practice. A mandatory precept issued by the authority, and in the name of the sovereign or the state, for the purpose of compelling the defendant to do something therein mentioned. 2. It is issued by a court or other competent jurisdiction, and is return-able to the same. It is to be under seal and tested by the proper officer, and is directed to the sheriff, or other officer lawfully authorized to execute the same. Writs are divided into, 1. Original. 2. Of mesne process. 3. Of execution.
Law Dictionary – Alternative Legal Definition
A precept in writing, couched in the form of a letter, running in the name of the king, president, or state, issuing from a court of justice, and sealed with its seal, addressed to a sheriff or other officer of the Jaw, or directly to the person whose action the court desires to command, either as the commencement of a suit or other proceeding or as incidental to its progress, and requiring the performance of a specified act, or giving authority and commission to have it done. For the names and description of variows particular writs, see the following titles. In old English law. An instrument in the form of a letter; a letter or letters oJf attorney. This is a Very ancient sense ot the word. In the old books, “writ” is used as equivalent to “action;” hence writs are sometimes divided into real, personal, and mixed. In Scotch law. A writing; an instrument in writing, as a deed, bond, contract, etc.
Alias writ. A second writ issued in the same cause, where a former writ of the same kind has been issued without effect. Close writ. In English Law, a name given to certain letters of the sovereign, sealed with his great seal and directed to particular persons and for particular purposes, which, not being proper for public inspection, were closed up and sealed on the outside; also, a writ directed to the sheriff instead of to the lord. 2 Bl. Comm. 346, 3 Reeve, Eng. Law, 45. Concurrent writs. Duplicate originals, or several writs running at the same time for the same purpose, for service on or arrest of a person, when it is not known where he is to be found; or for service on several persons, as when there are several defendants to an action. Mozley A Whitley. Judicial writs. In English practice. Such writs as issue under the private seal of the courts, and not under the great seal of England, and are tested or witnessed, not in the king s name, but in the name of the chief judge of the court out of which they issue. The word “judicial” is. used in contradistinction to “original;” original writs being such as issue out of chancery under the great seal, and are witnessed in the king’s name. See 3 Bl. Comm. 282. Pullman’s Palace Car Co. v. Washburn (C. C) 66 Fed. 792. Junior writ. One which is issued, or comes to the officer’s hands, at a later time than a similar writ, at the suit of another party, or on a different claim, against the same defendant. Original writ. In English practice. An original writ was the process formerly in use for the commencement of personal actions. It was a mandatory letter from the king, issuing out of chancery, sealed with the great seal, and directed to the sheriff of the county wherein the injury was committed, or was supposed to have been committed, requiring him to command the wrongdoer or accused party either to do justice to the plaintiff or else to appear in court and answer the accusation against him. This writ is now disused, the writ of summons being the process prescribed by the uniformity of process act for commencing personal actions; and under the judicature act, 1873, all suits, even in the court of chancery, are to be commenced by such writs of summons. Brown. Patent writ. In old practice, an Open writ; one not closed or sealed up. Peremptory writ. An original writ, called from the words of the writ a te feoerit seourum” and which directed the sheriff to cause the defendant to appear in court without any option given him, provided the plaintiff gave the sheriff security effectually to prosecute his claim. The writ was very occasionally in use, and only where nothing was specifically demanded, but Only a satisfaction in general; as in the case of writs of trespass on the case, wherein no debt or other specific thing was sued for, but only damages ‘to be assessed by a jury. Brown. Prerogative writs. Those issued by the exercise of the extraordinary power of the crown (the court, in modern practice) on proper cause shown; namely the writs of procedendo, mandamus, prohibition, quo warranto, habeas corpus, and certiorari.