Definition of court of equity
court of equity (plural courts of equity)
- (archaic) A court empowered to provide only equitable relief, but not to make rulings on questions of law, nor to award monetary damages.
A chancery court, equity court or court of equity is a court that is authorized to apply principles of equity, as opposed to law, to cases brought before it.
The decisions of equity courts, then, are not precedent-setting. These courts began with petitions to the Lord Chancellor of England. Equity courts "handled lawsuits and petitions requesting remedies other than damages, such as writs, injunctions, and specific performance." Most were eventually "merged with courts of law."
United States bankruptcy courts are the one example of federal courts which operate as courts of equity. Some common law jurisdictions--such as the U.S. states of Delaware, Mississippi, New Jersey, South Carolina, and Tennessee--preserve the distinctions between law and equity and between courts of law and courts of equity.
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