DE CONTUMACE CAPIENDO

DE CONTUMACE CAPIENDO

de contumace capiendo (dee kon-ty[schwa]-may-see kap-ee-en-doh), n. [Law Latin ¡°for arresting a contumacious person¡±] Hist. A writ issuing out of the Court of Chancery at the request of an ecclesiastical court that has found a person to be in contempt. ? This writ came into use after the Ecclesiastical Courts Act of 1813 removed ecclesiastical courts’ power to excommunicate litigants who failed to comply with a court order. Cf. EXCOMMUNICATO CAPIENDO .

¡°In 1812 the case of Mary Ann Dix ¡ª a woman not of age, who was imprisoned for two years on a writ de excommunicato capiendo for not paying costs in a suit for defamation ¡ª aroused the Legislature. In the following year it was enacted that excommunication should cease to exist as part of the process of the ecclesiastical courts to enforce appearance, and as a punishment for contempt…. [F]or the writ de excommunicato capiendo was substituted the writ de contumace capiendo; and the rules applying to the older writ were made applicable to the new.¡± 1 William Holdsworth, A History of English Law 632 (7th ed. 1956).


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