Eng. law. The exhibiting of any action, real or personal, in writing; the party making his plaint is called the plaintiff. In English practice. A private memorial tendered In open court to the judge, wherein the party injured sets forth his cause of action. A proceeding in Inferior courts by which an action is com menced without original writ. 3 Bl. Comm. 373. This mode of proceeding is commonly adopted in cases of replevin. 3 Steph. Comm. 606. In the civil law. A complaint; a form of action, particularly one for setting aside a testament alleged to be invalid. This word is the English equivalent of the Latin “que rela.”
TheLaw.com Law Dictionary & Black's Law Dictionary 2nd Ed.