Loveless v. Diehl

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Loveless v. Diehl
Court Supreme Court of Arkansas
Citation 236 Ark. 129
364 S.W.2d 317 (1963)
Date decided 1963

Facts

Mr. and Mrs. Loveless owned a farm which they leased to Mr. and Mrs. Diehl for a 3-year term at a rental of $100.00 per month. The lease contained a clause which allowed the Diehls to purchase the land for a total price of $21,000 at any time during the lease. During the 3-year term, the Diehls spent several thousand dollars in improvements on the land. Mr. Diehl purchased a pipeline milking system from Mr. Loveless for $1440.95, none of which had been paid. Before the 3-year term had expired, the Diehls agreed with Dr. J.W. Hart to sell him the place for $22,000 which would have given them a profit of $1,000 after paying the Lovelesses. Then Mr. Loveless disclaimed any intention to sell the property to the Diehls, took forcible possession of the land, and rented the property to Mr. Waggoner for $100 per month.


Procedural History

Diehl sued Loveless for specific performance as well as damages. Loveless denied the claim for specific performance, and by counterclaim sought judgment on a note. Trial resulted in a decree awarding Diehl specific performance and damages, and also awarding Loveless judgment on the note. Both sides have appealed.

Issues

Whether specific performance should be denied when a resale of the property in question is the only way that the contract could have been executed.


Holding/Decision

The Diehls were entitled to $1,000 in damages for the difference between their hypothetical selling price and their hypothetical purchase price.


Reasoning

To refuse specific relief on account of proposed resale would establish an unsound precedent.