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What is a Breach of Contract in California?

A contract is a legal agreement between two parties that establishes obligations for both parties. Each person or company who enters into a contract has both the duty to fulfill contract requirements and a right to expect that the other party will live up to his end of the bargain. What is a Breach of Contract in California?

When a party to a contract fails to act as promised, this is considered a Breach of Contract in California. The available legal remedies will depend upon whether the failure is a material breach or not. An experienced Irvine, CA business law attorney at Brown & Charbonneau, LLP can help you to take legal action in situations where you believe a breach of contract in California has occurred.

Defining a Breach of Contract in California

A breach of contract in California occurs when one party to the contract fails to fulfill a legal duty the contract created. For example, if the agreement requires a contractor to fix a sink and the contractor fails to fix the sink, this would be considered a breach of contract.

A breach can occur any time a major or a minor failure to perform occurs. Parties to a contract are bound to fulfill all of the requirements of the agreement, even if they did not read the contract.  If a failure to perform occurs, the other party can take the breaching person or company to court to obtain damages.

There are defenses to a breach of contract, and a person or company will not be considered in breach if there is legal justification for a failure to perform. For example, if a contract requires a homeowner to sell his house and the house burns down before the transaction is complete, this would be a justification for the homeowner’s refusal to sell the property. The homeowner would not generally be considered in breach in this situation.

Remedies for a Breach of Contract in California

When a breach of contract occurs, the non-breaching party has a number of different possible options including:

  • Declining to perform his/her part of the contract. For example, if the contractor fails to fix a sink, the homeowner who had an agreement with the contractor does not have to pay the bill even though the contract may say that he has to pay the contractor money.
  • Suing to recover monetary damages. The party who did not breach can recover monetary payments for actual, provable losses resulting from the other party’s failure to perform according to the agreement terms.
  • Suing to compel specific performance. The party who was not in breach can sometimes force the other person to live up to his contractual obligations. For example, a buyer could compel specific performance and seek to force a homeowner to sell a home if there is a contract of sale, even if the homeowner has changed his mind.

The remedies you can pursue for a Breach of Contract in California vary based on the situation. Call the experienced business law attorneys at Brown & Charbonneau, LLP for help determining if a breach has occurred and for information on your options for legal compensation. Our attorneys will help you to put together a strong case to protect your interests.

Call for a consultation today  714-505-3000

To learn more, please download our free Difference Between a Material Breach report here.