A place of refuge, where the process of the law cannot be executed.
Sanctuaries may be divided into religious and civil. The former were very common in Europe; religious houses affording protection from arrest to all persons, whether accused of crime, or pursued for debt. This kind was never known in the United States.
Civil sanctuary, or that protection which is afforded to a man by his own house, was always respected in this country. The house protects the owner from the service of all civil process in the first instance but not if he is once lawfully arrested and takes refuge in his own house. No place affords protection from arrest in criminal cases; a man may, therefore, be arrested in his own bouse in such cases, and the doors may be broken for the purpose of making the arrest.