Teri is a firefighter who lives and works in Boston, MA. She recently decided to purchase a new home on the banks of the Charles River in Cambridge, MA so that she could walk to the Harvard library whenever she gets bored. Therefore, Teri decides to sell her home. She lists her home in an ad and receives an offer from Jack to buy her home for $300,000. Teri accepts the offer and they sign a contract to that effect.
After the contract is signed, however, Teri learns of a Boston municipal rule that all firefighters must live within the Boston city limits. Since Cambridge is outside Boston, Teri decides that she can’t move after all. She calls Jack and tells him that Jack will have to look for another house because Teri is not moving.
Jack sues Teri in municipal court in Boston. He asks the judge for specific performance; i.e., to force Teri to sell him the house in accordance with the original deal. Teri argues that, although specific performance is usually appropriate in land sale contract cases, the judge has the discretion to deny specific performance.
Teri argues that the unique facts of her case; i.e., that she can’t move because of the Boston residence rule for firefighters, allow the judge to deny specific performance on this case.
You are a law clerk in the municipal court in which the case is taking place. Please write an IRAC-style essay explaining whether or not the judge should deny specific performance to Jack in this case. Please use Massachusetts case law, as the judge has told you that she couldn’t care less what other states’ courts have to say.
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