This definition applies to cases in equity, as opposed to cases in “law” or “common law.” This definition also relates to the Seventh Amendment guarantee of a trial by jury.
As a general rule, common law cases are cases where a plaintiff asks for money damages from the defendant. In those cases, the right to a trial by jury applies. On the other hand, where a plaintiff seeks injunctive relief, there is no right to a jury trial. An injunction is where a judge orders a party to do something or to refrain from doing something. For example, if a plaintiff asks a judge to prohibit a defendant from disclosing information in a newspaper article, that would be injunctive relief and there is no right to a jury trial.« Back to Glossary Index