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Petry v. Tanglwood Lakes, Inc.

Pennsylvania Supreme Court
522 A.2d 1053 (1987)


Gloria Petry (plaintiff) bought a plot of land from Tanglwood Lakes, Inc. (Tanglwood) (defendant), a developer. Petry built a cottage on the land. At the time Petry bought the land, Tanglwood intended to build a lake that would transform Petry’s land into lakefront property. Before Petry bought the land, Tanglwood showed Petry a development map that included the intended lake. Tanglwood also showed Petry lake-construction documents stating that the lake would be finished within five years and would not cost landowners anything other than the maintenance fees the homeowner’s association (HOA) would collect. Four years later, Tanglwood received a government permit to build the lake. Tanglwood renewed the permit annually for a number of years before getting into a dispute with the HOA. Petry was not involved in the Tanglwood-HOA dispute. Tanglwood and the HOA entered a settlement in which Tanglwood promised to build a recreational area in place of the lake. Petry sued Tanglwood in both law and equity. Petry asked the court to award her specific performance by requiring Tanglwood to build the lake, plus monetary damages for the delay. Petry also asked the court to enjoin the Tanglwood-HOA settlement agreement. Tanglwood argued, and the trial court agreed, that Petry had an adequate legal remedy. Thus, the trial court transferred Petry’s case to the law side of the court, getting rid of Petry’s specific performance request. Petry appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Papadakos, J.)

Dissent (Larsen, J.)

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