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4.2-9  Time Provisions

Revised to January 1, 2008

Note: Give Instruction (A) or (B), not both.  See notes below (A) as to when that instruction is appropriate.

A.  Contracts where time is "of the essence"
The contract here provides that "time is of the essence."  This means that if you find that the (defendant / plaintiff) failed to perform on or before <date, event, etc.>, you must find that the (defendant / plaintiff) breached the contract.

Authority

Grenier v. Compratt Construction Co., 189 Conn. 144, 151 (1983); Hartford Electric Applicators of Thermalux, Inc. v. Alden, 169 Conn. 177, 182 (1975); Ravitch v. Stollman Poultry Farms, Inc., 165 Conn. 135, 149 (1973).

Notes

A contract must expressly state that "time is of the essence" or other language that clearly evidences the parties' intent that time be of the essence for this instruction to apply.  Kakalik v. Bernardo, 184 Conn. 386, 392-94 (1981); Hartford Electric Applicators of Thermalux, Inc. v. Alden, 169 Conn. 177, 182 (1975).  The fact that the contract stated a date for performance does not necessarily make time of the essence.  Grenier v. Compratt Construction Co., supra, 189 Conn. 151.  However, language that is equivalent to "time is of the essence" may be enough.  But see Mihalyak v. Mihalyak, 11 Conn. App. 610, 167 (1987) (holding that "forthwith" was not equivalent to "time is of the essence").

B.  Contracts to be performed in a reasonable time
The parties dispute whether the (defendant / plaintiff) performed in a timely manner.  The contract includes an implied agreement that the (defendant / plaintiff) would perform the contract within a reasonable time.  The law does not specifically define "reasonable time."  It is for you to decide whether the (defendant / plaintiff) performed in a "reasonable" time.  What is reasonable depends on the nature, purpose and circumstances surrounding performance.

Authority

General Statutes § 42a-1-204 ("reasonable time"); Christophersen v. Blout, 216 Conn. 509, 513 (1990); Texas Co. v. Crown Petroleum Corp., 137 Conn. 217, 227 (1950).
 


 

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