sued for specific performance under the contract. The trial court granted specific performance to Campbell and Carr appealed. 

    Issue.

    Whether specific performance is an equitable remedy that can be used to enforce a contract?

    Held.

    Yes, the judgment of the trial court is reversed. Granting specific performance is inequitable because Campbell had knowledge of the value of the property and Carr had schizophrenia. 

    Points of Law - for Law School Success

    In order to compel specific performance, a court of equity must find: (1) there is clear evidence of a valid agreement; (2) the agreement had been partly carried into execution on one side with the approbation of the other; and (3) the party who comes to compel performance has performed his or her part, or has been and remains able and willing to perform his or her part of the contract.

    View Full Point of Law
    Discussion.

    Lack of consideration will only invalidate a contract if the contract is made in bad faith. Lack of consideration alone is not enough to refuse the specific performance of a contract. 


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