Summary of Centex v Home Corp. v. Boag
S. Ct. of New Jersey, 1974
Facts: Centex developed and built a high rise condominium in NJ. Def. Boag executed a contract for purchase of an individual unit therein. The contract price was $73,000, and Boag deposited a check with PL for $525. After signing an additional $6,870 check was delivered to PL. Shortly thereafter Boag’s employer notified him that he would be transferring to Chicago. Df notified Pl of his inability to complete the purchase and issued a stop payment on the check before Centex could cash it.
Issue: Whether equitable remedy of specific performance for the enforcement of a contract for the sale of a condominium apartment?
Procedure: On August 8, 1973 Centex instituted this action in Chancery Division The matter is presently before this court on the motion of Centex for summary judgment. Complaint dismissed
Rule: Specific performance should be confined to those special instances where a vendor of real estate will otherwise suffer an economic injury for which his damage remedy at law will not be adequate or where other equitable considerations require that relief. Mutuality of remedy is not the basis for granting or denying specific performance.
Ct. Rationale: Specific performance is not automatically available to a vendor of real estate, that specific performance will not be ordered in instant case since damages sustained by vendor were readily measurable and any damage remedy at law was wholly adequate. Since purchase contract limited liquidated damages to such moneys as were paid at time default occurred, sponsor’s liquidated damages were limited to retention of initial deposit $525.
PL A: Since the subject matter of the contract is the transfer of interest in real estate, the remedy is specific performance.
Def A: The damage remedy rather than specific performance is adequate.
Mutuality Rule: Mutuality of obligation is satisfied if the decree of specific performance operates effectively against both parties and gives to each the benefit of mutual obligation.