writ of assistancewrit of assistance
(plural writs of assistance)
- (historical, US) a court order that authorized customs officers to conduct general searches of premises for contraband; a form of search warrant
writ of assistance - Legal Definition
- One of the most hated abuses of common law in colonial America, it was a general warrant for an officer of the crown to search wherever he pleased for goods imported without paying British tariffs. They were greatly abused and led to the constitutional ban against unreasonable search and seizure.
- In current practice, a writ of assistance is a remedy for the transfer of property when the title has been previously decided by a proceeding, and is issued to enforce the prior judgment or decree.