Wesley v. Eells,
177 U.S. 370 (1900)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Wesley v. Eells, 177 U.S. 370 (1900)

Wesley v. Eells, 177 U.S. 370 (1900)

No. 176

Argued and submitted March 9, 1900

Decided April 9, 1900

177 U.S. 370


Specific performance of an executory contract is not of absolute right. It rests entirely in judicial discretion, exercised, it is true, according to the settled principles of equity, and not arbitrarily or capriciously, yet always with reference to the facts of the particular case.

A court of equity will not compel specific performance if, under all the circumstances, it would be inequitable to do so.

It is a settled rule in equity that the defendant in a suit brought for the specific performance of an executory contract will not be compelled to take a title about which doubt may reasonably exist or which may expose him to litigation.

Speaking generally, a title is to be deemed doubtful where a court of coordinate jurisdiction has decided adversely to it or to the principles on which it rests.

The case is stated in the opinion.

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