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The request contained in a bill in Equity that the court will grant the process, aid, or relief that the complainant desires.

In addition, the term prayer is applied to that segment of the bill that contains this request.


n. the specific request for judgment, relief and/or damages at the conclusion of a complaint or petition. A typical prayer would read: "The plaintiff prays for: 1) special damages in the sum of $17,500; 2) general damages according to proof [proved in trial]; 3) reasonable attorney's fees; 4) costs of suit; and 5) such other and further relief as the court shall deem proper." A prayer gives the judge an idea of what is sought, and may become the basis of a judgment if the defendant defaults (fails to file an answer). Sometimes a plaintiff will inflate damages in the prayer for publicity or intimidation purposes, or because the plaintiff believes that a gigantic demand will be a better starting point in negotiations. However, the ridiculous multi-million prayers in smaller cases make plaintiffs look foolish and unrealistic. (See: complaint, default judgment)


noun application, application for relief, call, claim, earnest entreaty, earnest request, entreaty, humble entreaty, imploratio, imploration, invocation, motion, petition, plea, precatio, request, request for relief, request for the aid of the court, solemn entreaty, supplication, urgent request, votum
Associated concepts: prayer for relief
See also: appeal, call, entreaty, petition, request


a request contained in a petition to a court for the relief sought by the petitioner.

PRAYER, chanc. pleadings. That part of a bill which asks for relief.
     2. The skill of the solicitor is to be exercised in framing this part of the bill. An accurate specification of the matters to be decreed in complicated cases, requires great discernment and experience; Coop. Eq. Pl. 13; it is varied as the case is made out, concluding always with a prayer of general relief, at the discretion of the court. Mitf. Pl. 45.

References in periodicals archive ?
SIGNING UP: Coventry South MP Jim Cunningham is the primary sponsor for an early day motion to raise awareness about sepsis
Liberal Democrat Ian Swales previously signed Early Day Motion 959 calling for a 5% reduction in bingo duty and visited Redcar's Beacon Bingo to show his support.
Linda Riordan has submitted an Early Day Motion (EDM) to the House of Commons about rumoured changes at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary and Calderdale Royal Hospital.
I READ that Tobias Ellwood MP is introducing an Early Day Motion to change the name of Big Ben - a name we and all the visitors to Britain know, relate to and respect - to the Elizabeth Tower.
A TYNESIDE MP has tabled an Early Day Motion calling for the resignation of Fifa president Sepp Blatter.
Lifelong Reds fan Steve Rotheram MP, who represents Walton, was calling on his Parliamentary colleagues to sign an Early Day Motion which calls for the Anfield legend to be knighted.
Marcus Jones, who represents Nuneaton, and Dan Byles, from North Warwickshire, have signed an Early Day Motion tabled in the House of Commons which calls for the system of retrospective planning permission to be limited, along with councils being given stronger powers to deal with unauthorised development.
Some 23 MPs from Birmingham, West Bromwich, Walsall, Tamworth and Coventry put their names to an Early Day Motion ahead of the dissolution of Parliament.
Although the Clwyd South MP does list his links to the organisation in the register of members' interests he did not do so on the Early Day Motion he tabled as required by the Commons code of conduct.
Readers who find this disgraceful or just plain unsatisfactory can register their disapproval by signing the petition on Downing Street's website and asking their MP to sign Early Day Motion 963.
Former ministers Frank Dobson, Michael Meacher and Malcolm Wicks are among those who have signed an early day motion warning that selling a minority stake would risk fracturing "one of Britain's greatest public services".
They had encouraged him to table an Early Day Motion calling for the proposals to be ditched, he said.

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