The Carrs have leased the property in question
for 30 years.
Seen Land Once
Campbell lived in New York and she had only seen the land
She inherited the land from her mother.
She was sick with Schizophrenia and she ask the Carr if they were
interested in the buying the land.
Did not know
She did not know what the value of the land was and she made the
mistake of asking the buyer.
Non-Ag use vs.
Ag Use Value
Campbell quoted Carr the access fair market value if the land
was not used for agriculture ($54,000).
However, the County Tax Assessor agriculture market value was accessed
Carr and Campbell entered into a written contract for $54,000.
Earnest money of $1000 was given to Car.
Carr did not
attend the closing
She felt the sales price was unfair.
Carr returned the earnest money, but Campbell refused.
In the meantime, Carr conveyed
one-half interest to her cousin Ruth Glover.
Found land was valued at $162,000.
Campbell Brought Suit
Seeking specific performance of a land contract entered into between
Campbell and Carr.
The master-in-equity tried the case without a jury and
ordered specific performance
of the contract.
Asked for Review
Specific performance should be granted
only if there is no
adequate remedy at law and
specific enforcement of the
contract is equitable
between the parties.
Equity will not decree specific performance
unless the contract is fair,
just, and equitable.
Specific performance will not be ordered
contract expresses the true
intent of the parties and is fair, just and equitable.
In order to compel specific performance, a court of equity must
(1) There is clear evidence of a valid agreement;
(2) The agreement had been partly
carried into execution on one side with the approbation
[warm approval] of the other; and
(3) The party who comes to compel performance has performed his or her
part, or has been and remains able and willing to perform
his or her part of the contract.
Inadequacy Of Consideration
Is not grounds for refusing specific performance
Mere inadequacy of consideration is not a ground for refusing the
remedy of specific performance.
Defense to Inadequacy
The inadequacy must either be accompanied by other
inequitable incidents, or
must be so gross as to show fraud.
incidents are inequitable and show bad faith
such as concealment, misrepresentations, undue advantage,
oppression on the part of the one who obtains the benefit, or
ignorance, weakness of mind, sickness, old age, incapacity,
pecuniary necessities, and the like, on the part of the other --
these circumstances, combined with inadequacy of price,
may easily induce a court to
grant relief, defensive or affirmative.
inadequate consideration is combined with weakness of mind
When a grossly inadequate consideration is combined with weakness of
mind on the part of the seller, a denial of specific performance
Inadequacy of Price
The inadequacy of price is determined at the date the contract was
The inadequacy must not be measured by grains, but it ought to be
palpably disproportioned to the real and market value of the
property, so as to constitute a hard, unreasonable, and
It is not necessary that it should be so gross as to excite an
exclamation or to indicate imposition, oppression or fraud,
for this would be sufficient
ground not only for refusing a specific performance but for
rescinding the contract.
In this case
The consideration stated in the contract between Carr and the Campbells
The $54,000 sales price in the contract was significantly below the
appraised value of $162,000.
The Collateral I.D. report's expected sell value of $129,625 to
$145,180, and the Richland County Tax Assessor's fair market
value of $103,700.
This inadequate consideration combined with Carr's weakness of mind,
due to her schizophrenia and depression, makes it inequitable to
order specific performance.
buyers had greater knowledge combined with Carrs sickness
The Campbells, as the prospective purchasers, had greater knowledge of
the real estate value of the land, having leased the land for
thirty years for personal hunting and farming purposes, compared
with Carr, who lived in New York, had not visited the property
since she was a child, and had no knowledge of the fair market
value of the property.
Additionally, Carr suffers from mental illness as the prospective
seller did in Craven.
We find the contract price of $54,000 is inadequate consideration
for the 108-acre tract of land.
The inadequacy of consideration in addition to Carr's mental
illnesses, make it inequitable to order specific performance.