Specific performance is an alternative to a courts decision to award damages and it is commonly used as injunctive relief in cases involving real property or the disclosure of confidential information. Because a specific performance action can cause serious damage to the seller that often may not be remedied through either a slander of title or malicious prosecution suit, particularly when the plaintiff/buyer is insolvent and, thus, has even greater leverage, legislative action is necessary to protect sellers. 17 Terex Trailer Corp. v. McIlwain, 579 So. Buyer’s Suing for Specific Performance The buyer may pursue specific performance if the seller is unwilling to carry out his or her obligations under the contract. Specific Performance asks the court to force the opposing party … Specific performance is the legal concept that anyone who signs a contract is bound to the terms of the contract. 2 To support its waiver argument, the buyer relied on Mark v. Hahn, 177 So. In the typical case in which a lis pendens is based on a claim for specific performance of a real estate contract, there is no duly recorded instrument already clouding title because the contract is rarely recorded. The period of limitation for a suit for specific performance of a contract is three years and the time of limitation starts to run from the date fixed for the performance, or, if no such date is fixed, when the plaintiff has notice that performance is refused. This article discusses the legal and practical problems with representing a seller of property confronted with the possibility of being effectively “blackmailed” into settling frivolous claims for breach of a real estate sales contract. Within the allotted time period, the owner elected not to proceed in what was an ambiguous contract coupled with a bad bargain. Chiusolo v. Kennedy, 614 So. 9 Fla. Stat. If the buyer is successful in its specific performance claim, the court typically orders the seller to convey title in accordance with the terms of the contract. The legislature could remedy this situation by enacting a statute that protects unsophisticated/unrepresented sellers and provides that as a condition to the remedy of specific performance in real estate transactions, the plaintiff/buyer must post a bond equivalent to a percentage such as 30 percent of the purchase price, plus a reasonable amount for costs and attorneys’ fees, accompanied by evidence that there was a binding financing commitment in effect at the time of the default. Other items courts agree that support specific performance is custom-made products, works of art, and goods that are in short supply. Under contract, the buyer had the right to extend the closing date for three 30-day periods by paying a $25,000 “extension fee” by a specified date for each extension. 2d 778 (Fla. 2d D.C.A. §48.23 provides the procedures to be followed in obtaining a lis pendens. Hence, the statement of a cause of action in a suit for specific performance calls for two kinds of allegations: those that establish the right to recover for breach of contract, as well as those that are … Aside from being unethical, such conduct may also expose the attorney to liability to the buyer in tort for fraud or misrepresentation. Thus, the law allows an aggrieved party to file a claim for specific performance, which requests the court to order the party breaching the contract to perform its obligations under that contract. ‘To inculcate in its members the principles of duty and service to the public, to improve the administration of justice, and to advance the science of jurisprudence.’ The statute provides: “(1)(a) No action in any of the state or federal courts in this state operates as a lis pendens on any real or personal property involved therein or to be affected thereby until a notice of the commencement of the action is recorded in the office of the clerk of the circuit court of the county where the property is, which notice contains the names of the parties, the time of institution of the action, the name of the court in which it is pending, a description of the property involved or to be affected, and a statement of the relief sought as to the property. Because of this dilemma, a third party is required to convey title to the successful buyer only when the third party is not a bona fide purchaser without notice of the claim. The appeals process can add an additional year or more to resolve a claim. In the event said notice of lis pendens is discharged by order of the court, the same shall not in any way affect the validity of any unrecorded interest or lien. Courts will enforce specific performance only if the underlying contract was fair and equitable. In one case, the buyer and seller entered into a purchase and sale contract for an unimproved parcel of property to be purchased in four phases for $12,000,000. The court may impose such terms for the extension of time as justice requires. What Does Specific Performance Mean? 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