Writs of Replevin – return of property that has been taken to another county

Ground Writ:

(1822) Hist. A writ issued in a county having venue of an action in order to allow a writ of capias ad satisfaciendum or of fieri facias to be executed in a county where the defendant or the defendant’s property was found.  These two writs could not be executed in a county other than the county having venue of the action until a ground writ & then a testatum writ were first issued.  This requirement was abolished in 1852.

Testatum Writ:

[Latin “attested”] (17c.) 1. A writ issued in a county where a defendant or a defendant’s property is located when venue lies in another county.  This writ, when issued after a ground writ, allowed the seizure of the defendant or the defendant’s property in another county.  Also termed writ of testatum fieri facias; writ fi. fa.; testatum bill;.testatum writ; latitat.

    The following excerpt from George Crompton’s Practice Common-Placed: Rules and Cases of Practice in the Courts of King provides historical & legal context for the “Testatum Writ”:

   “But if the defendant had removed into another county, the next process the plaintiff might sue out against him was a testatum bill, directed to the sheriff thereof, which soon gained the name of a latitat, from that word being within it.“[2]

Writ of executione facienda in withernamium:

[Latin] (17c.) Hist. A writ that lay for taking cattle of a person who had taken someone else’s cattle out of the county so that the sheriff could not replevy them.” 

References:

[1]:  All definitions throughout this page from Black’s Law Dictionary Deluxe Tenth Edition by Henry Campbell Black & Editor in Chief Bryan A. Garner. ISBN: 978-0-314-62130-6

[2]:  1 George Crompton, Practice Common-Placed: Rules and Cases of Practice in the Courts of King ’5 Bench and Common Pleas xxxv (3d ed. 1787)11

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