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Can the courts force someone to uphold a contract?

On Behalf of | Sep 6, 2022 | Business Law |

Maybe you hired someone to make your business website compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act( ADA). Maybe you contract with your vendors to ensure a steady supply of crucial materials for your restaurant or manufacturing facility.

Your business contracts help you plan your company’s operations, manage its budget and reliably produce valuable services or unique products. When a professional or business fails to follow through on contractual obligations, their failure can hurt your company. A breach of contract could increase your operating costs or even damage your reputation if it delays the delivery of an important order for a client.

Can you ask the courts to uphold and enforce your contract with an outside party?

Specific performance is one viable solution

The judge presiding over a breach of contract case has the option of ordering numerous different solutions. They can void the contract to end the business relationship between the parties. They can award damages or order a refund of payments made for services or materials that your company never received.

The judge can also order specific performance, which is a legal term for requiring that the other party take certain actions. Specific performance can be a way for the courts to enforce your existing contract and mandate that the other party follows through with their promises to your business.

The drawbacks of specific performance

Just because the courts order the other party to make good on their promises does not mean that they will do so in a timely manner, nor does it guarantee that they will deliver high-quality materials or perform the services to the standard that they usually would. If there has been significant bad blood between you and the other party, specific performance may only complicate the matter, rather than resolve it.

A judge will likely take your preferences into consideration. If you simply cannot resolve a conflict with a supplier or service provider who violated their contract with your company, going to court may be the only way for you to resolve the conflict. Although you can never guarantee what a judge will do in any given situation, they often consider the stated preferences of the plaintiff when making their decision on how to resolve the dispute.

Exploring the benefits and drawbacks of different solutions for breach of contract claims can help you push for the best resolution to your dispute.