writ of assistance

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writ′ of assist′ance

(before the American Revolution) a writ authorizing officers of the British crown to search any premises for smuggled goods.
References in periodicals archive ?
James Otis thundered at British officials: "I will to my dying day oppose, with all the powers and faculties God has given me, all such instruments of slavery on the one hand and villainy on the other, as this Writ of Assistance is.
The City, after bringing an unsuccessful 1989 squatter proceeding and after unsuccessfully seeking a writ of assistance from the Supreme Court in 1990, had allowed the occupants to remain for an indefinite term.
The respondent could have been better advised to have employed the statutory remedy of a writ of assistance pursuant to RPAPL 221 rather than resorting to the common law remedy of self-help.