Published: | Updated: September 17, 2016

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Definition - What does Writ mean?

A writ is a legal document issued by a court to either stop a person from doing something or order them to do something. It might, for example, be an order allowing an officer of the law to apprehend a person or an action by the court intervening in a conflict between two parties.

Insuranceopedia explains Writ

The person who writes and issues a writ is often a court judge or someone with equivalent power and responsibility.

There are many forms of writ. A warrant is a writ that instructs a police officer to arrest a suspect of a crime. A subpoena orders a person to appear in court, even against their will.

A writ can also be issued to question the validity of a court action. A higher court can issue a writ that reviews the decisions of a lower court, such as the writ of habeas corpus, which reviews the constitutional soundness of criminal convictions.

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