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4 definitions found
 for Chancery
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Chancery \Chan"cer*y\, n. [F. chancellerie, LL. cancellaria,
     from L. cancellarius. See Chancellor, and cf.
     1. In England, formerly, the highest court of judicature next
        to the Parliament, exercising jurisdiction at law, but
        chiefly in equity; but under the jurisdiction act of 1873
        it became the chancery division of the High Court of
        Justice, and now exercises jurisdiction only in equity.
        [1913 Webster]
     2. In the Unites States, a court of equity; equity;
        proceeding in equity.
        [1913 Webster]
     Note: A court of chancery, so far as it is a court of equity,
           in the English and American sense, may be generally, if
           not precisely, described as one having jurisdiction in
           cases of rights, recognized and protected by the
           municipal jurisprudence, where a plain, adequate, and
           complete remedy can not be had in the courts of common
           law. In some of the American States, jurisdiction at
           law and in equity centers in the same tribunal. The
           courts of the United States also have jurisdiction both
           at law and in equity, and in all such cases they
           exercise their jurisdiction, as courts of law, or as
           courts of equity, as the subject of adjudication may
           require. In others of the American States, the courts
           that administer equity are distinct tribunals, having
           their appropriate judicial officers, and it is to the
           latter that the appellation courts of chancery is
           usually applied; but, in American law, the terms equity
           and court of equity are more frequently employed than
           the corresponding terms chancery and court of chancery.
           [1913 Webster]
     Inns of chancery. See under Inn.
     To get (or to hold) In chancery (Boxing), to get the head
        of an antagonist under one's arm, so that one can pommel
        it with the other fist at will; hence, to have wholly in
        One's power. The allusion is to the condition of a person
        involved in the chancery court, where he was helpless,
        while the lawyers lived upon his estate.
        [1913 Webster]

From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) :

      n 1: a court with jurisdiction in equity [syn: chancery,
           court of chancery]
      2: an office of archives for public or ecclesiastic records; a
         court of public records

From Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0 :

  66 Moby Thesaurus words for "chancery":
     appellate court, archives, assizes, booking office, box office,
     branch, branch office, cabinet, chambers, chancellery,
     chancery court, circuit court, civil court, closet,
     common-law court, conciliation court, consulate,
     corporate headquarters, county court, court of appeals,
     court of assize, court of chancery, court of claims,
     court of conscience, court of equity, court of errors,
     court of honor, court of inquiry, court of probate,
     court of record, court of requests, court of review,
     court of sessions, court of wards, criminal court, den,
     district court, divorce court, embassy, equity court,
     executive office, family court, files, headquarters, home office,
     hustings, hustings court, juvenile court, kangaroo court, legation,
     main office, mock court, moot court, night court, office,
     police court, prize court, probate court, register office,
     registry, sessions, shop, study, superior court, ticket office,
     traffic court

From Bouvier's Law Dictionary, Revised 6th Ed (1856) :

  CHANCERY. The name of a court exercising jurisdiction at law, but mainly in 
       2. It is not easy to determine how courts of equity originally obtained 
  the jurisdiction they now exercise. Their authority, and the extent of it, 
  have been subjects of much question, but time has firmly established them; 
  and the limits of their jurisdiction seem to be in a great degree fixed and 
  ascertained. 1 Story on Eq. ch. 2; Mitf. Pl. Introd.; Coop. Eq. Pl. Introd. 
  See also Butler's Reminiscences, 38, 40; 3 Bl. Com. 435; 2 Bin. 135; 4 Bin. 
  50; 6 Bin. 162; 2 Serg. & R. 356; 9 Serg. & R. 315; for the necessity, 
  origin and use of courts of chancery. 
       3. The judge of the court of chancery, often called a court of equity, 
  bears the title of chancellor. The equity jurisdiction, in England, is 
  vested, principally, in the high court of chancery. This court is distinct 
  from courts of law.  "American courts of equity are, in some instances, 
  distinct from those of law, in others, the same tribunals exercise the 
  jurisdiction both of courts of law and equity, though their forms of 
  proceeding are different in their two capacities. The supreme court of the 
  United States, and the circuit courts, are invested with general equity 
  powers, and act either as court's of law or equity, according to the form of 
  the process and the subject of adjudication. In some of the states, as New 
  York, Virginia, and South Carolina, the equity court is a distinct tribunal, 
  having its appropriate judge, or chancellor, and officers. In most of the 
  states, the two jurisdictions centre in the same judicial officers, as in 
  the courts of the United States; and the extent of equity jurisdiction and 
  proceedings is very various in the different states, being very ample in 
  Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia, and South Carolina, 
  and more restricted in Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Pennsylvania. 
  But the salutary influence of these powers on the judicial administration 
  generally, by the adaptation of chancery forms and modes of proceeding to 
  many cases in which a court of law affords but an imperfect remedy, or no 
  remedy at all, is producing a gradual extension of them in those states 
  where they have been, heretofore, very limited." 
       4. The jurisdiction of a court of equity differs essentially from that 
  of a court of law. The remedies for wrongs, or for the enforcement of 
  rights, may be distinguished into two classes those which are administered 
  in courts of law, and those which are administered in courts of equity. The 
  rights secured by the former are called legal; those secured by the latter 
  are called equitable. The former are said to be rights and remedies at 
  common law, because recognized and enforced in courts of common law. The 
  latter are said to be rights and remedies in equity, because they are 
  administered in courts of equity or chancery, or by proceedings in other 
  courts analogous to those in courts of equity or chancery. Now, in England 
  and America, courts of common law proceed by certain prescribed forms, and 
  give a general judgment for or against the defendant. They entertain 
  jurisdiction only in certain actions, and give remedies according to the 
  particular exigency of such actions. But there are many cases in which a 
  simple judgment for either party, without qualifications and conditions, and 
  particular arrangements, will not. do entire justice, ex aequo et bono, to 
  either party. Some modification of the rights of both parties is required; 
  some restraints on one side or the other; and some peculiar adjustments, 
  either present or future, temporary or perpetual. Now, in all these cases, 
  courts of common law have no methods of proceeding, which can accomplish 
  such objects. Their forms of actions and judgment are not adapted to them. 
  The proper remedy cannot be found, or cannot be administered to the full 
  extent of the relative rights of all parties. Such prescribed forms of 
  actions are not confined to our law. They were known in the civil law; and 
  the party could apply them only to their original purposes. In other cases, 
  he had a special remedy. In such cases, where the courts of common law 
  cannot grant the proper remedy or relief, the law of England and of the 
  United States (in those states where equity is administered) authorizes an 
  application to the courts of equity or chancery, which are not confined or 
  limited in their modes of relief by such narrow regulations, but which grant 
  relief to all parties, in cases where they have rights, ex aequo et bono, 
  and modify and fashion that relief according to circumstances. The most 
  general description of a court of equity is, that it has jurisdiction in 
  cases where a plain, adequate and complete remedy cannot be had at law that 
  is, in common law courts. The remedy must be plain; for, if it be doubtful 
  and obscure at law, equity will assert a jurisdiction. So it must be 
  adequate at law; for, if it fall short of what the party is entitled to, 
  that founds a jurisdiction in equity. And it must be complete; that is, it 
  must attain its full end at law it must reach the whole mischief and secure 
  the whole right of the party, now and for the future otherwise equity will 
  interpose, and give relief. The jurisdiction of a court of equity is 
  sometimes concurrent with that of courts of, law and sometimes it is 
  exclusive. It exercises concurrent jurisdiction in cases where the rights 
  are purely of a legal nature, but where other and more efficient aid is 
  required than a court of law can afford, to meet the difficulties of the 
  case, and ensure full redress. In some of these cases courts of law formerly 
  refused all redress but now will grant it. But the jurisdiction having been 
  once justly acquired at a time when there was no such redress at law, it is 
  not now relinquished. The most common exercise of concurrent jurisdiction is 
  in cases of account, accident, dower, fraud, mistake, partnership, and 
  partition. The remedy is here often more complete and effectual than it can 
  be at law. In many cases falling under these heads, and especially in some 
  cases of fraud, mistake and accident, courts of law cannot and do not afford 
  any redress; in others they do, but not always in so perfect a manner. A 
  court of equity also is assistant to the jurisdiction of courts of law, in 
  many cases, where the latter have no like authority. It will remove legal 
  impediments to the fair decision of a question depending at law. It will 
  prevent a party from improperly setting up, at a trial, some title or claim, 
  which would be inequitable. It will compel him to discover, on his own oath, 
  facts which he knows are material to the rights of the other party, but 
  which a court of law cannot compel the party to discover. It will perpetuate 
  the testimony of witnesses to rights and titles, which are in danger of being
  lost, before the, matter can be tried. It will provide for the safety of 
  property in dispute pending litigation. It will counteract and control, or 
  set aside, fraudulent judgments. It will exercise, in many cases, an 
  exclusive jurisdiction. This it does in all cases of morely equitable 
  rights, that is, such rights as are not recognized in courts of law. Most 
  cases of trust and confidence fall under this head. Its exclusive 
  jurisdiction is also extensively exercised in granting special relief beyond 
  the reach of the common law. It will grant injunctions to prevent waste, or 
  irreparable injury, or to secure a settled right, or to prevent vexatious 
  litigations, or to compel the restitution of title deeds; it will appoint 
  receivers of property, where it is in danger of misapplication it will 
  compel the surrender of securities improperly obtained; it will prohibit a 
  party from leaving the country in order to avoid a suit it will restrain any 
  undue exercise of a legal right, against conscience and equity; it will 
  decree a specific performance of contracts respecting real estates; it will, 
  in many cases, supply the imperfect execution of instruments, and reform and 
  alter them according to the real intention of the parties; it will grant 
  relief in cases of lost deeds or securities; and, in all cases in which its 
  interference is asked, its general rule is, that he who asks equity must do 
  equity. If a party, therefore, should ask to have a bond for a usurious debt 
  given up, equity could not decree it, unless he could bring into court the 
  money honestly due without usury. This is a very general and imperfect 
  outline of the jurisdiction of a court of equity; in respect to which it has 
  been justly remarked, that, in matters within its exclusive jurisdiction, 
  where substantial justice entitles the party to relief, but the positive law 
  is silent, it is impossible to define the boundaries of that jurisdiction, 
  or to enumerate, with precision, its various principles." Ency. Am. art. 
  Equity. Vide Fonb. Eq.; Story on Eq.; Madd. Ch. Pr.; 10 Amer. Jur. 227; 
  Coop. Eq. Pl.; Redesd. Pl.; Newl. Cb. Practice; Beame's Pl. Eq.; Jeremy on 
  Eq.; Encycl. Amer. article Equity, Court. 

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