Hewitt v. Magic City Furniture & Mfg. Co.

Decision Date18 March 1926
Docket Number6 Div. 602
Citation107 So. 745,214 Ala. 265
CourtAlabama Supreme Court

Appeal from Circuit Court, Jefferson County; William M. Walker Judge.

Bill for injunction by R.D. Hewitt against the Magic City Furniture & Manufacturing Company. From a decree for respondent, complainant appeals. Affirmed.

Horace C. Wilkinson, of Birmingham, for appellant.

Mullins & Jenkins, of Birmingham, for appellee.


The parties entered into the contract shown in the statement of facts. In the bill it is averred that within the stipulated term of the contract, on, to wit, December 9, 1925, defendant appellee discharged complainant from his employment without just cause or excuse. An injunction was prayed to restrain defendant from discharging complainant or interfering with his performance of his duties under the contract. The chancellor, judge of the circuit sitting in equity, sustained defendant's general demurrer, and denied complainant's prayer for a temporary injunction. The bill, in substance, is one to enforce specific performance of the contract alleged.

We are clear to the conclusion that for the wrong and injury complained of appellant must seek his remedy in a court of law. Appellant insists that he could have no adequate remedy at law, because, in the performance of his part of the contract, he would have the opportunity to make a reputation for efficiency in the superintendence of appellee's business that would have been of great future advantage to him in the business world--an advantage that may not be estimated in terms of dollars and cents--and, therefore, that any judgment recoverable in a court of law would fall short of compensating him adequately for appellee's alleged breach of the contract between them. This inestimable element of value in appellant's contract may be conceded. Differing in degree only, the same consideration would obtain in the case of every contract for personal services; but we do not find that its sufficiency as a ground of equity has ever been allowed by any court of first-rate authority. The fundamental trouble with appellant's case is that his contract is for the performance of continuous personal services on his part. Whether as superintendent, employee, or servant, his services are merely personal, no matter how dignified or responsible they may be, and the court of equity cannot undertake to enforce the performance of such services. The result is that the case presented discloses a lack of mutuality of equitable remedy. If appellant were reinstated in his place, he might abandon his duties on the next day and appellee would be remediless. The court of equity will not undertake to enforce...

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10 cases
  • Wilson v. Airline Coal Co.
    • United States
    • Iowa Supreme Court
    • February 14, 1933
    ... ... Local Union No. 152 is located at or ... near the city of Ottumwa, and has approximately 116 members ... It is ... Stores v. Meeks, 224 Ala. 330, 140 So. 442; Hewitt ... v. Magic City Furniture & Mfg. Co., 214 Ala. 265, 107 ... ...
  • Steele v. Louisville & N. R. Co.
    • United States
    • Alabama Supreme Court
    • January 13, 1944
    ... ... Hewitt ... v. Magic City Furniture & Mfg. Co., 214 Ala. 265, 107 ... ...
  • Ex parte Jim Dandy Co.
    • United States
    • Alabama Supreme Court
    • September 17, 1970
    ...equity will not undertake to enforce such contracts at the instance of either party. (Citations Omitted)' Hewitt v. Magic City Furniture & Mfg. Co., 214 Ala. 265, 266, 107 So. 745. On appeal from decree granting a motion to dissolve an injunction enjoining breach of a contract to supply ele......
  • North Am. Co. for Life, Acc. & Health Ins. v. Bolling
    • United States
    • Alabama Supreme Court
    • August 29, 1963
    ...a court of equity will not decree specific performance in a matter not capable of present performance. Hewitt v. Magic City Furniture & Mfg. Co., 214 Ala. 265, 107 So. 745, 44 A.L.R. 1441; Dimmick v. Stokes, 151 Ala. 150, 43 So. 854; Iron Age Pub. Co. v. Western Union Tel. Co., 83 Ala. 498,......
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