Capias

Summary

“That you take”; a writ or process commanding a sheriff or other proper officer to take a defendant into legal custody. Each use of this term is adapted to the purposes indicated by additional words used for its designation. When a summons was not the first process in an action, the law allowed a capias to be issued “where it shall be proven on oath or affirmation, to the satisfaction of the justice, that the plaintiff will be in danger of losing his or her debt, or demand, unless the defendant shall be arrested.” It does not appear that the oath preceding the capias had to be written.

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