Understanding The Concept Of Remedies In Equity

15 October 2015
 Categories: , Blog


In many cases, if a court finds someone guilty of breaking a contract, then he or she may be ordered to pay different damages to the plaintiff. Such damages include compensatory, punitive, nominal, and others. However, payment of damages isn't the only sentence such a defendant may face. There are also equitable remedies, which are non-monetary remedies. They are usually actions that the court orders the defendant to undertake as a means of resolving the dispute.

Various Forms of Equitable Remedy

Equitable remedies are usually customized to fit the situation at hand. They come in various forms, but the major ones are these three:

  • Specific performance – in this case, the court asks the defendant to do everything exactly he or she agreed to do when signing the contract. For example, if he or she agreed to sell you three pieces of art from the 17th century, but only delivered two, then he or she has to deliver the third one.
  • Recession – in this case, the court orders for the breached contract to be cancelled. If you had used some money in your bid to meet the terms of the agreement, then it will be returned to you.
  • Rectification – this remedy applies if the breached contract has not been cancelled. It is usually awarded if there are a few mistakes in the contract that can be corrected so that the defendant can satisfy the conditions.

 Why They Are Significant

You may be wondering why you would want remedy in equity if you can just get monetary compensation and get done with the case. Well, there are some cases where monetary compensation cannot just undo the wrong caused by the breach of contract.

Consider an example in which you sign a real estate contract to buy a condo. The seller includes his or her 18th-century chandelier in the list of items you will receive after buying the house. When you make the payments and receive the keys to the house, you realize that the chandelier has been replaced with a contemporary version. In this case, the award of money may not get you another 18th-century chandelier, so the court may award you a remedy in equity.

What this means that you can get justice for a breach of contract even if monetary compensation is unavailable or may not save the day. The court will choose the remedy based on the specific circumstances of the contract and its breach. Working with an experienced lawyer will help you to get the remedy that suits your situation best. For more information, contact Herbert Law Firm LLC or a similar organization.