Specific performance is an action ordered by a court, typically involving an obligation stated in an existing contract. This type of court order is used when monetary damages are not sufficient for fulfilling the terms of a contract, or the amount of the monetary damages cannot be calculated. Specific performance is not normally required under the following circumstances:
- The contract is unconscionable
- The contract is terminable by either party to it
- The party required to engage in the performance would undergo severe hardship
- The party required to engage in the performance must deliver personal services
A defendant refusing to obey a specific performance order can be held in contempt, and so could potentially be jailed.