remedy – the means of enforcing a right or preventing or redressing an injury; legal (monetary) or equitable (non-monetary) relief

     This page is continued from Civil Law Self-Help >>>> Section 3: Are you seeking damages, injunctive relief, or both? >>>> Legal Terms pertaining to Types of Remedies:


n. (13c)

1. The means of enforcing a right or preventing or redressing a wrong; legal or equitable relief. — aka civil remedy.  


3. A right by which an aggrieved party may seek relief without resort to a tribunal. — aka (in senses 1 & 2) law of remedy. — remedy, vb.

1. The means employed to enforce a right or redress an injury.   Paulsen v Reinecke, 181 La 917, 160 So 629, 97 ALR 1184.

The means or method whereby a cause of action or corresponding obligation is effectuated ad by which a wrong is redressed and relief obtained.  Jewett v City Transfer & Storage Co. 129 Cal App 556, 18 P2d 351.

The appropriate legal form of relief by which a remediable right may be enforced.  Ebner v Haverty Furniture Co. 138 SC 74, 78 136 SE 19.

Any remedial right to which an aggrieved party is entitled with or without resort to a tribunal.  UCC § 1-201(34). [2]

1. The means by which a right is enforced, an injury is redressed, and relief is obtained.  EXAMPLES: damages; an injunction; habeas corpusSee adequate remedy at law; administrative remedy; extraordinary remedies; inadequate remedy at law; legal remedy; provisional remedy.

verb: 1. To redress; to make right; to correct; to rectify.

2. To compensate; to indemnify; to make whole. [3]

     Excerpt from Douglas Laycock’s Modern American Remedies (2010):

     “A remedy is anything a court can do for a litigant who has been wronged or is about to be wronged.  The two most common remedies are judgments that plaintiffs are entitled to collect sums of money from defendants (damages) and orders to defendants to refrain from their wrongful conduct or to undo its consequences (injunctions).  The court decides whether the litigant has been wronged under the substantive law that governs primary rights & duties; it conducts its inquiry in accordance with the procedural law, & sometimes their details blur into procedure. For long periods in our past, remedies were casually equated with procedure.[4]

Related Terms:

remediable adj. (15c) Capable of being remedied, especially by law <remediable wrongs>.remediability, n.

remedial adj. (17c) 1. Affording or providing a remedy; providing the means of obtaining redress <a remedial action>.  2. Intended to correct, remove, or lessen a wrong, fault or defect <a remedial statute>.  3. Of, relating to, or involving a means of enforcing an existing substantive right <a remedial right>.

Various Types of Remedies:

adequate remedy at law (18c) A legal remedy (such as an award of damages) that provides sufficient relief to the petitioning party, thus preventing the party from obtaining equitable relief.  See IRREPARABLE INJURY RULE.

administrative remedy – a nonjudicial remedy provided by an administrative agency (if an administrative remedy is available, it must be exhausted before a court will hear the case).

  • administrative agency – a single officer, board, bureau, commission, office, or department of the executive branch of government, with the authority to implement and administer particular legislation. — aka government agency; agency; public agency; regulatory agency.
  • exhaustion of remedies doctrine – if an administrative remedy is provided by statute, a claimant must seek relief first from the administrative body before judicial relief is available. — aka exhaustion of remedies; exhaustion of administrative remedies; exhaustion doctrine.

concurrent remedy (18c) One of two or more legal or equitable actions available to redress a wrong.

cumulative remedy ( 18c) A remedy available to a party in addition to another remedy that still remains in force.

equitable remedy – a form of non-monetary relief that may be requested from the court. — aka equitable relief; equitable damages


election of remedies – the act of choosing between two or more concurrent but inconsistent remedies allowed by law, upon the same set of facts.

extrajudicial remedy – a remedy not obtained from a court, obtained outside a court. — aka self-help remedy.

  • self-help doctrine – an attempt to redress a perceived wrong by one’s own action rather than through the normal legal process.— aka self-redress; extrajudicial enforcementUCC § 9-609.

extraordinary remedy – not available unless necessary to preserve a right that cannot be protected by a standard legal or equitable remedy.

  • writ of mandamus – issued to compel performance of a particular act by a lower court or a governmental officer or body, usually to correct a prior action or failure to act.
  • writ of habeas corpus – command that a prisoner (or detainee or probatee) be brought before the court to challenge the legality of their custody and demand their release. — aka great writ.

judicial remedy (18c) A remedy granted by a court. [1]  1. A remedy to be pursued in a court rather than before an administrative body. [2]  1. A remedy that a court, as opposed to an administrative agency , is empowered to grant.
     Compare administrative remedy. [3]

legal remedy – historically available in a court of law, as opposed to only in equity.

provisional remedy (18c) A temporary remedy awarded before judgment and pending the action’s disposition, such as ‘a temporary restraining order, a ‘ preliminary injunction, a prejudgment receivership, or an attachment.  *  Such a remedy is intended to maintain the status quo by protecting a person’s safety or preserving property.

remedy over (18c) A remedy that arises from a right of indemnification or subrogation. I For example, if a city is liable for injuries caused by a defect in a street, the city has a “remedy over” against the person whose act or negligence caused the defect.

specific remedy (18c) A remedy whereby the injured party is awarded the very performance that was contractually promised or whereby the injury threatened or caused by a tort is prevented or repaired.  *  A court awards a specific remedy by ordering a defaulting seller of goods to deliver the specified goods to the buyer (as opposed to paying damages).

speedy remedy (18c) A remedy that, under the circumstances, can be pursued expeditious] before the aggrieved party has incurred substantial detriment.  *  “Speedy remedy” is an informal expression with no fixed meaning -that is, what is considered speedy in one context may not be considered speedy in other contexts. For example, the Federal Tax Injunction Act requires a “plain, speedy, and efficient remedy” in state courts.  But the Act does not require preliminary or injunctive relief — or even interest for delay. [1]

     “‘Speedy’ is perforce a relative concept, and we must assess the 2-year delay against the usual time for similar litigation.” Rosewell v. LaSalle Nat’l Bank, 450 U.S. 503, 518 (1981).

substitutional remedy – wherein the plaintiff receives a sum of money when the very thing that was lost cannot be returned. — aka substitutionary remedy.


mutuality of remedy (1819) The availability of a remedy , especially equitable relief, to both parties to a transaction, sometimes required before either party can be granted specific performance.

remedial action – intended to permanently alleviate pollution when a hazardous substance has been released or might be released into the environment, so as to prevent or minimize any further release of hazardous substances and thereby minimize the risk to public health or to the environment. 42 USCA § 9601(24); 40 CFR § 300. 6. — aka remedy.

  • CERCLA – Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compnsation, and Liability Act of 1980.  *  This statute holds responsible parties liable for the cost of cleaning up hazardous-waste sites. 42 USCA §§ 9601 et seq.  See SUPERFUND.
  • Superfund (1977) The program that funds and administers the cleanup of hazardous-waste sites through a trust fund (financed by taxes on petroleum and chemicals and a tax on certain corporations) created to pay for cleanup pending reimbursement form the liable parties.  2. The popular name for the act aht established this program — the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA).

remedial enforcement See secondary right under RIGHT.

remedial law (17c) 1. See remedial statute under STATUTE.  2. A statute that corrects or modifies an existing law. [1]

estoppel – a prohibition imposed by law against uttering what may actually be the truth.


Disclaimer: All material throughout this website is pertinent to people everywhere, and is being utilized in accordance with Fair Use.

[1]: Black’s Law Dictionary Deluxe Tenth Edition by Henry Campbell Black & Editor in Chief Bryan A. Garner. ISBN: 978-0-314-62130-6

[2]: Ballantine’s Law Dictionary with Pronunciations
Third Edition
 by James A. Ballantine (James Arthur 1871-1949).  Edited by William S. Anderson.  © 1969 by THE LAWYER’S CO-OPERATIVE PUBLISHING COMPANY.  Library of Congress Catalog Card No. 68-30931

[3]: Ballantine’s Law Dictionary Legal Assistant Edition by Jack Ballantine (James Arthur 1871-1949).  Doctored by Jack G. Handler, J.D. © 1994 Delmar by Thomson Learning.  ISBN 0-8273-4874-6.

[4]: Douglas Laycock, Modern American Remedies 1 (4th ed. 2010)


Disclaimer: All material throughout this website is compiled in accordance with Fair Use.

[1]: Black’s Law Dictionary Deluxe Tenth Edition by Henry Campbell Black, Editor in Chief Bryan A. Garner. ISBN: 978-0-314-61300-4

[2]: Ballantine’s Law Dictionary with Pronunciations Third Edition by James A. Ballantine (James Arthur 1871-1949).  Edited by William S. Anderson.  © 1969 by THE LAWYER’S CO-OPERATIVE PUBLISHING COMPANY.  Library of Congress Catalog Card No. 68-30931

[3]:  Ballantine’s Law Dictionary Legal Assistant Edition
by Jack Ballantine 
(James Arthur 1871-1949).  Doctored by Jack G. Handler, J.D. © 1994 Delmar by Thomson Learning.  ISBN 0-8273-4874-6.


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