SUIT is a legal term used in different senses. The word recta, which is the Latin form, is from " seqncr," to follow ; and hence the general meaning of the word may be deduced.
1. A snit in the sense of litigation, is a proceeding by which any legal or equit able right is pursued, or sought to be en forced in a court of justice. Where the remedy is sought in a court of Law, the term Suit is synonymous with Action; but when the proceeding is in a court of equity the term Suit is alone used. The term is also applied to proceedings in thq ecclesiastical and admiralty courts.
2. Suit of court, in the sense of an ob ligation to follow, that is, to attend, and to assist in constituting, a court, is either real or personal.
Suit-real, or rather snit-regal, is the obligation under which all the residents within a legit or town are bound, in respect of their allegiance as subjects, to attend the king's criminal court for the district, whether held before the kings officer and called the sheriff's tourn, or held before the grantees of Teets or the officers of such grantees, and called courts beet. [LEST.] Suit-personal is an obligation to attend the civil courts of the lord under whom the suitor holds lands or tenements ; and this is either suit-service or suit-custom. If freehold lands, &c. be held of the king immediately, or, as it is feudally termed, in chief, suit-service is performed by attendance at the county court, the court held by the king's officer, the sheriff unless the lands, &c., constituted an entire barony, in which case the suit demand able from the tenant was, his attendance as a lord of parliament. If freehold lands, &c., are held mediately only of the king, but immediately (or in chief) of an infe rior lord, the suit demandable is attend ance at the court baron of the lord : in either case snit-service is expressly or impliedly reserved upon the creation of the tenure, as part of the services to be rendered for the estate. In manors
chabioas] where there are copyhold, that is, customary estates, the custom of the manor imposes upon the copyholder an obligation to attend the lord's customary court ; but as this obligation is not an nexed by tenure to the land held by the copyholder, but is annexed by custom to his position as tenant, the suit is not snit service but suit-custom. In the case of freeholders attending as suitors the county court or the court-baron (as iu the case of the antient tenants per baroniam attend Ing parliament), the suitors are the judges of the court, both for law and for fact, and the sheriff or the under-sheriff in the county court, and the lord or his steward in the court-baron, are only presiding of ficers with no judicial authority. But in the criminal jurisdiction of the touru and leet, the sheriff and the grantee of the leet, or his steward, are the judges ; and the suitors act only a subordinate part.
In the customary court, though its functions are confined to matters of a civil nature, yet, on account of the original baseness of the copyhold tenure, the judi cial power is wholly in the lord or his steward.
3. Besides suit of court, sects ad en riam, there are other species of personal suit, which, like suit of court, are di visible into suit-serviee and snit-custom. Of these the most usual is suit of mill, sects ad molendinum, which is where, by tenure or by custom, the freehold or cus tomary tenant is bound to grind his corn at the lord's mill.