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remedies: an overview

A remedy is a form of court enforcement of a legal right resulting from a successful civil lawsuit. Remedies fall into three general categories: 

  1. Damages - monetary compensation for the plaintiff's losses, injury, and/or pain or restitutionary measures designed to restore the plaintiff's status to what it was prior to the violation of his or her rights,
  2. Coercive remedies - requiring a party to do or omit doing a specific act through injunctive relief or a court order of specific performance (a court mandates that the party fulfill contractual obligations.  See Contracts).
  3. Declaratory judgment - the court determines individual rights in a specific situation without awarding damages or ordering particular action.

Because of their historical origins, monetary damages are often referred to as a legal remedy while coercive and declaratory remedies are termed equitable remedies.

Plaintiffs can also receive provisional remedies when a court uses its discretionary power to prevent harm to the plaintiff while the plaintiff's rights are still being determined.  Such remedies include temporary injunctions, attachment, and garnishment.

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Category: Courts and Procedure