Definition - What does Declaratory Relief mean?
Declaratory relief is when a court makes an official ruling on the rights of parties involved in a dispute. The goal of declaratory relief is typically for the matter to be resolved without requiring litigation. In other words, by seeking declaratory relief, one party hopes that they can resolve the issue at hand by having a judge officially declare the rights of each party.
Justipedia explains Declaratory Relief
Sometimes in a legal dispute, there can be confusion over certain legal rights of the parties involved. For example, if a structure that stretches beyond a property line burns down, the two adjacent property owners may argue over who owns the rights to the land underneath. In this case, one party may seek to get declaratory relief from a judge in order to decide the matter. If the judge rules that one party has a right to the land, the other may simply chose not to enter a lawsuit because they can clearly see that they will not win.