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Judicial Writs

courts issued lawsuit seal

Orders issued by a judge in the English courts after a lawsuit had begun.

An original writ, issued out of the Chancery, was the proper document for starting a lawsuit in England for hundreds of years, but courts could issue judicial writs during the course of a proceeding or to give effect to their orders after the lawsuit had commenced. Unlike original writs, judicial writs were issued under the private seal of the courts rather than the king's great seal, and they were sent out in the name of the chief judge of the court hearing the case rather than in the king's name. The capias was one form of a judicial writ.

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