A court of equity cannot grant specific performance unless a decree can be framed which states with some exactness what the defendant must do. This necessity makes a degree of certainty necessary for equitable enforcement of a contract which is not always requisite for its enforcement at law.95 It is necessary not only that the defendant's duty under the contract shall be certain, but the plaintiff's also, since the decree must provide for that performance as well as the defendant's.96 But if there is sufficient expressed to make a legally valid contract, a court of equity can make certain by its decree, within reasonable limits, subordinate details of performance which the contract itself did not state. Thus where no time of performance is stated in the contract, the court may by its decree fix a reasonable time.97 In cases where specific performance of only part of an agreement is in question, it should also be observed that such uncertainty in another portion of the contract as would preclude specific performance of the latter portion will not destroy the plaintiff's claim for specific performance of the former part, if partial enforcement is otherwise allowable.98 It seems probable that the difficulty regarding uncertainty has been overemphasized.99 It should not be allowed to hamper equitable relief further than necessity requires.1
95 For the degree of certainty neo-eaary for the creation of a contract at law, see supra, Sec.J 37 et seq. For statements of the equitable doctrine we Minnesota Tribune Co. v. Associated Press. 83 Fed. 350, 27 C. C. A. 542; Rushton v. McKee, (Ala. 1917), 77 So. 343; Stanton v. Singleton, 126 Gal. 657, 59 Pac. 146, 47 L R. A. 334; Winter v. Goebner, 21 Colo. 279, 40 Pac. 570; Barnes v. Cowan, 147 Ga. 478, 94 S. E. 564; Dreiske v. Eisendrath Go., 214 111. 199, 73 N. E. 379; Waite v. Consigny, 183 Iowa, 259, 167 N. W. 200; Jones v. Wells, 31 Mich. 170; Gates v. McUulin, 199 Mich. 438, 165 N. W. 614; Heinisch v. Pennington, 73 N. J. Eq. 456, 68 Atl. 233; DavOa v. United Fruit Co., 88 N. J. Eq. 602,103 AtL 519; H. M. Weill Co. v. Ciwding, 181 N. Y. App. D. 282, 168 N. Y. S. 385, affd. 223 N. Y. 672, 119 N. E. 1048; Soloman v. Wilmington 8ewerage Co, 142 N. C. 439, 55,
S. E. 300, 6 L. R. A. (N. S.) 391; Feenaughty v. Beall, 91 Oreg. 654, 178 Pac. 600; Anthony v. Eve, (S. Car.) 95 S. E. 513; Hoster's Committee v. ZoUman, 122 Va. 41, 94 S. E. 164.
96 Burke v. Mead, 159 Ind. 252, 64 N. E. 880.
97 Inglis v. Fohey, 136 Wis. 28, 116 N. W. 857. See also Penney v. Norton (Ala.), 81 So. 616. So a provision in a contract for a deed in the "usual" form may be enforced if from parol evidence it appears that the main provisions of a conveyance are usually in substance the same in the locality in question. Hebert v. Mutual L. Ins. Co., 12 Fed. 807; Cochrane v. Justice Min. Co., 16 Colo. 415, 26 Pac. 780; Scannell v. American Soda Fountain Co., 161 Mo. 606, 61 S. W. 889. See also Noyes v. Bragg, 220 Mass. 106, 107 N. E. 669.