Declaratory Judgment

A binding judgment from a court defining the legal relationship between parties and their rights in the matter before the court.  A declaratory judgment does not provide for any enforcement, however.   In other words, it states the court's authoritative opinion regarding the exact nature of the legal matter without requiring the parties to do anything.  

The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (Rule 57) and Title 28 of the U.S. Code govern declaratory judgments in federal court.  For an example from case law, see Roe v. Wade 410 US 113 (1973).

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