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quo warranto n
[Medieval Latin, by what warrant; from the wording of the writ]
1 : an extraordinary writ requiring a person or corporation to show by what right or authority a public office or franchise is held or exercised
2 : a proceeding in the nature of a writ of quo warranto for determining by what authority or right an office or franchise is held or exercised and seeking as an extraordinary remedy the discontinuance of an unlawful exercise of office or franchise
Source: Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law ©1996. Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. Published under license with Merriam-Webster, Incorporated.