What is Without Recourse?

Legal Definition
A phrase meaning that one party has no legal claim against another party. It is often used in two contexts:

1. In litigation, someone without recourse against another party cannot sue that party, or at least cannot obtain adequate relief even if a lawsuit moves forward. Someone completely without recourse cannot sue anyone for an alleged injury, or else cannot obtain any relief even if lawsuits are filed.

2. In financial transactions, the words "without recourse" disclaim any liability to the subsequent holder of a financial instrument. Thus, endorsing a check and adding "without recourse" to the signature means that the endorser takes no responsiblity if the check bounces for insufficient funds. If the bank accepts such a check and deposits the stated amount in the endorser's account, the bank will have no right to withdraw that amount from the endorser's account.
Legal Definition
Vide Sans Recours and Endorsement; Chit. on Bills, 179; 14 S. & R. 325; 3 Cranch, 193; 7 Cranch, 159; 1 Cowen, 538; 12 Mass. 172; 6 Shipl. R. 354.
-- Bouviers Law Dictionary
Legal Definition
This phrase, used in making a qualified endorsement of a negotiable instrument, signifies that the endorser means to save himself from liability to subsequent holders, and is a notification that, if payment is refused by the parties primarily liable, recourse cannot be had to him. See Thompson v. First State Bank, 102 Ga. 696, 29 S. E. 610; Epler v. Funk, 8 Pa. 468; Youngberg v. Nelson, 51 Minn. 172, 53 N. W. 629, 38 Am. St. Rep. 497; Bankhead v. Owen, 60 Ala. 461.
-- Black's Law Dictionary