Summary of Cumbest v. Harris
Appellant: Cumbest (plaintiff, buyer)
Appellee: Harris (defendant, seller)
Facts: Appellee contracted Appellant to sell a peculiar, sentimental and unique FI-HI equipment that has Appellant’s design and building on it, but failed to deliver the equipment and refuse to accept the money. Appellant sued for the specific performance of the contract. After dismissed, Appellant appealed.
Issue: Whether the unique, sentimental personal property can be the subject of the specific performance of the contract?
Holding: The court made the decision in favor of the appellant, reversing and remanding for a hearing on the merits.
Reasoning: Although the general rule is that the personality cannot be the subject of the specific performance, there are some exceptions, such as: 1) Where there is no adequate remedy at law; 2) Where the specific articles or property are of peculiar, sentimental or unique value; and 3) Where due to scarcity the chattel is not readily obtainable.
The hearing testified that some components are irreplaceable and the equipment was unique and falls into the category of property which is not readily obtainable due to scarcity. And the remedy of law is inadequate.
So the court concluded that in this case, there was a specific performance of the contract.