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Maxim

"equity Is Equality."

This maxim means that equity will not play favorites. For example, a receiver who has been appointed to collect the assets of a business in financial trouble must use the income to pay every creditor an equal share of what is owed to him or her. If a PENSION fund loses a large amount of money through poor investment, then everyone who is entitled to benefits must suffer a fair share of the loss. Three adult children of a woman who is killed in an auto accident should share equally in any money that is recovered in a WRONGFUL DEATH action if the children are the woman's only surviving close relatives.

A judge will depart from this principle only under compelling circumstances, but the rule applies only to parties who are on an equal footing. If, for example, the woman in an auto accident died leaving three young children, then the money that is recovered might be distributed in proportion to each child's age. A younger child will have lost his or her mother for more years than an older brother or sister. Also, a receiver would have to prefer a secured creditor over those creditors who had no enforceable interest in a particular asset of the company. Unless there is proof that one person in a group is in a special position, the law will assume that each should share equally in proportion to his or her contribution or loss.

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."