Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Centex Homes Corp. v. Boag case brief

Centex Homes Corp. v. Boag case brief summary
320 A.2d 194 (1974)


CASE SYNOPSIS
Plaintiff vendor instituted an action against defendant buyers for specific performance or, in the alternative, for liquidated damages, for defendants' breach of purchase agreement for an apartment in plaintiff's condominium project.

CASE FACTS
Plaintiff vendor and defendant buyers executed a purchase agreement for an apartment in plaintiff's condominium project. Upon defendants' breach of the agreement, plaintiff instituted an action for specific performance or, in the alternative, for liquidated damages.

DISCUSSION

  • The court held that plaintiff failed to show any compelling reasons for specific performance to be granted because the damages sustained by plaintiff resulting from defendants' breach were readily measurable and the damage remedy at law was wholly adequate. 
  • The court observed that specific performance should not be automatically granted because the subject matter of a contract was the transfer of a fee interest in real estate. 
  • The court concluded that the condominium apartment units, regardless of their realty label, shared the same characteristics as personal property. 
  • The court ruled that plaintiff could retain only the amount of defendants' initial deposit because the liquidated damage clause in the agreement limited plaintiff to amounts paid by defendants at the time the default occurred.

CONCLUSION
The court dismissed plaintiff vendor's action against defendant buyers for specific performance or for liquidated damages resulting from defendants' breach of purchase agreement for an apartment in plaintiff's condominium project. The court held that plaintiff had an adequate remedy at law, which precluded the equitable remedy of specific performance, and that plaintiff could retain only defendant's initial deposit as liquidated damages.

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