Concept

Praecipe

Summary
Writs of praecipe (imperative of the Latin praecipio ("I order"), thus meaning "order [this]") are a widespread feature of the common law tradition, generally involving the instigation of some form of swift and peremptory action. Early development The word praecipe moved from the Roman Empire into the medieval Latin of the English Chancery, and so reached English law. In the twelfth century, writs praecipe, addressed to sheriffs, emerged as the swiftest way to bring legal disputes to the royal courts. While the so-called possessory assizes, such as Novel Disseisin, had marked a great advance in royal justice, they proved too rigid for the full complexities of land law, and so had to be supplemented by more specialised praecipe writs, such as Praecipe for Dower, or Praecipe Quod Reddat. The latter, one of the so-called writs of entry, was singled out in Magna Carta Ch 34 by the barons in an attempt (largely unsuccessful) to delimit more firmly private from royal jurisdiction.
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