You get a call that lets you know your client's just not going to perform under the contract. What do you do? Do you have to wait until there's an actual breach of the contract? You do not! Anticipatory breach is a valid cause of action in Minnesota, but what is it?
Under Minnesota law, an anticipatory breach occurs when a party to a contract expressly renounces the contract, giving notice that he will not perform the contract before performance is due. Space Ctr., Inc. v. 451 Corp., 298 N.W.2d 443, 450 (Minn. 1980). “The refusal to perform must in effect be an unqualified renunciation or repudiation of the contract.” Id.; accord Bell v. Olson, 424 N.W.2d 829, 832 (Minn. Ct. App. 1988). (“Anticipatory breach may be found only upon a definite and unequivocal manifestation of intention on the part of the repudiator that he will not render the promised performance when the time fixed for it in the contract arrives.” (quotation omitted)). Anticipatory breach may be shown in the absence of an express unqualified repudiation if the record demonstrates an inability to perform. Space Ctr., Inc., 298 N.W.2d at 450.
If your situation fits this Minnesota law, a proper notice served on the potentially breaching party advising of this cause of action and your rights against that party is in order. I can take that situation on for you and try to truncate your losses while keeping the other side in line.
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