An adequate remedy is one that affords complete relief with reference to the particular matter in controversy, and which is appropriate to the circumstances of the case. An adequate remedy has also been described as a remedy that is complete, practical, and efficient, to the prompt administration of justice as is equitable relief. As such, the availability of an otherwise adequate remedy precludes the grant of an injunction. For example, in a breach of contract, an injured party's opportunity to seek an action for damages will be considered an adequate remedy, and a court will not grant specific performance of the contract. However, in property law, it has been traditionally assumed that damages are not an adequate remedy for a breach of an agreement to convey real property.
To be considered adequate in redressing a constitutional wrong, a remedy must at least give a plaintiff the opportunity to enter the courthouse doors and present his or her claim.
In administrative law, to determine whether an adequate remedy exists for final agency action under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), the court evaluates whether a statute provides an independent cause of action or an alternative review procedure.
[Last updated in May of 2020 by the Wex Definitions Team]