Chancery Court Litigation: Specific Performance
New Jersey recognizes the doctrine of specific performance as a legal remedy to compel enforcement of an agreement pertaining to the possession of property such as real estate, family treasures, heirlooms, pets, and works of art that induce a strong sentimental attachment. Specific performance is typically invoked when one party to a contract or entrusted with a fiduciary obligation refuses to perform their obligation, and an award of money damages cannot adequately compensate the injured party for the special subjective benefits derived from possession.
Our experienced attorneys prosecute and defend actions for specific performance brought in the Superior Court of New Jersey. Because specific performance is a discretionary remedy resting on equitable principles New Jersey courts generally grant such relief only in “exceptional circumstances.” Typically, actions for specific performance are filed in the Chancery Court where the judges have particular expertise in deciding cases primarily involving equitable relief. However, a specific performance case can also be filed in the Law Division which is equipped to decide disputes involving both legal and equitable relief.
One of the more common types of specific performance cases involves a contract containing an option to purchase real estate at some point in the future. An example is a lease agreement that provides the tenant with the right to exercise an option to purchase the premises upon satisfying certain conditions. Like any other contract, an option to purchase real estate must be supported by valid consideration and the property must be sufficiently described in the contract.
Creative situations require creative thinking. The law firm of LoFaro & Reiser is experienced in litigating specific performance cases before the Superior Court of New Jersey. Please contact our attorneys today to discuss your case