Definitions for: Writ

[n] (law) a legal document issued by a court or judicial officer

Webster (1913) Definition: Writ, obs.
3d pers. sing. pres. of Write, for writeth. --Chaucer.

Writ, archaic
imp. & p. p. of Write. --Dryden.

Writ, n. [AS. writ, gewrit. See Write.]
1. That which is written; writing; scripture; -- applied
especially to the Scriptures, or the books of the Old and
New testaments; as, sacred writ. ``Though in Holy Writ not
named.'' --Milton.

Then to his hands that writ he did betake, Which he
disclosing read, thus as the paper spake. --Spenser.

Babylon, so much spoken of in Holy Writ. --Knolles.

2. (Law) An instrument in writing, under seal, in an
epistolary form, issued from the proper authority,
commanding the performance or nonperformance of some act
by the person to whom it is directed; as, a writ of entry,
of error, of execution, of injunction, of mandamus, of
return, of summons, and the like.

Note: Writs are usually witnessed, or tested, in the name of
the chief justice or principal judge of the court out
of which they are issued; and those directed to a
sheriff, or other ministerial officer, require him to
return them on a day specified. In former English law
and practice, writs in civil cases were either original
or judicial; the former were issued out of the Court of
Chancery, under the great seal, for the summoning of a
defendant to appear, and were granted before the suit
began and in order to begin the same; the latter were
issued out of the court where the original was
returned, after the suit was begun and during the
pendency of it. Tomlins. Brande. Encyc. Brit. The term
writ is supposed by Mr. Reeves to have been derived
from the fact of these formul[ae] having always been
expressed in writing, being, in this respect,
distinguished from the other proceedings in the ancient
action, which were conducted orally.

Writ of account, Writ of capias, etc. See under
Account, Capias, etc.

Service of a writ. See under Service.

Synonyms: judicial writ

See Also: assize, attachment, certiorari, court order, fieri facias, habeas corpus, instrument, legal document, legal instrument, mandamus, official document, process, scire facias, sequestration, subpoena, subpoena ad testificandum, subpoena duces tecum, summons, venire facias, warrant, writ of certiorari, writ of detinue, writ of election, writ of error, writ of habeas corpus, writ of mandamus, writ of prohibition, writ of right

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