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

    The writ of inquiry is a judicial process addressed to the sheriff of the county in which the venue is laid, stating the former proceedings in the action, and, "because it is unknown what damages the plaintiff has sustained," commanding the sheriff that, by the oath of twelve men of his county, he diligently inquire into the same, and return the inquisition into court. This writ is necessary after an interlocutory judgment, the defendant having let judgment go by default, to ascertain the quantum of damages. Wharton.