Petition

The document that initiates the filing of a bankruptcy proceeding, setting forth basic information regarding the debtor, including name, address, chapter under which the case is filed, and estimated amount of assets and liabilities.

Additional Sources

Duhaime Legal Dictionary

A formal, written document submitted to a court, and which asks for the court to redress what is described in the petition as being an injustice or an illegal act of some kind.

Petitions set out the facts, identifies the law under which the court is being asked to intervene, and ends with a suggested course of action for the court to consider (eg. payment of damages).

Encyclopedia Britannica

Written instrument directed to some individual, official, legislative body, or court in order to redress a grievance or to request the granting of a favour. Petitions are also used to collect signatures to enable a candidate to get on a ballot or to put an issue before the electorate. They are also used to pressure representatives and deputies to vote in a certain way.

Most governments allow citizens to petition in some form for redress of grievances, and, indeed, in many countries it is an established right. The history of its growth has been wide and varied. In England the right of petitioning the crown was recognized indirectly as early as Magna Carta (1215) and reaffirmed in the Bill of Rights of 1689. At first, petitions to the crown appear to have been for the redress of private and local grievances. Moreover, in Parliament many statutes were drawn up based on petitions sent from the House of Commons to the crown and the latter’s answers. Although the right to petition Parliament itself is not mentioned in the Bill of Rights, it is a convention of the constitution. In modern times the presentation of public petitions plays little effective part in parliamentary affairs because most fail to conform to very strict tests of technical validity.

In the United States, the right under the First Amendment to the Constitution to petition the government for redress of grievances is one of the basic guarantees of civil liberties. In the Revolutionary era, American political theorists emphatically asserted that the colonists were entitled to all the historic guarantees of English liberty, and Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence listed the flouting of “petitions for redress” as a major grievance against the British king. In 1789 the first U.S. Congress incorporated the right of petition along with other freedoms in the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights. Thereafter, virtually all the states incorporated guarantees of petition in their own constitutions. Both Congress and the various state legislatures still have well-defined procedures for receiving and acting upon materials of this kind. Although the rules are not as stringent as those in England, individual officials often have wide discretion in interpreting the validity of petitions.

Law.com Dictionary

1) n. a formal written request to a court for an order of the court. It is distinguished from a complaint in a lawsuit which asks for damages and/or performance by the opposing party. Petitions include demands for writs, orders to show cause, modifications of prior orders, continuances, dismissal of a case, reduction of bail in criminal cases, a decree of distribution of an estate, appointment of a guardian, and a host of other matters arising in legal actions. 2) n. a general term for a writing signed by a number of people asking for a particular result from a private governing body (such as a homeowners association, a political party, or a club). 3) in public law, a writing signed by a number of people which is required to place a proposition or ordinance on the ballot, nominate a person for public office, or demand a recall election. Such petitions for official action must be signed by a specified number of registered voters (such as five percent). 4) v. to make a formal request of a court; to present a written request to an organization's governing body signed by one or more members. 5) n. a suit for divorce in some states, in which the parties are called petitioner and respondent.

The Free (Legal) Dictionary

A written application from a person or persons to some governing body or public official asking that some authority be exercised to grant relief, favors, or privileges.

A formal application made to a court in writing that requests action on a certain matter.

The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees to the people the right to petition the government for the redress of grievances. Petitions are also used to collect signatures to enable a candidate to get on a ballot or put an issue before the electorate. Petitions can serve as a way of pressuring elected officials to adhere to the position expressed by the petitioners

Wikipedia

A petition is a request to change something, most commonly made to a government official or public entity. Petitions to a deity are a form of prayer.

In the colloquial sense, a petition is a document addressed to some official and signed by numerous individuals. A petition may be oral rather than written, and in this era may be transmitted via the Internet. The term also has a specific meaning in the legal profession as a request, directed to a court or administrative tribunal, seeking some sort of relief such as a court order.

A petition can also be the title of a legal pleading that initiates a case to be heard before a court. The initial pleading in a civil lawsuit that seeks only money (damages) might be titled (in most U.S. courts) a complaint; an initial pleading in a lawsuit seeking non-monetary or "equitable" relief such as a request for a writ of mandamus or habeas corpus, or for custody of a child or for probate of a will, would instead be termed a petition.