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Contract Law in Florida: What is Reformation?

Contracts are at the basis of most important commercial relationships. Entrepreneurs, businesses, and organizations rely on contracts to protect their interests. If a contract is flawed, an equitable remedy known as “contract reformation” may provide the best solution. In this article, our Clearwater contract law attorney explains the most important things you should understand about breach of contract and reformation in Florida.

Contact Reformation: Defined

When there is a conflict over a contract, the primary remedy is the payment of damages. However, in some circumstances, equitable relief may be appropriate. Contract reformation is an example of an equitable remedy in Florida. The Legal Information Institute defines contract reformation as “a court’s equitable power to modify a contract to reflect the parties’ true intent where some error has been committed.” In other words, a reformed contract is one that has been rewritten or otherwise modified to correct a flaw to ensure that it reflects the actual intent of the parties.

The Two Main Circumstances When Contract Reformation May Be Appropriate in Florida

In Florida, contract reformation is used in two main situations. Contract reformation may be appropriate in your case if any of the following two circumstances apply: 

  1. Mutual Mistake: A mutual mistake occurs when both parties to a contract have a genuine, good faith  misunderstanding about a material aspect of the contract. For example, if both parties believe that the subject matter of the contract is a certain type of product, but it is later discovered that the product is actually something different, a mutual mistake may be grounds for contract reformation. 
  2. Inequitable or Fraudulent Conduct: Another circumstance when contract reformation may be warranted is when one party to a contract engages in conduct that is deemed to be inequitable or fraudulent in nature. Some examples include making false representations about a material aspect of the contract, withholding important information from the other party, or using undue influence to coerce the other party into signing the contract.

Contact reformation cases are complicated. You do not have to figure out everything alone. An experienced Clearwater, FL contract law attorney can protect your rights and interests.

Summary: Reformation Does Not Form New Contract, But Instead a Corrected Contract

Florida courts do not have the power to require parties to form a new contract. Instead, the equitable remedy of contract reformation refers to a Florida court’s authority to correct a flaw contract in order to ensure that it reflects the true intentions of the parties.

Contact Our Clearwater, FL Contract Law Attorney Today

At Clearwater Business Law, our Florida business lawyer has experience handling a wide range of contract law matters. If you have any specific questions or concerns about contract reformation, we can help. Reach out to us by phone at (727) 785-5100 or send us a direct message to set up your free, no commitment case review. From our Clearwater office, we provide business law services throughout Pinellas County, including in Largo, Palm Harbor, Pinellas Park, Oldsmar, and Gulfport.