Supreme Court Grants Buyer Specific Performance of Southold Home

December 11, 2023 – The Supreme Court, Suffolk County (Hon. Frank A. Tinari), has granted a plaintiff summary judgment in a specific performance action involving property in Southold, in Alta Real Estate Holdings, LLC v. Our Business, LLCIndex No. 611064/2020.  The action involved a pre-COVID contract of sale, which the defendant/seller refused to complete after the pandemic hit New York.  In the decision, the court rejected the seller’s attempt to avoid liability under the contract on the ground that a particular letter amendment adjourning the closing was intended to limit the seller’s liability to a return of the downpayment, because, under New York law, a “limitation of remedies ‘will not be implied and to be enforceable must be clearly, explicitly and unambiguously expressed in the contract.'”  The court then found that the plaintiff/purchaser proved that it was ready, willing, and financially able to close on the contract, and that it reasonably set a “time of essence” closing, which the seller refused to complete.  Finally, the court awarded the plaintiff its attorney’s fees because the contract included a specific clause entitling the prevailing party to recover its fees.