This section is from the book "The Law Of Contracts", by William Herbert Page. Also available from Amazon: Commercial Contracts: A Practical Guide to Deals, Contracts, Agreements and Promises.
A common illustration of the denial of specific performance in cases where, though the remaining facts are sufficient to justify such equitable relief, the decree cannot be enforced is found in the cases of contracts involving continuous duties of a personal nature or involving personal taste, discretion and skill.1 Thus a contract to support one, as a member of one's household,2 to open and develop a mine,3 to quarry and deliver for a considerable period of time marble blocks of specified size, shape and quality,4 to secure a right of way for another,5 to furnish news for a term of years,6 to operate a railway line,7 to construct a railway line,8 or to remove a specified building,9 are all of them contracts of which specific performance will not be given, since decrees to perform them cannot be enforced by the courts.
7 Hardenbergh v. Bacon, 33 Cal. 356.
8 Coleridge Creamery Co. v. Jenkins. - Neb. -; 92 N. W. 123.
1 Marble Co. v. Ripley, 10 Wall. (U. S.) 339; Atlanta, etc., R. R. v. Speer, 32 Ga. 550; Richmond v. R. R., 33 la. 422; Caswell v. Gibbs, 33 Mich. 331; Port Clinton R. R. v. R. R., 13 0. S. 544.
2Chadwick v. Chadwick. 121 Ala. 580; 25 So. 631; Bourget v. Monroe, 58 Mich. 563; 25 N. W. 514; Bnmpns v. Bumpns, 53 Mich. 346; 19 N. W. 29; Mowers v. Fogg, 45 N. J. Eq. 120; 17 Atl. 296. "The court of equity will not undertake to regulate or control the performance of such continuous duties and it would be powerless to do so by any of its process." Chadwick v. Chadwick, 121 Ala. 580, 582; 25 So. 631.
3 Stanton v. Singleton, 126 Cal. 657; 47 L. R. A. 334; 59 Pac. 146.
4 Marble Co. v. Ripley, 10 Wall. (U. S.) 339.
5 Dukes v. Bash, 29 Ind. App. 103; 64 N. E. 47.
6 Iron Age Publishing Co. v. Telegraph Co., 83 Ala. 498; 3 Am. St. Rep. 758; 3 So. 449.
7 Port Clinton R. R. v. R. R., 13 O. S. 544.
8 Kansas, etc., Co. v. Ry., 135 Mass. 34; 46 Am. Rep. 439. (Especially if in another state.)
9 Armour v. Connolly (N. J. Eq.i, 49 Atl. 1117.