Prayer Law and Legal Definition

Prayer is a term subject to different meanings, but in the legal context, it refers to the specific amount asked for as damages at the end of a complaint or petition. A prayer gives the judge an idea of what is sought, and a defendant who fails to answer may have a default judgment entered against him/her for the amount prayed for.

The following is a sample prayer:

"The plaintiff prays for 1) special damages in the sum of $50,000, general damages according to proof, 3) reasonable attorney's fees; 4) costs of suit; and 5) such other and further relief as the court shall deem proper."