Franklin Circuit Court - 15 Ohio C.D. 663, 15 Ohio C.C. Dec. 663
The case involves an appeal from a lower court's decision to dismiss Columbus' petitions against Cleveland and Pittsburgh railway companies. The city seeks to enforce a contract for the construction of a viaduct on High street, which requires the railway companies to erect buildings on their property facing the viaduct and High street approaches to obstruct the view of cars and engines. The defendants argue that the city lacked the authority to enter into the contract, that courts typically do not order specific performance for building contracts, and that the contract is too vague to serve as a basis for such a decree. The court recognizes that the city lacks the administrative power to enforce the building of structures, but as a private business corporation, it has the authority to enter into contracts that benefit the community. The court has jurisdiction to enforce specific performance of a contract for defined work on the defendant's property, in which the plaintiff has a material interest and which cannot be compensated for by damages. The court will enforce specific performance of a covenant when it is necessary for justice and damages are inadequate. This exception also applies when there has been part performance and the defendant is enjoying the benefits. The contract must be sufficiently defined, and the court will compel a party to perform a contract in specie when they have already enjoyed the benefits of the contract.
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