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In those courts which use the civil law process, (as the court of admiralty, whose proceedings are, under the provisions of the acts of congress, to be according to the course of the civil law,) it is a process in the nature of a summons; it is either, general, special, or mixed.
The general monition is a citation or summons to all persons interested, or, as is commonly said, to the whole world, to appear and show cause why the libel filed in the case should not be sustained, and the prayer of relief granted. This is adopted in prize cases, admiralty suits for forfeitures, and other suits in rem, when no particular individuals are summoned to answer. In such cases the taking possession of the property libeled, and this general citation or nomination, served according to law, are considered constructive notice to the world of the pendency of the suit; and the judgment rendered thereupon is conclusive upon the title of the property which may be affected. In form, the monition is a warrant of the court, in an admiralty cause, directed to the marshal or his deputy, commanding him in the name of the president of the United States, to give public notice, by advertisements in such newspapers as the court may select, and by notification to be posted in public places, that a libel has been filed in a certain admiralty cause pending, and of the time and place appointed for the trial. A brief statement of the allegations in the libel is usually contained in the monition. The monition is served in the manner directed in the warrant.A special monition is a similar warrant, directed to the marshal or his deputy, requiring him to give special notice to certain persons, named in the warrant, of the pendency of the suit, the grounds of it, and the time and place of trial. It is served by delivery of a copy of the warrant, attested by the officer, to each one of the adverse parties, or by leaving the same at his usual place of residence; but the service should be personal if possible. A mixed monition is one which contains directions for a general monition to all persons interested, aud a special summons to particular persons named in the warrant. This is served by newspaper advertisements, by notifications posted in public places, and by delivery of a copy attested by the officer to each person specially named, or by leaving it at his usual place of residence.