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A writ in which the cause of action is briefly stated, hence its name.
Writs are distributed into several classes. Some are called brevia formata, others brevia de cursu, brevia judicialia, or brevia magistralia. There is a further distinction with respect to real actions into brevia nominata and innominata. The former says Bacon, contain the time, place and demand very particularly; and therefore by such writ several lands by several titles cannot be demanded by the same writ. The latter contain only a general complaint without expressing time, damages, etc., as in trespass quare clausum fregit and therefore several lands coming to the demandant by several titles may be demanded in such writ.
Writs. They were called brevia, because of the brevity in which the cause of action was stated in them.
BREVIA ANTICIPANTIA. This name is given to a number of writs which are also called writs of prevention.
BREVIA FORMATA, Eng Law. The collection of writs found in the Registrum Brevium was so called. The author of Fleta says these writs were formed upon their cases. They were different from the writs de cursu which were approved by the council of the whole realm and could not be changed without the will of the same.
BREVIA JUDICIALIA. Subsidiary process issued pending a suit, or process issued in execution of the judgment. They varied, says the author of Fleta, according to the variety of the pleadings of the parties and of their responses. Many of them however, long since became fixed in their forms, beyond the power of the courts to alter them unless authorized to do so by the legislature.
BREVIA MAGISTRALIA. These were writs formed by the masters in chancery, pursuant to the stat. West. 2, c. 24. They vary according to the diversity of cases and complaints of which, says the author of Fleta, some are personal, some real, some mixed, according as actions are diverse or various, because so many will be the forms of writs as there are kinds of actions.
BREVIBUS ET ROTULIS LIBERANDIS, Eng. Law. A writ or mandate directed to a sheriff, commanding him to deliver to his successor the county and the appurtenances, with all the briefs, rolls, remembrances, and all other things belonging to his office.