- In ordinary usage, including all methods of invoking the action of courts and applicable generally to any step taken by a suitor to obtain the interposition or action of a court. 1 Am J2d Actions § 3. An action. More particularly, any application to a court of justice, however made, for aid in the enforcement of rights, for relief, for redress of injuries, for damages, or for any remedial object. 1 Am J2d Actions § 3. In reference to the restriction upon federal courts of granting an injunction to stay proceedings in state courts:-any step taken, or which may be taken, in the state court or by its officers, from the institution of the action to the termination of final process. Hill v Martin, 296 US 393, 80 L Ed 293, 56 S Ct 278. In one peculiar sense, the equivalent of special proceeding. In a broad sense, inclusive of an inquiry before a grand jury. Hale v Henkel, 201 US 43, 66, 50 L Ed 652, 662, 26 S Ct 370, even of the conduct of a matter before an executive department or administrative agency. Bowers v New York & Albany Lighterage Co. 273 US 346, 71 L Ed 676, 47 S Ct 389. See action; ancillary proceeding; practice; procedure; special proceeding; summary proceeding.
Ballentine's law dictionary. Anderson, W.S.. 1998.