One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A writ ordering the arrest of a named person.
- ‘If the pledges do not produce the convicted party, then execution may be made against them by [writ of] fieri facias, per elegit, or per capias to satisfy the option chosen by the plaintiff.’
- ‘Most clients who received a suspended classification were those for whom a capias was issued for a separate charge.’
- ‘It is not a matter of any importance how the defendant came into court-whether he was served with a writ, capias, or declaration; or whether he appeared voluntarily without process of any kind.’
- ‘That history no doubt would take account of things like 6 George IV Chapter 108, where once an information was presented, capias issued, the person was arrested, required to post bail, then the issue was determined.’
Late Middle English: from Latin capias (ad respondendum), literally ‘you are to seize (until reply is made)’, from capere ‘take’.
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