writ of assistance


Also found in: Legal, Wikipedia.

writ′ of assist′ance



n.
(before the American Revolution) a writ authorizing officers of the British crown to search any premises for smuggled goods.
[1700–10]
References in periodicals archive ?
existed in Massachusetts, "and therefore the writ of assistance
The process to evict the Odawa inhabitants of the land began in earnest in 1898, when McGinn received from a circuit court judge a "writ of assistance" to facilitate this action.
John Adams, who was present in the courtroom, later wrote, "American independence was then and there born." Besides examining Otis's argument in the text, Judge Hubbart provides appendices with copies of the general writ of assistance at issue and Otis' entire speech.
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...by this writ not only deputies, ...
A writ of assistance was a court order to individuals to assist customs officers in the performance of their duties.