declaratory judgment – A declaratory judgment is a judgment of a court in a civil case which declares the rights, duties, or obligations of each party in a dispute. A declaratory judgment is binding as to the duties, rights and obligations of the parties. However, a declaratory judgment does not order any action or result in any award of damages to any party to the case. Unlike an advisory opinion, a declaratory judgment requires an actual case or controversy.

A declaratory judgment is typically requested when a party is threatened with lawsuit and the threatened lawsuit is not yet filed; or when it is thought by one of two (or more) parties that their rights under law and/or contract might conflict; or as part of a counterclaim to prevent further, similar lawsuits from the same plaintiff (for example, when only a contract claim is filed, but a copyright claim might also be applicable). It may also be sought in administrative law instead of prerogative writs such as certiorari or prohibitions.

In the United States, the federal government and most states have enacted statutes authorizing their courts to issue declaratory judgments. In some common law jurisdictions, declaratory judgement is a form of equitable relief.

See also…

Attorneys, Courts, Litigation

Small Claims Courts