The Elements of a Breach of Contract Claim in Illinois:
Illinois courts recognize a breach of contract when a party to the contract fails to perform the obligations agreed upon without a legal reason.
- The contract should be complete with an offer, proposal, and acceptance to enforce by law.
- The parties should also have capacities to consent and should be legally entitled to agree.
- The court recognizes the party who fails in performing the duty as the defendant.
- Once a breach of contract in Illinois is proven, the plaintiff absolves from all obligations under the contract.
- However, the plaintiff should have performed all duties that would have enabled the defendant to perform his promise before filing a legal suit.
Bear in mind that although all of these elements are true, the victim won’t be ready to recover if the breaching party encompasses a valid defense to breach of contract claims
Defenses to a breach of contract:
- Material breach by the opposite party: If the person you contracted with has himself breached the contract, then you’re not bound by it, so long because the breach is material. A breach is material if it’s the kind of breach that defeats the aim of the contract.
- Anticipatory Repudiation: If the opposite party represents or takes action to the point that he doesn’t will perform his obligations underneath the contract, you’re exonerated of your own obligation to perform.
- Duress: If you force to sign the contract against your will, you’re not bound by it. This defense includes not only physical force however conjointly economic force.
- Unconscionability: An unconscionable contract is extraordinarily one-sided in favor of the party with superior negotiation power. It typically happens within the context of a take-it-or-leave-it contract, referred to as a contract of adhesion,
- Mistake: Courts won’t enforce a contract wherever there’s a material mistake concerning the subject matter, so long as the mistake is mutual.
- Fraud: If you entered into a contract resulting from a material deception of truth by the opposite party, the contract isn’t enforceable against you.
- Undue influence: A contract won’t uphold wherever one party exercises control over another party; therefore, on overcomes that party’s independent judgment.
- Impracticability: If a sudden event makes the performance of the contract not possible or infeasible, neither party will be bound by the contract.
There are some other considerations regarding the defense from breach of contract law in Illinois. Those are:
- Loopholes: The terms of the contract could offer you a loophole that has you with an out. Make sure to have your attorney review your contract.
- Statutes: State or federal statutes could invalidate your contract or specific clauses inside it.
- One-sided clauses: Many states can interpret a one-sided contract clause as reciprocal. As an example, a provision requiring only 1 party of a contract to pay attorney fees if it loses in a judicial proceeding is also applied to each party by the courts.
- Ambiguities: Ambiguities within the contract will be interpreted against the drafter, particularly wherever the drafter has superior negotiation power.
- Modification: Usually, the opposite party will be willing to renegotiate and modify the contract supported by modified circumstances.