practice, English law. An original writ
is a mandatory letter issuing out of the court of chancery under
the great seal and in a kings name, directed to the sheriff of
the county where the injury is alleged to have been committed,
containing a summary statement of the cause of complaint, and
requiring him in most cases, to command the defendant to satisy
the claim, and, on his failure to comply, then to summon him to
appear in one of the superior courts of common law, there to account
for his non-compliance. In some cases, however, it omits the former
alternative, and requires the sheriff simply to enforce the appearance.
Steph. Pl. 5.
Source: Bouviers Law Dictionary 1856 Edition
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