N. Del. Indus. Dev. Corp. v. E. W. Bliss Co.

245 A.2d 431 (Del. Ch. 1968)

 

RULE:

Performance of a contract for personal services, even of a unique nature, will not be affirmatively and directly enforced.

FACTS:

The court would not exercise jurisdiction over plaintiffs' application for an order for specific performance of a proposal attached to the parties' contract, contemplating the employment of two daily work shifts during a period when a mill would be shut down for renovation. The relief was denied because of the lack of precision of the language of the proposal and the basic principle that courts of equity were, in any event, prone to stand aside when asked to supervise the completion of a complex building contract on lands not owned by defendant by entering an order for specific performance. Thereafter, plaintiffs filed a motion for reargument, arguing that what they actually sought was not an order making the court the supervisor of a vast building project, but rather one directing the performance of a ministerial act. The court denied the motion.

ISSUE:

Can specific performance of defendant's ministerial duty to hire a substantial number of additional laborers be ordered?

ANSWER:

No.

CONCLUSION:

Performance of a contract for personal services, even of a unique nature, would not be affirmatively and directly enforced because the difficulties involved in compelling performance were such as to make an order for specific performance impractical. 

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