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Purpose of Remedies

15 January, 2016 - 09:33

The fundamental purpose of remedies in noncriminal cases is not to punish the breaching party but—if possible—to put the nonbreaching party in the position he or she would have been in had there been no breach. Or, as is said, the purpose is to make the nonbreaching party whole.

There are two general categories of remedies—legal and equitable. In the category of legal remedies are damages. Damages are money paid by one party to another; there are several types of damages. In the category of equitable remedies are these three: specific performance, which means a person is ordered to deliver a unique thing (land or a unique personal property, such as a painting or an antique car); injunction, a judicial order directing a person to stop doing what he or she should not do (such as competing with a former employer in violation of a noncompete agreement); and restitution, which means putting the parties back into the position they were in before the contract was made.