A breach of contract occurs when a party, without justification, fails to perform a promise made in the contract.
The elements of a legal action for breach of contract are:
- entry of a contract by the parties;
- performance of the contract by the party who is suing (or excuse from performance);
- all condition required by the contract for performance by the party being sued occurred (or were excused);
- the party being sued failed to do something the contract required that party to do or that party did something the contract prohibited from being done (i.e., that party “breached” the contract), and
- the breach caused harm to the party who is suing.
When a contracting party announces, before performance is due, that he or she will not perform as promised, an “anticipatory breach” (also called a repudiation) has occurred. The remedies for an anticipatory breach are the same as the remedies for a breach.
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