Texas Breach of Contract Elements
The Texas breach of contract elements is examined when one side of a party doesn't hold up their end of the agreement.3 min read
The Texas breach of contract elements is examined when one side of a party doesn't hold up their end of the agreement. It's not always a simple solution, however. Both of the parties need to have been operating with obligations that were clearly defined in the contract. If one party refuses or fails to do something promised under this contract, a breach of contract happens.
Proof of Valid Contract
In order for a breach of contract to happen, proof that the contract was valid in the first place is the initial requirement. Contracts are usually either written or oral, but it's always easier to prove a written contract. Sometimes written contracts are the only ones enforceable.
The following are requirements for a contract according to Texas law:
- An offer that one party makes to another.
- An acceptance agreeing to strict compliance according to the terms of the offer.
- A meeting of the minds. This spells out the respective agreements each party must abide by.
- Clear communication that shows each party fully agreed to the agreement's terms.
- Execution of and delivery of the agreement showing that it is binding and mutual on both of the parties.
Once all these are in place, the state of Texas will recognize it as a valid contract, and you can pursue action if a breach of contract has occurred.
Parts of a Breach of Contract Claim Under Texas Law
Once it's been established that a valid contract was in existence, you can then go on to proving that a breach of contract happened. According to the Texas Court of Appeals in the case of Frost National Bank v. Burge, there are four elements required to have a breach of contract claim. A valid contract must have existed, a plaintiff should have tendered performance, the defendant didn't perform their part in the agreement, and the plaintiff got damaged due to the defendant's breach.
In other words, for a breach of contract to be proved, the plaintiff needs to prove all these items and that they stuck to the contract as agreed. They then need to show how the defendant didn't comply with their part under the agreement and why the plaintiff is now suffering.
Remedies Available in a Breach of Contract Case in Texas
According to Chapter 38 in the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code, a plaintiff who proves there was a breach of contract may recover a reasonable amount of attorney's fees. They can also get a damages award if applicable. How much they get depends on what their specific losses were and the facts of the case.
Texas Breach of Contract Claim for Statute of Limitations
It's essential to know how the statute of limitations can impact a case in order to file a breach of contract claim. The statute of limitations for breach of contract is exactly four years from the date of the breach. At any point during this time, you may file a claim. Once the statute of limitations passes, you lose any right to file for breach of contract in the state of Texas.
Common Defenses to a Breach of Contract Claim in Texas
It's not pleasant to get sued for a breach of contract, but it's also not the worst thing. There are dozens of common law and statutory defenses in Texas to a breach of contract claim, and they're given to the party who's accused of breaching the agreement. Depending on what the contract terms are and what the dealing is among the parties, a claim is either easy or quite complicated. It might have one or more events that happen over a period of time.
No matter how easy or hard the cases are, the defense will be similar. They don't all apply in every case, and their application is dependent on each case's facts. A common one is a mandatory written agreement. In Texas, contracts aren't enforceable if they aren't both written and signed. If real estate is for sale and it's being leased for one-year maximum, it must have this outlined in writing and signed by the party who claims a breach of contract occurred.
If you need help with a Texas breach of contract elements, you can post your legal need on UpCounsel's marketplace. UpCounsel accepts only the top 5 percent of lawyers to its site. Lawyers on UpCounsel come from law schools such as Harvard Law and Yale Law and average 14 years of legal experience, including work with or on behalf of companies like Google, Menlo Ventures, and Airbnb.