DEFINITION of 'Equitable Relief'

A court-granted remedy that requires a party to act or refrain from performing a particular act. Equitable relief is provided in civil claims involving torts or contract disputes. The most common types of equitable relief are injunctions - primarily in torts claims - and specific performance - provided in contract disputes.

BREAKING DOWN 'Equitable Relief'

An example of equitable relief in a torts case is a gag order to prevent a person from publishing sensitive information. Specific performance in a contract dispute is warranted when monetary award would be inadequate to compensate the plaintiff, when the contract is valid, and when the defendant is in a position to perform the contract.


A classic example of providing equitable relief in a contractual dispute occurs when a court directs the defendant to sell a piece of real property pursuant to the terms of the original contract. The property could have unique characteristics which monetary damages can not fully rectify.

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