petition of right. 1. (cap.) One of the four great charters of English liberty (3 Car. (1628)), establishing that “no man be compelled to make or yield any gift, loan, benevolence, tax, or such like charge, without common consent by act of parliament.” • The other three great charters are Magna Carta, the Habeas Corpus Act (31 Car. 2 (1679)), and the Bill of Rights (1 W. & M. (1689)). 2. Hist. A proceeding in chancery by which a subject claims that a debt is owed by the Crown or that the Crown has broken a contract or wrongfully detained the subject’s property. • Although the petition is addressed directly to the Crown, the courts adjudicate the claim just as in an action between private parties.
— Also termed petition de droit.
[Blacks Law 8th]