Citation: Campbell v. Carr and Glover

Facts: Carrs leased the 108 acre tract of unimproved property in question for 30 years to Campbell. Carr lived in New York and she had only seen the land once, which she inherited from her mother. Carr was sick with Schizophrenia and she ask Campbell if they were interested in buy the land. But she did not know what the value of the land was and she made a mistake of asking the buyer. Campbell quoted Carr the fair market value if the land was not used for agriculture ($54,000). However the County Tax Assessor agriculture market value was assessed at $103,700. Carr and Campbell entered into a written contract of $54,000.

Earnest money of $1000 was given to Carr. Carr did not attend the closing as she felt the sale price was unfair, Carr returned the earnest money, but Campbell refused to accept it. In the meantime, Carr conveyed an undivided one-half interest in the property to her cousin, Ruth Riley Glover. A real estate expert valued the land at $126,000. Campbell brought a suit against Carr, seeking specific performance of land contract entered into between Campbell and Carr. The master-in-equity tried the case without a jury and ordered specific performance of the contract. Carr appealed, arguing that the master-in-equity should not have ordered specific performance of the contract.

Issue: Whether inadequacy of consideration is grounds for refusing the remedy of specific performance?

Decision: The trial court reversed the decision says: The prospective buyer was not entitled to specific performance because of the gross inadequacy of price coupled with the prospective seller weakness of mind.

Reason: The inadequate consideration combined with Carr’s weakness of mind, due to her schizophrenia and depression, makes it inequitable to order specific performance.