Wisconsin Supreme Court Upholds Specific Performance
Today, the Wisconsin Supreme Court, in Ash Park, LLC v. Alexander & Bishop, Ltd., held in a unanimous decision that sellers of real estate may seek specific performance of the contract and interest on the purchase price without first pursuing other remedies when buyers breach the contract.
In this case, Alexander & Bishop ("the Buyer") breached a contract to purchase a parcel of real estate from Ash Park, LLC, (the "Seller"). The circuit court granted summary judgment in favor of the Seller and ordered specific performance of the contract and also imposed interest on the purchase price from the time of the breach to the time of court's ruling.
The Buyer claimed that the Seller was first required to pursue other legal remedies (e.g., a judicial sale of the property) before seeking specific performance of the contract. In addition, the Buyer argued that the Seller should not be entitled to interest on the purchase price or, in the alternative, should be required to attempt to sell the property to another party after the breach has occurred as a way to mitigate damages and offset any interest owed on the purchase price.
The Supreme Court rejected these arguments and upheld the circuit court's decision to award specific performance of the contract and interest on the purchase price. Specifically, the court held:
The WRA filed an amicus brief in this case arguing that sellers should be able to seek specific performance and interest when a buyer breaches the contract. This year, the WRA has filed briefs in 7 cases -- 5 cases before the Wisconsin Supreme Court, 1 case before the Wisconsin Court of Appeals, and 1 case before the Seventh Circuit Federal Court of Appeals. So far, the WRA has received favorable rulings in 2 of these cases. For more information, please contact Tom Larson (firstname.lastname@example.org) at (608) 240-8254.