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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 ?
Other Midland MPs supporting the early day motion included Janet Dean (Burton), Jim Cunningham (Coventry South), Terry Davis (Birmingham Hodge Hill), Lynne Jones (Birmingham Selly Oak), Paul Marsden (Shrewsbury and Atcham) Steve McCabe (Birmingham Hall Green), Nigel Jones (Cheltenham), George Stevenson (Stoke South), Bill Olner (Nuneaton), and Debra Shipley (Stourbridge).
Early Day Motions are not debated within the House of Commons but are used to raise issues of concern arising within MPs' constituencies, or to praise the work of local community groups and individuals.
They are among 31 MPs who have signed an early day motion urging a new campaign to raise awareness of the issue.
In an early day motion being put before the House today, Newport MP Paul Flynn will criticise Cardiff County Council for scrapping an account of the Blitz, due to be read at the ceremony next week, amid claims it may offend the German consul.
Mr Olner, explaining why he signed the early day motion going before Parliament, said: "The main reason I signed was that, as an ex-council tenant, I can see the need for affordable, decent local authority housing for generations to use.
His Commons early day motion has now been signed by more than 100 MPs, including former ministers Peter Kilfoyle and Kate Hoey.
The all-party Parliamentary Pro-Life Group is tabling a House of Commons early day motion warning of the dangers of allowing the scientific establishment to decide that embryonic research is the way to go.
Houghton and Washington East MP Fraser Kemp has put forward an Early Day Motion that will be sent to all MPs, Ministers and senior civil servants.
He has put down an Early Day Motion in the House of Commons to support the NBA's campaign to persuade supermarkets to physically separate displays of beef from different countries of origin.
She has tabled a Commons early day motion calling for action.
The Early Day Motion was tabled by Cardiff West MP Kevin Brennan and has so far been signed by 16 MPs.
Coventry South MP Jim Cunningham has put down an Early Day Motion condemning the Church Lawford scheme as well as plans to expand Coventry airport.

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