Definitions from Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition and Ballentine's Law Dictionary as are available for each term in each dictionary.
  • Ballentine's Law Dictionary

    A demand of some matter as of right made by one person upon another to do or forbear. See 16 Pet. (U. S.) 615, 10 L. Ed. 1089.

  • Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition

    n. 1. A challenge of the property or ownership of a thing which is wrongfully withheld from the possession of the claimant Stowel v. Zouch, Plowd. 359; Robinson v. Wiley, 15 N. Y. 491; Fordyce v. Godman, 20 Ohio St 14; Douglas v. Beasley, 40 Ala. 147; Prigg v. Pennsylvania, 16 Pet. 615, 10 L Ed. 1060; U. S. v. Rhodes (C. O.) 30 Fed. 433; Silliman v. Eddy, 8 How. Prae. (N. Y.) 123. A claim is a right or title, actual or supposed, to a debt, privilege, or other thing in the possession of another; not the possession, but the means by or through which the claimant obtains the possession or enjoyment. Lawrence v. Miller, 2 N. Y. 245, 254. A claim is, in a just, juridical sense, a demand of some matter as of right made by one person upon another, to do or to forbear to do some act or thing as a matter of duty. A more limited, but at the same time an equally expressive, definition was given by Lord Dyer, that "a. claim is a challenge by a man of the propriety or ownership of a thing, which he has not in possession, but which is wrongfully detained from him." Prigg v. Pennsylvania, 16 Pet. 615, 10 L. Ed. 1060. "Claim" has generally been defined as a demand for a thing, the ownership of which, or an interest in which, is in the claimant, but the possession of which is wrongfully withheld by another. But a broader meaning must be accorded to it. A demand for damages for criminal conversation with plaintiff's wife is a claim; but it would be doing violence to language to say that such damages are property of plaintiff which defendant withholds. In common parlance the noun "claim" means an assertion, a pretension; and the verb is often used (not quite correctly) as a synonym for "state," "urge?' "insist," or "assert." In a statute authorizing the courts to order a bili of particulars of the "claim" of either party, "claim" is co-extensive with "case," and embraces ali causes of action and all grounds of defense, the pleas of both parties, and pleas in confession and avoidance, no less than complaints and counter-claims. It warrants the court in requiring a defendant who justifies in a libel suit to furnish particulars of the facts relied upon in justification. Orvis v. Jennings, 6 Daly (N. Y.) 446. 2. Under the mechanic's lien law of Pennsylvania, a demand put on record by a mechanic or material-man against a building for work or material contributed to its erection is calied a "claim." 3. Under the land laws of the United States, the tract of land taken up by a pre-emptioner or other settler (and also his possession of the same) is calied a "claim." Railroad Co., v. Abink, 14 Neb. 95, 15 N. W. 317; Bowman v. Tore, 3 Iowa, 573. 4. In patent law, the claim is the specification by the applicant for a patent of the particular things in which he insists his invention is novel and patentable; it is the clause in the application in which the applicant defines precisely what his invention is. White v. Dunbar, 119 In S. 47, 7 Sup. Ch 72, 30 Ia Ed. 303; Brammer v. Schroeder, 106 Fed. 930, 46 C. C. A. 41.
    —Adverse claim. A claim set up by a stranger to goods upon which the sheriff has levied an execution or attachment
    —Claim and delivery. An action at law for the recovery of specific personal chattels wrongfully taken and detained, with damages which the wrongful taking or detention has caused; in substance a modem modification of the common-law action of replevin. Fredericks v. Tracy, 98 Cal. 658, 33 Pac. 750; Railroad Co., v. Gila County, 8 Ariz. 292, 71 Pac. 913.
    —Claim in equity. In English practice. In simple cases, where there was not any great conflict as to facts, and a discovery from a defendant was not sought, but a reference to chambers was nevertheless necessary before final decree, which would be as of course, ali parties being before the court, the summaiy proceeding by claim was sometimes adopted, thus obviating the recourse to plenary and protracted pleadings. This summary practice was created by orders 22d April, 1850, which came into operation on the 22d May following. See Smith, Ch. Pr. 664. By Consolid. Ord. 1860, viii, r. 4, claims were abolished. Wharton.
    —Claim of conusance. In practice. An intervention by a third person in a suit, claiming that he has rightful jurisdiction of the cause which the plaintiff has commenced out of the claimant's court. Now obsolete. 2 Wils. 400; 3 Bl. Comm. 298.
    —Claim of liberty. In English practice. A suit or petition to the queen, in the court of exchequer, to have liberties and franchises confirmed there by the attorney general.
    —Counter-claim. A claim set up and urged by the defendant in opposition to or reduction of the claim presented by the plaintiff. See, more fully, ChuNTEB-Cjj,AiM.

  • Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition

    v. To demand as one's own; to assert a personal right to any property or any right; to demand the possession or enjoyment of something rightfully one's own, and wrongfully withheld. Hlil v. Henry, 60 N. J. Eq. 150, 57 AtL 555.