relief. 1. A payment made by an heir of a feudal tenant to the feudal lord for the privilege of

succeeding to the ancestor’s tenancy.

“A mesne lord could, upon the death of his tenant, accept the tenant’s heir as tenant; but he

was not required to do so. When he did accept his deceased tenant’s heir as tenant, it was typically

because the heir had paid the mesne lord a substantial sum (known as a relief) for the re-grant of

the tenancy.” Thomas F. Bergin & Paul G. Haskell, Preface to Estates in Land and Future Interests

8 (2d ed. 1984).

  1. Aid or assistance given to those in need, esp., financial aid provided by the state. [Cases:

Social Security and Public Welfare 4. C.J.S. Social Security and Public Welfare §§ 6, 10, 17.] 3.

The redress or benefit, esp. equitable in nature (such as an injunction or specific performance),

that a party asks of a court. — Also termed remedy. Cf. REMEDY.

affirmative relief.The relief sought by a defendant by raising a counterclaim or cross-claim

that could have been maintained independently of the plaintiff’s action.

alternative relief.Judicial relief that is mutually exclusive with another form of judicial relief.

  • In pleading, a party may request alternative relief, as by asking for both specific performance

and damages that would be averted by specific performance. Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a). Cf. ELECTION

OF REMEDIES. [Cases: Specific Performance 127. C.J.S. Specific Performance §§ 194–196,


coercive relief.Judicial relief, either legal or equitable, in the form of a personal command to

the defendant that is enforceable by physical restraint.

interim relief.Relief that is granted on a preliminary basis before an order finally disposing of

a request for relief.

therapeutic relief.The relief, esp. in a settlement, that requires the defendant to take remedial

measures as opposed to paying damages. • An example is a defendant-corporation (in an

employment-discrimination suit) that agrees to undergo sensitivity training. — Often shortened to

therapeutics. [Blacks Law 8th]