ASSIZE, ASSIZA (Lat. assidere, to sit by or near, through the Fr. assisa, a session). A writ directed to the sheriff for the recov ery of immovable property, corporeal or in corporeal. Littleton § 234.
The action or proceedings in court based upon such a writ. Magna Carta c. 12; Stat. 13 Edw. I. (Westm. 2) c.. 25 ; 3 Bla. Com. 57, 252; Sellon, Pract. Introd. /dd.
Such actions were to be tried by special courts, of which the judicial officers were justices of assize. See COURTS OF ASSIZE AND Nisi PRIUS. This form of remedy is said to have been introduced by the parliament of Northampton (or Nottingham) A. D. 1176, for the purpose of trying titles to land in a. more certain and expeditious manner before com missioners appointed by the crown than before the suitors in the county court of the king's justiciary in the Aula Regis. The action is properly a mixed action, whereby the plaintiff recovers his land and damages for the injury sustained by the disseisin. The value of the action as a means for the recovery' of land led to its general adoption for that purpose, those who had suffered Injury not really amounting to a disseisin alleging a disseisin to entitle them selves to the remedy. The scope of the remedy was also extended Go as to allow the recovery of In corporeal hereditaments, as franchises, estovers, etc. It gave place to the action of ejectment, and is now abolished, having been previously almost, if not quite, entirely disused. Stat. 3 & 4 Will. IV. c. 27, § 36. Stearns, Real Act. 187.
A jury summoned by virtue of a writ of assize.
Such juries were said to be either magna (grand), consisting of sixteen members and serving to deter mine the right of property, or parve (petit), con of twelve and serving to determine the right to possession. Mirror of Just. lib. 2.
This sense is said by Littleton and Blackstone to be the original meaning of the word ; Littleton § 234; 3 Bla. Com. 185. Coke explains It as denot
ing originally a session of justices; and this expla nation is sanctioned by the etymology of the word. Co. Litt. 153 b. It seems, however, to hive been early used in all the senses here given. The recog nitors of assize (the jurors) had the power of de ciding, upon their own knowledge, without the ex amination of witnesses, where the issue was joined on the very point of the assize ; but collateral mat ters were tried either by a jury or by the recogni tors acting as a jury, in which latpr case it was said to be turned into a jury (assisa vertitur in juratam). Booth, Real Act. 213; Stearns, Real Act. 187; 3 Bla. Com. 402. The term is no longer used In England to denote a jury.
The assizes are : The Grand Assize which provides a machinery for trying disputed claims to property ; and possessory assizes for trying disputed claims to seisin or pos session. 1 Holdsw. Hist. E. L. 149. See GRAND ASSIZE.
The verdict or judgment of the jurors or recognitors of assize; 3 Bla. Coin. 57, 59.
A, court composed of an assembly of knights and other substantial men, with the baron or justice, in' a certain place, at an appointed time. Grand Coutum, e. 24. See Couir of ASSIZE, An ordinanCe or statute. Littleton § 234; Reg. Orig. 239. Anything reduced to a cer tainty in respect to number, quantity, quali ty, weight, measure, etc, 2 Bla. Com. 42 ; Cowell ; Spelman, Gloss. Assisa.
As to this use of the term, see Pamsfoxs.
See the title immediately following.
In Scotch Law. The jury, consisting of fifteen men, in criminal cases tried in the court of justiciary. Paterson, Comp.