Definitions for: Plea


[n] an answer indicating why a suit should be dismissed
[n] (law) a defendant's answer by a factual matter (as distinguished from a demurrer)
[n] a humble request for help from someone in authority



Webster (1913) Definition: Plea, n. [OE. plee, plai, plait, fr. OF. plait, plaid,
plet, LL. placitum judgment, decision, assembly, court, fr.
L. placitum that which is pleasing, an opinion, sentiment,
from placere to please. See Please, and cf. Placit,
Plead.]
1. (Law) That which is alleged by a party in support of his
cause; in a stricter sense, an allegation of fact in a
cause, as distinguished from a demurrer; in a still more
limited sense, and in modern practice, the defendant's
answer to the plaintiff's declaration and demand. That
which the plaintiff alleges in his declaration is answered
and repelled or justified by the defendant's plea. In
chancery practice, a plea is a special answer showing or
relying upon one or more things as a cause why the suit
should be either dismissed, delayed, or barred. In
criminal practice, the plea is the defendant's formal
answer to the indictment or information presented against
him.

2. (Law) A cause in court; a lawsuit; as, the Court of Common
Pleas. See under Common.

The Supreme Judicial Court shall have cognizance of
pleas real, personal, and mixed. --Laws of
Massachusetts.

3. That which is alleged or pleaded, in defense or in
justification; an excuse; an apology. ``Necessity, the
tyrant's plea.'' --Milton.

No plea must serve; 't is cruelty to spare.
--Denham.

4. An urgent prayer or entreaty.

Pleas of the crown (Eng. Law), criminal actions.

Synonyms: supplication

See Also: answer, appeal, dilatory plea, due process, due process of law, entreaty, insanity plea, plea of insanity, prayer, trial

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Famous Quotes Containing Plea:


Whoever tramples on the plea for justice temperately made in the name of peace only outrages peace and kills something fine in the heart of man which God put there when we got our manhood.

-- William Allen White (American Editor)

He who would do good to another must do it in Minute Particulars: general Good is the plea of the scoundrel, hypocrite, and flatterer, for Art and Science cannot exist but in minutely organized Particulars.

-- William Blake (English Poet)

Foreman told Ray to plead guilty and he'd then give his brother $500, if Ray didn't cause any problems at the guilty plea hearing, and he could take that $500 and hire a lawyer to set aside the plea. Foreman actually put that in writing.

-- William Pepper (American Scientist)

But say some, would you expose woman to the contact of rough, rude, drinking, swearing, fighting men at the ballot box? What a humiliating confession lies in this plea for keeping woman in the background!

-- Ernestine Rose ( Activist)

A funeral eulogy is a belated plea for the defense delivered after the evidence is all in.

-- Irvin S. Cobb (American Journalist)

And here in Los Angeles, once again, I'm going to go down and be a witness. There's a guilty plea. I don't mind being on the witness stand, but I think they mind it a lot.

-- Patty Hearst (American Celebrity)

What it was at the time was literally a plea for, to get the pressure off for a while, to give her space to breathe. She was very unhappy. She was feeling pretty claustrophobic.

-- Anthony Holden (British Journalist)

We are born knowing nothing and with much striving we learn but a little; yet all the while we are bound by laws that hearken to no plea of ignorance, and measure out their rewards and punishments with calm indifference.

-- Paul Elmer More (American Critic)

I don't write polite letters. I don't like to plea-bargain. I like to fight.

-- Roy M. Cohn ( -)


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