Civil remedies may further be subdivided according to the nature of the relief claimed. The injured party may claim specific relief, damages or restitution.
A claim for specific relief is one for the actual performance of the defaulting party’s undertaking. It is usually associated with the so-called equitable remedies of specific performance and injunction but a common law action to recover the agreed sum due under a contract (eg an action for the price, or for wages) is also a claim for specific relief.
A claim for damages is one for money to compensate the injured party for the fact that he has not received the agreed performance.
A claim for restitution arises when the claimant has, in performing his part of the contract, conferred a benefit on the defendant and seeks to get back that benefit or its value. For example, a buyer who has paid in advance but has not received delivery may claim the return of his money. Where precise restitution is physically impossible, the court may award the reasonable value of the benefit: for example, the value of services rendered in partial performance of a contract which cannot be fully performed because it has been frustrated.