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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.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


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)

Copyright © 1981-2005 by Gerald N. Hill and Kathleen T. Hill. All Right reserved.


a request contained in a petition to a court for the relief sought by the petitioner.
Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006

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.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
Because the Old Testament background of sacrifice revealed that "the orisons of faith and penitence must be accompanied with the streaming blood of a victim and the venging fire of the altar," the words associated with sacrifice--propitiation and expiation--were assigned to the Work of Christ (Dabney, "Vindicatory Justice" 466-67).
imitating the orisons for centuries practised only by clergy, and even
When she was left to encounter him in the lobby his "Nymph, in thy orisons ..." was unmotivatedly nasty and sneering.
"Soft you now," he murmurs, "The fair Ophelia.--Nymph, in thy orisons / Be all my sins remembered." Ophelia is fair, just as thought is pale, and she thinks too much; her prayers and memories make her ill.
Nymph, in thy orisons, be all of Academia's sins remembered.
(20) [2] LaMotte also wrote a collection of religious poems called Last Things and Tales Told in November, children's stories (36), as well as Tales for Innocents and Orisons, religious lyrics (42).
Here, the female singer has the chance temporarily to become not the woman waiting at home, but the hero setting out for adventure, sure that he can rely upon the woman at home: 3:12 The Soldier's Adieu Dibdin Adieu adieu my only life My honour calls me from thee Remember thou'rt a -Soldier's- Sailor's wife ["Soldier's replaced by "Sailor's] Those tears but ill become thee What though by duty I am call'd Where thund'ring Cannons rattle Where valour's self might stand appalled Where valour's self might stand appalled When on the wings of thy dear love To heav'n above thy fervent orisons are flown The tender prayer thou putst up there Shall call a guardian Angel down Shall call a guardian Angel down To watch me in the battle ...
For in his morning orisons he loves the sun and the sun loves him.