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What is the difference between specific performance and an injunction.I know that an...

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greathouse123 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 1, 2010 at 12:41 AM via web

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What is the difference between specific performance and an injunction.

I know that an injuction is to put a hold on something, and I know that specific performance is something to do with an act the court orders that is in the contract.  I am confused

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badrlaw | Salutatorian

Posted October 1, 2010 at 5:17 AM (Answer #1)

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They do not have to be different.  Both are equitable remedies.  However an injunction typically orders the cessation or prohibition of the doing of a specific act, whereas specific performance tends to force a party to do the act contracted for.  This is easiest to grasp with examples.

Joseph, a famous and well-liked oenophile (wine expert) agrees to put his signature on Wine-Ohhh, LLC's 2010 Chardonnay as an endorsement and marketing tool.  Joe later decides he doesn't want to.  Wine-Ohhh, LLC sues Joe, arguing that the benefit of Joe's endorsement is not calculable in monetary terms and asking the court to order specific performance, namely, Joe's signature on the 2010 Chardonnay.  If the court agrees, Joe will have to perform those contractual obligations he originally agreed to.

On the other hand, Jose Bro's, Inc., a local vineyard, won awards for its wine every year until last, at which time tasters complained of a distinct and unpleasant chemical flavor in the wine.  The only thing that changed was the large chemical processing plant that moved in less than ten acres away from the vineyard.  After considerable testing and research, Jose Bro's discovers that the chemical plant is causing harmless but foul tasting chemicals to be absorbed by the grape vines from which Jose Bro's wine is made.  Jose Bro's files suit asking the court to enjoin the chemical plant's use of the foul tasting chemical.  If the court agrees, it will issue an injunction against the chemical plant, preventing it from using the foul tasting chemical.

Bear in mind that injunction and specific performance relate specifically and solely to non-monetary, equitable relief.  If a party is asking for an injunction, they aren't going to get money, if they are asking for money, they aren't going to get an injunction.  Also, most of the time, if it is possible to obtain adequate relief from a monetary judgment, the court will be hesitant to offer equitable relief.  Thus, it is usually seen in circumstances (like the examples above) where money damages will be either very difficult to calculate or are in some way inadequate to remedy the harm done.

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