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Morris v. Sparrow - 225 Ark. 1019, 287 S.W.2d 583 (1956)

Rule:

A cowboy was entitled to maintain a suit in equity to enforce specific performance of a contract to deliver a roping horse that he had trained.

Facts:

Morris owned a cattle ranch near Mountain View, Arkansas, and he also participated in rodeos. Sparrow was a cowboy with experience in training horses. He too occasionally took part in rodeos. While at a rodeo, Sparrow and Morris made an agreement that they would go to Morris' ranch in Arkansas and, later, the two would go to Canada. After arriving at the Morris ranch, they changed their plans and decided that, while Morris went to Canada, Sparrow would stay at the ranch and do the necessary work. The parties agreed that Sparrow was to work 16 weeks for a money consideration of $400.00. As an additional consideration for his work done, Sparrow requested that he was to receive a brown horse called Keno owned by Morris. However, Morris stated that Sparrow was to get the horse only on condition that his work at the ranch was satisfactory. Sparrow failed to do a good job, and so, Morris paid Sparrow the amount of money they agreed was due, but did not deliver the horse. Sparrow filed suit for specific performance, seeking to compel Morris to deliver possession of the horse. The Chancery court ruled in favor of Sparrow. Morris appealed asserting specific performance could not be filed for personal property.

Issue:

Is specific performance proper for the delivery of personal property, such as a horse?

Answer:

Yes

Conclusion:

The Court held that the cowboy was entitled to maintain a suit in equity to enforce specific performance of a contract to deliver a horse that he had trained. It further noted that acceptance by the cowboy of a check for the exact amount of money due him by the rancher with a notation thereon "labor paid in full" held not an accord and satisfaction of an additional consideration of a horse promised in consideration of the labor performed.

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