Brashier v. Gratz - 19 U.S. 528 (1821)
U.S. Supreme Court
Brashier v. Gratz, 19 U.S. 6 Wheat. 528 528 (1821)
Brashier v. Gratz
19 U.S. (6 Wheat.) 528
The general rule is that time is not of the essence of a contract of sale, and a failure on the part of the purchaser or vendor to perform his contract on the stipulated day does not of itself deprive him of his right to a specific performance when he is able to comply with his part of the engagement.
But circumstances may be so changed that the object of the party can no longer be accomplished, and he cannot be placed in the same situation as if the contract had been performed in due time. In such a case, a court of equity will leave the parties to their remedy at law.
Limitations of the general rule that time is not of the essence of the contract.
If a bill for a specific performance be brought by a party who is himself in fault, the court will consider all the circumstances, and decree according to those circumstances.
Part performance will, under some circumstances, induce the court to relieve.
But where a considerable length of time has elapsed where the party demanding a specific performance has failed to perform his part of the contract, and the demand is made after a great change in the title and the value of the land, and there is a want of reciprocity in the obligations of the respective, parties, a court of equity will not interfere.