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Writ

writs, issued and court

WRIT. A mandatory precept, issued by the authority and in the name of the sover eign or the state, for the purpose of com pelling the defendant to do something there in mentioned.

It is issued by a court or other competent jurisdiction, and is returnable to the same. It is to be under seal and tested by the prop er officer, and is directed to the sheriff or oth er officer lawfully authorized to execute the same. Writs are divided into—original, of mesne process, of execution. See 3 Bla. Com. 273 ; Gould, Pl. c. 2, s. 1.

The list of original writs was not the rea soned scheme of a provident legislator, calm ly devising apt remedies for all conceivable wrongs, rather it was the outcome of the long and complicated struggle whereby the king drew into his court all the litigation of the realm. The statute of Westminster 2d (1285) allowed the chancery to vary the old forms so as to suit new cases, but only new cases which fall under old law.

This gave in time one new form of action— trespass upon the special case—and -this again threw out branches which came to be considered distinct forms of action, name ly, assumpsit and trover. Equity, again, met

some of the new wants, but others had to be met by a stretching and twisting of the old forms which were made to serve many pur poses for which they were not originally in tended ; Poll. Torts (5th ed.) 535, note by F. W. Maitland.

See Maitland, Register of Original Writs (3 Harv. L. Rev. 97, 167, 212; 2 Sel. Essays in Anglo-Amer. I., H. 549), with a classified list of writs.

A writ is "issued" when it is delivered to an officer, with the intent to have it served; Wilkins v. Worthen, 62 Ark. 401, 36 S. W. 21; Michigan Ins. Bk. v. Eldred, 130 U. S. 693, 9 Sup. Ct. 690, 32 L. Ed. 1080 ; Webster v. Sharpe, 116 N. C. 466, 21 S. E. 912.

Although a writ which the court had pow er to issue was irregularly issued, the mar shal must still act under it ; Bryan v. Ker, 222 U. S. 107, 32 Sup. Ct. 26, 56 L. Ed. 114.

As to the history of assumpsit, see 2 Harv. L. Rev. 1, 53, by Prof. J. B. inies. See WESTMINISTER 2D, STATUTE OF;, BREVIA FOR MATH.