Equitable Relief Definition
Equitable relief is a remedy offered by court asking one party to stop doing a specific activity. This is applicable in situations where lawful remedies do not offer adequate restitution.
A Little More on What is Equitable Relief
Equitable relief is a whole different thing from a lawful claim that involves monetary compensation. It is used in order to refrain someone from conducting a specific act, and at the time, when lawful remedy doesn’t cover enough restitution for violating the contract terms. Usually, it involves the concept of injunction that offers remedial measures by penalizing the offender with criminal charges.
For offering equitable relief in the right manner, legal clauses ask for an acknowledgement between the two parties that the violation of a contract cannot be sufficed or compensated by the lawful relief, or such breach would cause irreversible injury. The purpose of acknowledgement is to state that the violation of contract would make the victim seek an injunction or some other kind of equitable relief.
However, to take advantage of equitable relief, it is necessary for the offended party or the victim to be completely innocent in the case. This principle is known as the ‘clean hands’ approach, and the offended party may not get equitable relief if it doesn’t act totally in good faith, or has been late in claiming relief.
Equitable relief in practice
Equitable relief takes place in case of a breach of contract. One of the most general types of equitable relief is rescission that leads to the termination of the contract, and makes both parties free from their obligations. The rescission of contracts is mostly seen in cases concerning real estate as there can be a lot more to the personal value of real estate property than mere monetary claims. In such cases, the court can pass an order for selling the property in compliance with the conditions of the original agreement, or terminate the contract.
Also, courts can ask for rectification of the contract so as to make revisions and understand the primary motives of both parties in conflict. Further, in case of breach of terms, they can pass the order for both parties to meet the obligations, as stated in the initial contract.
In case, there is a misuse, or theft of intellectual property or other personal data, the offending party can claim equitable relief. For instance, gag orders which don’t allow a party from displaying or leaking any personal data are mostly released when there is a theft involving intellectual property. In such situations, it is not enough for offending parties to settle claims with mere monetary compensation.