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Praecipe

defendant writ

[Latin, Give an order.] An original writ, one of the forms of legal process used to commence an action. A praecipe was drawn up in the alternative and commanded the defendant to do what was ordered or to appear and show why he or she had not done it. An order that commands the clerk of a court to issue a formal writ of execution directing the enforcement of a judgment already rendered and commanding a public officer to seize the defendant's property in order to satisfy the debt.

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