Contract law Analysis Paper

Teri is a firefighter who lives and works in Boston, MA. She recently decided to purchase a new home on the banks of the Charles River in Cambridge, MA so that she could walk to the Harvard library whenever she gets bored. Therefore, Teri decides to sell her home. She lists her home in an ad and receives an offer from Jack to buy her home for $300,000. Teri accepts the offer and they sign a contract to that effect. After the contract is signed, however, Teri learns of a Boston municipal rule that all firefighters must live within the Boston city limits.

Since Cambridge is outside Boston, Teri decides that she can't move after all. She calls Jack and tells him that Jack will have to look for another house because Teri is not moving. Jack sues Teri in municipal court in Boston. He asks the judge for specific performance; i. e. to force Teri to sell him the house in accordance with the original deal. Teri argues that, although specific performance is usually appropriate in land sale contract cases, the judge has the discretion to deny specific performance.

Teri argues that the unique facts of her case; i.e. , that she can't move because of the Boston residence for firefighters rule, allow the judge to deny specific performance on this case. You are a law clerk in the municipal court in which the case is taking place. Please write an essay explaining whether or not the judge can deny specific performance to Jack in this case. Please use Massachusetts case law to the extent possible. To: Ellis Washington, Esq. FROM: Jun Min RE:Demand for Specific performance in real estate transaction dispute between Teri and Jack DATE: Dec. 19th, 2013 ISSUE.

Whether or not the judge can deny specific performance to Jack? RULE Specific performance is always applicable in real estate sales cases becauseevery piece of real estate is inherently considered “unique”. FACTS Teri entered into a valid, binding purchase contract with Jack to sell her house for an agreed price at $300,000. 00. After the contract is signed, however, Teri learns of a Boston municipal rule that all firefighters must live within the Boston city limits. Since Cambridge is outside Boston, Teri changes her mind and refuses to sell the house.

Jack sues Teri in municipal court in Boston. He asks the judge for specific performance; i. e. to force Teri to sell him the house in accordance with the original deal. Teri argues that, although specific performance is usually appropriate in land sale contract cases, the judge has the discretion to deny specific performance. DISCUSSION The rule is that specific performance is always applicable in real estate sales cases because every piece of real estate is inherently considered “unique”.

Teri argues that, although specific performance is usually appropriate in land sale contract cases, the judge has the discretion to deny specific performance. A judge has a "reasonable range" of discretion to grant or deny specific performance, and “…A decree of specific performance of a land sale agreement was affirmed because there was evidence sufficient to support the findings and there was insufficient evidence of inequitable conduct or dishonesty on the purchaser's part. ” see Kaplan v. Bessette, 357 Mass. 233 (Mass. 1970).

In this case, there is no evidence of inequitable conduct or dishonesty on Jack. In Benet v. Vernon, 2001 Mass. Super. LEXIS 200 (Mass. Super. Ct. Mar. 28, 2001), a standard form offer to purchase real estate, when accepted by the seller, constitutes a binding agreement subject to enforcement by specific performance. Specific performance is normally granted in disputes involving the conveyance of land, due to the unique nature of real property and the inadequacy of money damages. Teri accepted Jack’s offer and the purchase contract they entered into was valid, legal and binding.

A judge has considerable discretion with respect to granting specific performance, but it is usually granted in disputes involving the conveyance of land. It is well-settled law in Massachusetts that real property is unique and money damages will often be inadequate to redress a deprivation of an interest in land. See Levin v. Peterson, 12 Mass. L. Rep. 704 (Mass. Super. Ct. 2001). CONCLUSION A judge has a "reasonable range" of discretion to deny specific performance but likely will affirm Jack’s demand in this case according to Massachusetts case law.