The jurisdiction of Equity Court has been classified as follows:-
1. Exclusive Jurisdiction.
2. Concurrent Jurisdiction.
3. Auxiliary Jurisdiction.
1. Exclusive Jurisdiction:
In many case, a claimed by a plaintiff would only be enforceable in a court of chancery. In these cases, when the court of chancery granted relief, it was said to be exercising its exclusive jurisdiction. The jurisdiction was exclusive because only chancery recognized it, the common law did not provide such relief for such rights.
For example, rights of persons claiming under uses and trusts, rights of a married woman in relation to property for her separate use, mortgages, right of redemption of a mortgage etc.
2. Concurrent Jurisdiction:
Cases wherein the plaintiff has his option, he could proceed either at the common law courts or at the chancery court. In some situation, a single set of fact will give rise the both legal and equitable actions. When equity provides as would have been issued at common law. That was concurrent jurisdiction. But the method and manner of equity was more effective than common law courts.
For example, fraud, accident, mistake, partnership, recovery of specific Chattels, specific performance of contracts, set off etc.
3. Auxiliary Jurisdiction:
Where the equitable jurisdiction did not have concurrent jurisdiction over a legal right, auxiliary jurisdiction was exercised in there, in order to assist the defective procedure at common law for giving better and effective justice. In these cases equity was unable to provide any actual relief. But it could only grant aid in the enforcement of the right.
For example, the Court of Chancery did not itself adjudicate upon the validity of plaintiff’s claim. The adjudication was made by the common law courts. But Chancery Court could help common law court before the adjudication.
In Cervisy vs Cervisy, 1982, 2 NSWLR 567. Case it was held that the claimant must establish that damages are not and adequate remedy thus would be a ground under which court exercise its auxiliary jurisdiction.