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Chancery

One of the chief courts of equity in England and Wales. Chancery courts were places that subjects could present their grievances to the King's Bench and they would determine if the case would lie in equity, they would be able to issue orders or injunctions to preserve the subject's legal entitlements such as preventing trespass.

In other Anglo-American common law jurisdictions while the courts of chancery dispersed the jurisdiction's equitable powers in the 20th century most states either (1) abolished chancery courts and merged the powers of the courts of equity with the courts of law (the courts that could only issue money judgments as damages), thus making it possible for one to seek equitable relief at the same time as legal relief or (2) made the equitable jurisdiction the responsibility of a separate chancery division of the court of general jurisdiction.

One important distinction between these courts is that generally a jury trial is not possible in equitable actions as only a judge can dispense equity, a jury, while it can answer questions of fact, has no power to answer questions that involve interpretation of the law. Another important distinction is that the law of equity is a set of principles that are based upon the discretion of the judge interpreting them.

See also Law.

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