quo warranto

quo warranto
/kwow waraentow/
In old English practice, a writ in the nature of a writ of right for the king, against him who claimed or usurped any office, franchise, or liberty, to inquire by what authority he supported his claim, in order to determine the right. It lay also in case of non-user, or long neglect of a franchise, or misuser or abuse of it; being a writ commanding the defendant to show by what warrant he exercises such a franchise, having never had any grant of it, or having forfeited it by neglect or abuse. 3 Bl.Comm. 262.
A common law writ designed to test whether a person exercising power is legally entitled to do so. An extraordinary proceeding, prerogative in nature, addressed to preventing a continued exercise of authority unlawfully asserted. Johnson v. Manhattan Ry. Co., N.Y., 289 U.S. 479, 53 S.Ct. 721, 77 L.Ed. 1331.
It is intended to prevent exercise of powers that are not conferred by law, and is not ordinarily available to regulate the manner of exercising such powers. An ancient prerogative right through which the state acts to protect itself and the good of public generally through its chosen agents as provided by its Constitution and laws, though sometimes it is brought at instance of and for benefit of a private individual who may have a special interest. Lewis v. Drake, Tex.App., 641 S.W.2d 392, 394.
Legal action whereby legality of exercise of powers by municipal corporation may be placed in issue. People ex rei. City of Des Plaines v. Village of Mount Prospect, 29 Ill.App.3d 807, 331 N.E.2d 373, 377.
In the law of corporations, quo warranto may be used to test whether a corporation was validly organized or whether it has power to engage in the business in which it is involved. The federal rules are applicable to proceedings for quo warranto "to the extent that the practice in such proceedings is not set forth in statutes of the United States and has heretofore conformed to the practice in civil actions." Fed.R. Civil P. 81(aX2).
Any remedy that could have been obtained under the historic writ of quo warranto may be obtained by a civil action of that nature. U. S. v. Nussbaum, D.C.Cal., 306 F.Supp. 66.

Black's law dictionary. . 1990.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • quo warranto — quo war·ran·to / kwō wə ran tō, rän / n [Medieval Latin, by what warrant; from the wording of the writ] 1: an extraordinary writ requiring a person or corporation to show by what right or authority a public office or franchise is held or… …   Law dictionary

  • Quo warranto — (Medieval Latin for by what warrant? ) is one of the prerogative writs, that requires the person to whom it is directed to show what authority he has for exercising some right or power (or franchise ) he claims to hold.HistoryQuo Warranto had its …   Wikipedia

  • Quo warranto — Quo war*ran to (kw[=o] w[o^]r*r[a^]n t[ o]). [So called from the Law L. words quo warranto (by what authority), in the original Latin form of the writ. See {Which}, and {Warrant}.] (Law) A writ brought before a proper tribunal, to inquire by what …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • quo warranto — [kwō′ wə ran′tō, kwō′ wərän′tō] n. pl. quo warrantos [ML, by what warrant < L quo, abl. of qui, who, which + ML warrantus, warrant] 1. Historical a writ ordering a person to show by what right he exercises an office, franchise, or privilege 2 …   English World dictionary

  • quo warranto — from M.L., lit. by what warrant …   Etymology dictionary

  • quo warranto — noun Etymology: Middle English quo waranto, from Medieval Latin quo warranto by what warrant; from the wording of the writ Date: 15th century 1. a. an English writ formerly requiring a person to show by what authority he exercises a public office …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • quo warranto — /kwoh waw ran toh, wo /, Law. 1. (formerly, in England) a writ calling upon a person to show by what authority he or she claims an office, franchise, or liberty. 2. (in England and the U.S.) a trial, hearing, or other legal proceeding initiated… …   Universalium

  • quo warranto — Literally, by what authority. A high prerogative writ at common law. A writ of inquiry as to the warrant for doing the acts of which complaint is made. The remedy or proceeding by which the sovereign or state determines the legality of a claim… …   Ballentine's law dictionary

  • quo warranto — noun A writ brought before a proper tribunal, to inquire by what warrant a person or a corporation acts, or exercises certain powers …   Wiktionary

  • quo warranto — (Latin) on what authority , document issued by a court of law demanding to know by what right a person exercises the controversial authority; hearing to determine by what authority a person has an office or liberty …   English contemporary dictionary

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