Equity Jurisdiction A Tract Book Essay By Anthony J. Fejfar, B.A., J.D., Esq., Coif © Copyright 2007 by Anthony J.

Fejfar Some lawyers are not happy that Equity exists. What they do not seem to understand is that Law is not rational without Equity. Equity takes into account and solves those problems which cannot be adequately dealt with at Law. But, it is also true to say, while Law has its Equity, Equity also has its law. There are Equitable Maxims which can be used as legal precedent in arguing Equity cases. The first Equity Maxim is that “Equity is, as Equity does.” What this means is that those who recognize or do Equity are entitled to Equity. Those who reject Equity, in general, or for others, are denied Equity, as a general matter. If a litigant fails the foregoing test, then the Court sitting in Equity can only hear the case by reason of the “Grace of the Chancellor.” What this means is that the Court sitting in Equity can choose to hear a case “subjectively” as a matter of discretion, not right. Once a Court has decided to hear a case in Equity, the next hurdle is the Equitable Maxim, “Equity acts only when there is no adequate remedy at Law.” This means that, as a general rule, a Court sitting in Equity will only hear a case when the case cannot be resolved at Law. But, what if there seems to be an extreme injustice even when there is a remedy at Law? In this case, another Equitable Maxim comes into play, “Equity abhors an Injustice at Law.” Thus, if the legal resolution of the problem seems to be grossly unjust as a matter of Natural Law, then the Court can still hear the case in Equity. As I

have argued previously, the rational approach to Natural Law follows the Natural Law Principles of: Reciprocity, Utility, Proportionality, and Equity. A Court should also not hear a case in Equity where the plaintiff has “unclean hands” in Equity. Where the plaintiff has engaged in inequitable conduct, him or herself, then he or she is denied equitable relied. When a court takes a case in Equity the case can often be decided using the Natural Law Principles of Reciprocity, Utility, Proportionality, and Equity. Often, if the case comes down to an Equitable decision, as such, the Court will have to “Balance the Equities,” that is, the Court must balance to contravailing needs of the parties to the action.

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