1. A law or order that forbids a certain action.

2. An extraordinary writ issued by an appellate court to prevent a lower court from exceeding its jurisdiction or to prevent a nonjudicial officer or entity from exercising a power.

— Also termed (in sense 2) writ of prohibition; (in Scots law) inhibition. Cf. WRIT OF CONSULTATION. [Cases: Prohibition

1. C.J.S. Prohibition §§ 2–5.]

“Prohibition is a kind of common-law injunction to prevent an unlawful assumption of jurisdiction…. It is a common-law injunction against governmental usurpation, as where one is called coram non judice (before a judge unauthorized to take cognizance of the affair), to answer in a tribunal that has no legal cognizance of the cause. It arrests the proceedings of any tribunal, board, or person exercising judicial functions in a manner or by means not within its jurisdiction or discretion.” Benjamin J. Shipman, Handbook of Common-Law Pleading § 341, at 542 (Henry Winthrop Ballantine ed., 3d ed. 1923).

3. (cap.) The period from 1920 to 1933, when the manufacture, transport, and sale of alcoholic beverages in the United States was forbidden by the 18th Amendment to the Constitution. • The 18th Amendment was repealed by the 21st Amendment. [Cases: Intoxicating Liquors 17. C.J.S. Intoxicating Liquors § 35.]

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