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Maxim

"equity Aids The Vigilant, Not Those Who Slumber On Their Rights."

This principle recognizes that an adversary can lose evidence, witnesses, and a fair chance to defend himself or herself after the passage of time from the date that the wrong was committed. If the defendant can show disadvantages because for a long time he or she relied on the fact that no lawsuit would be started, then the case should be dismissed in the interests of justice. The law encourages a speedy resolution for every dispute. It does not favor the cause of someone who suddenly wakes up to enforce his or her rights long after discovering that they exist. A long unreasonable delay like this is called LACHES, and it is a defense to various forms of equitable relief.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationFree Legal Encyclopedia: Marque and Reprisal to MinisterMaxim - The Foundations Of Equity, "he Who Seeks Equity Must Do Equity.", "he Who Comes Into Equity Must Come With Clean Hands." - "Equity follows the law.", "Equity acts specifically.", "Equity regards substance rather than form."