prayer

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Prayer

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.

prayer

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.

prayer

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.
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Once the research findings of the Prayer Warriors study were presented along with quotes from participants, the class became quiet.
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