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The role of specific performance in resolving contract breaches

The contracts that companies establish can make it easier for them to control costs and make standard operations more predictable. Unfortunately, not every individual or business that signs a contract does so in good faith. Some parties sign agreements with no true intention of upholding them. Many others may sign in good faith but experience some kind of challenge or setback that prevents them from fulfilling their obligations to another interested party.

A breach of contract can cost a company money and disrupt its operations. In extreme cases, a breach by an outside party could even damage an organization’s reputation by affecting how well it fulfills its obligations to others. Going to court is often necessary to resolve breach of contract conflicts, as an order of specific performance might be the best possible solution to a contract dispute.

What does specific performance involve?

When it is clear that one party has reached a contract, the other party can ask the courts for assistance. Instead of seeking monetary damages or in addition to doing so, the plaintiff in a breach of contract lawsuit might request specific performance. A judge could require that the other party perform certain acts to remedy the prior contract breach.

An order of specific performance is effectively a court order setting specific requirements on a party that violated a written agreement. A judge could order the delivery of certain materials or the completion of certain services. In some cases, they may require specifically what a contract already included, or they may go beyond that because of the impact the breach of contract has had on the plaintiff’s operations.

If the party subject to an order of specific performance does not follow through on this obligation, they will very likely face claims of contempt of court. There can be additional penalties for failing to comply with an order of specific performance as well.

Particularly in scenarios where finding another party to provide certain materials or services would be challenging, an order of specific performance may be the best possible solution to a contract breach that has affected a business. Seeking legal guidance is a good way to assess whether or not pursuing specific performance is the best way forward.