remedy,n.1. The means of enforcing a right or preventing or redressing a wrong; legal or

equitable relief. — Also termed civil remedy. 2.REMEDIAL ACTION . Cf. RELIEF. — Also

termed (in both senses) law of remedy. — remedy,vb.

“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 and orders to defendants to refrain from their wrongful conduct or to

undo its consequences. The court decides whether the litigant has been wronged under the

substantive law; it conducts its inquiry in accordance with the procedural law. The law of remedies

falls somewhere between substance and procedure, distinct from both but overlapping with both.”

Douglas Laycock, Modern American Remedies 1 (3d ed. 2002).

adequate remedy at law.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. [Cases: Specific Performance 5. C.J.S. Specific

Performance § 8.]

administrative remedy.A nonjudicial remedy provided by an administrative agency. •

Ordinarily, if an administrative remedy is available, it must be exhausted before a court will hear

the case. See EXHAUSTION OF REMEDIES. [Cases: Administrative Law and Procedure 229.

C.J.S. Public Administrative Law and Procedure §§ 38–42.]

civil remedy.See REMEDY(1).

concurrent remedy.One of two or more legal or equitable actions available to redress a


cumulative remedy.A remedy available to a party in addition to another remedy that still

remains in force.

equitable remedy.A remedy, usu. a nonmonetary one such as an injunction or specific

performance, obtained when available legal remedies, usu. monetary damages, cannot adequately

redress the injury. • Historically, an equitable remedy was available only from a court of equity. —

Also termed equitable relief. See IRREPARABLE-INJURY RULE. [Cases: Injunction 17;

Specific Performance 1. C.J.S. Injunctions § 31; Specific Performance§§ 2, 5–6.]

extrajudicial remedy.A remedy not obtained from a court, such as repossession. — Also

termed self-help remedy.

extraordinary remedy.A remedy — such as a writ of mandamus or habeas corpus — not

available to a party unless necessary to preserve a right that cannot be protected by a standard

legal or equitable remedy. • Because there is no agreed list of extraordinary remedies, some

standard remedies — such as preliminary and permanent injunctions — are sometimes described

as extraordinary. [Cases: Mandamus 3(1)–3(2.1).C.J.S. Mandamus §§ 18–19, 21–23, 31.]

judicial remedy.A remedy granted by a court.

legal remedy.A remedy historically available in a court of law, as distinguished from a

remedy historically available only in equity. • After the merger of law and equity, this distinction

remained relevant in some ways, such as in determining the right to jury trial and the choice

between alternate remedies. [Cases: Action 21. C.J.S. Actions § 124.]

provisional remedy.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. [Cases: Attachment 1; Indemnity 20. C.J.S.

Attachment §§ 2–4, 7; Subrogation§§ 2–15, 19, 91.]

remedy over.A remedy that arises from a right of indemnification or subrogation. • 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. [Cases: Injunction 1. C.J.S.

Injunctions §§ 2–4, 12, 14, 22, 24, 166.]

self-help remedy.See extrajudicial remedy.

specific remedy.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). [Cases: Specific Performance 126.

C.J.S. Specific Performance §§ 189–193.]

speedy remedy.A remedy that, under the circumstances, can be pursued expeditiously 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. [Cases: Injunction 1. C.J.S. Injunctions §§ 2–4, 12,

14, 22, 24, 166.]

“ ‘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.A remedy intended to give the promisee something as a replacement

for the promised performance or to give the plaintiff something in lieu of preventing or repairing

an injury. • A court awards a substitutional remedy by ordering a defaulting seller of goods to pay

the buyer damages (as opposed to delivering the promised goods). — Also termed substitutionary

remedy. [Cases: Contracts 324(1). C.J.S. Architects §§ 39, 47, 51; Contracts § 600.]

“With substitutionary remedies, plaintiff suffers harm and receives a sum of money. Specific

remedies seek to avoid this exchange. They seek to prevent harm, or undo it, rather than let it

happen and compensate for it…. [Money damages] are substitutionary both in the sense that the

sum of money is substituted for plaintiff’s original entitlement, and in the less obvious sense that

the fact finder’s valuation of the loss is substituted for plaintiff’s valuation. Specific relief seeks to

avoid both these substitutions, giving plaintiff the very thing he lost if that is what he wants.”

Douglas Laycock, The Death of the Irreparable Injury Rule 13 (1991). [Blacks Law 8th]