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Kitchen v. Herring

    Brief Fact Summary.

    Plaintiff sued Defendant for specific performance when Plaintiff was removed from the possession of property he purchased from Defendant.

    Synopsis of Rule of Law.

    The vendee of a breached contract for the sale of land is generally entitled to specific performance.

    Facts.

    In December 1846, Herring (Defendant) entered a contract to sell real property to John L. Kitchen (Plaintiff). Plaintiff took possession of the property in March 1847 and subsequently arranged to have timber on the property cut down. The primary value of the land was attributable to the timber. Plaintiff was later removed from possession of the property. Plaintiff sued for specific performance.

    Issue.

    Whether the vendee of a breached contract for the sale of land is generally entitled to specific performance.

    Held.

    Yes. The court ruled in favor of Plaintiff. The vendee of a breached contract for the sale of land is generally entitled to specific performance.

    Discussion.

    Generally, land is considered to be so uniquely valuable that the remedy for a vendee suing on a breached contract for the sale of land is specific performance. Defendant argues that the land is not valuable enough to warrant the remedy of specific performance. However, land is considered valuable in itself, regardless of its quality.


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