SPECIFIC PERFORMANCE. A technical legal term employed to denote the equitable doc trine and rules under which a court may compel a party who has refused to perform his part of an agreement to carry it out according to its terms. In an action at law for the breach of a contract the only relief possible is damages, but as money is not always an adequate compensa tion for the loss which may be suffered, the courts of equity will in certain cases decree a specific or actual performance of the terms of the contract. It lies in the discretion of the court whether or not to grant this relief, but precedents must be followed as a guide. In gen eral, to obtain a decree of specific performance the plaintiff must satisfy the court that the remedy at law is entirely inadequate; that there was a valid, fair, and reasonable contract be tween the parties; and that he has done nothing inequitable on his part. It is a general rule to
grant specific performance of contracts for the conveyance of real estate. It is only in excep tional cases that the relief will be granted in cases of contracts to convey personal property, and then only when the article is unique in its character and practically unobtainable elsewhere, such as a rare picture which could not be dupli cated. In a few cases specific performance of a contract to do some act, such as build a struc ture. will be decreed. FoĽ example, where a rail road agreed to build an ornamental bridge over a private roadway in consideration of the right of way through a man's premises, the court de creed that the company should construct the bridge according to the terms of their contract. Consult Fry, On Specific Performance. See also CONTRACT, and authorities there referred to.