Definition - What does Declaratory Judgment mean?
A declaratory judgment is when a judge gives an opinion about the legal rights of each party in a dispute before an actual lawsuit takes place. The purpose of a declaratory judgment is to clear up the legal positions for the parties seeking the judgment. No further legal action is automatically required if a declaratory judgment is given. However, a party may chose to begin a lawsuit.
Justipedia explains Declaratory Judgment
From time to time, a party, or a pair of parties may seek to have their legal rights regarding an issue officially declared by a judge. This is usually an attempt for one party to show to the other party in a controversy that they do not have a case. When a judge makes such an official proclamation, it is called a declaratory judgment. Such judgments often prevent litigation. Gowever, this is not always the case.