ACTION 1 Lit. octio„ a doing, performing, an action, suit, process). term which, in its broadest sense, includes every lawful proceeding, in a. court of justice for the enforcement or protection of a right, the redress or prevention of a wrong,, or the punishment of a public offense. Formerly the term was confined. in English law, to an ordinary proceeding in a common law court, while the word suit was applied to a proceeding in equity. By the reformed procedure in many of our States, all distinction between rations at common law and suits in equity, as well as between the different forms of common law actions, have been abol ished, and only a single civil action is recog nized. if the prosecution is not instituted and carried on by one party against another, it is denominated by some statutes a spe,ial proceed ing lq.v.). The earliest classification of coni nnm law actions was: 1 I ) real actions, or those based on the plaintiff's right of property in specified lands, so called because the rev, or prop erty itself. was sought to be recovered: (2) mixed actions, such as those for partition of lands, for ejectment or for waste: (3) personal actions, or those against. a particular person for a money judgment. The distinction between real and personal actions is the foundation of the classitieation of property as real and per sonal. (See l'noPEn•rv.) This third class was
subdivided into actions Cc eontruct11, such as debt (q.v.) and covenant (q.v.), and actions ex (Nieto, such as trespass (q.v.) and definite (q.v.). Again, actions are divided info local and transitory, according as they mast be brought in a certain comity or state. or as they May be brought wherever the defendant it found. An action for trespass to land is 10(.01, and it must be brought in the State where the land is situated: while an action for slander of title lq.•.) to that land is transitory. (See the author ities referred to under the various titles above named.) The action of account at common law was used much earlier than. and is distinct from, the action upon an account Stated, which came into the law as a common count (q.v.l. The action of account would lie at eonntion and by early English statute :against one acting in a fiduciary capacity other than a trustee, or against one whose duty it was to render an account to the plaintiff, to compel the defendant to render an account and to pay the amount due on such accounting.