Petition – a formal written request presented to a court or other official body

Petitioner – a party who files a petition to a court or other official body, especially when seeking relief.

n. (15c.)

1. A formal written request presented to a court or other official body.

2. In some states (cases), the first pleading in a lawsuit.COMPLAINT.  [1]

1. A formal request in writing, addressed to a person or body in a position of authority (EXAMPLES: a city council; an administrative agency), signed by a number of persons or by one person.

2. The name given in some jurisdictions to a complaint or other pleading that alleges a cause of action.

3. An application made to the court ex parte.

4. A prayer; a request; an appeal. [2]

1. A formal request in writing with addressed to  one in a  position of authority or to a body, such as a municipal council, usually signed by a number of persons.  An application.  The name given in some jurisdictions to the pleading by which the plaintiff in a civil action, whether in law or equity, sets forth his cause of action, and invokes the jurisdiction of the court.  41 Am J lst pl § 73  In some jurisdictions, the pleading by the plaintiff in a special proceeding.  The pleading which seeks condemnation of property in a proceeding in eminent domain. 27 Am J2d MD § 395[3]

Types of Petitions:

Petition of Rights – for recovery of wrongfully detained property &/or person(s) held in custody.

Petition for a Redress of Grievances

Referendum Petition – a petition demanding that newly proposed, or previously enacted, legislation be submitted to the people for their approval or rejection.

Petition in Intervention – to join the plaintiff in claiming what is sought or joining the defendant in resisting what is sought, or for taking a position adverse to both the plaintiff and the defendant.

Petitions Pertaining to Rehearings, Appeals, and Appellate Courts

Petitions Pertaining to Bankruptcy Court

Petitions Pertaining to Patents

Juvenile Petition – a juvenile-court petition alleging delinquent conduct by the accused.

Petition for Probate – to request the court to admit a will to probate.

Petition for Highway – an application by property owners for the opening of a highway.

Petition for Improvement – a property owner’s petition for the construction of a public improvement. 


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[1]: Black’s Law Dictionary Deluxe Tenth Edition by Henry Campbell Black, Editor in Chief Bryan A. Garner. ISBN: 978-0-314-61300-4

[2]: Ballantine’s Law Dictionary Legal Assistant Edition by Jack Ballantine (James Arthur 1871-1949).  Doctored by Jack G. Handler, J.D. © 1994 Delmar by Thomson Learning.  ISBN 0-8273-4874-6.

[3]: Ballantine’s Law Dictionary with Pronunciations
Third Edition
 by James A. Ballantine (James Arthur 1871-1949).  Edited by William S. Anderson.  © 1969 by THE LAWYER’S CO-OPERATIVE PUBLISHING COMPANY.  Library of Congress Catalog Card No. 68-30931


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