specific performance. The rendering, as nearly as practicable, of a promised performance through a judgment or decree; specif., a court-ordered remedy that requires precise fulfillment of a legal or contractual obligation when monetary damages are inappropriate or inadequate, as when the sale of real estate or a rare article is involved. ? Specific performance is an equitable remedy that lies within the court’s discretion to award whenever the common-law remedy is insufficient, either because damages would be inadequate or because the damages could not possibly be established.

¡ª Also termed specific relief. [Cases: Specific Performance

1. C.J.S. Specific Performance ¡ì¡ì 2, 5¨C6.]

¡°In essence, the remedy of specific performance enforces the execution of a contract according to its terms, and it may therefore be contrasted with the remedy of damages, which is compensation for non-execution. In specific performance, execution of the contract is enforced by the power of the Court to treat disobedience of its decree as contempt, for which the offender may be imprisoned until he is prepared to comply with the decree. Actually, … it is not strictly accurate to say that the Court enforces execution of the contract according to its terms, for the Court will not usually intervene until default upon the contract has occurred, so that enforcement by the Court is later in time than performance carried out by the person bound, without the intervention of the Court.¡± G.W. Keeton, An Introduction to Equity 304 (5th ed. 1961).

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