Definitions from Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition and Ballentine's Law Dictionary as are available for each term in each dictionary.
  • Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition

    1. An ancient species of court, consisting of a certain number of men, usually twelve, uho were summoned together to try a disputed cause, performing the functions of a jury, except that they gave a verdict from their own investigation and knowledge and not upon evidence adduced. From the fact that they sat together, (assideo,) they were called the "assise." See Bract. 4, 1, 6; Co. Litt. 7 53b, 159b. A court composed of an assembly of knights and other substantial men, with the baron or justice, in a certain place, at an appointed time. Grand Co.u. cc. 24, 25.
    2. The verdict or judgment of the jurors or recognitors of assise, 3 Bl. Comm. 57, 59.
    3. In modern English law, the name "assises" or "assizes" is given to the court, time, nr place where the judges of assise and nisi pnus, who are sent by special commission from the crown on circuits through the kingdom, proceed to take indictments, and to try such disputed causes issuing out of the courts at Westminster as are then ready for trial, with the assistance of a jury from the particular county; the regular sessions of the judges at nisi prius.
    4. Anything reduced to a certainty in respect to time, number, quantity, quality, weight, measure, etc. Spelman.
    5. An ordinance, statute, or regulation. Spelman gives this meaning of the word the first place among his definitions, observing that statutes were in England called "assises" down to the reign of Henry III.
    6. A species of writ, or real action, said to have been invented by Glanville, chief justice to Henry II., and having for its object to determine the right of possession of lands, and to recover the possession. 3 Bl. Comm. 184, 185.
    7. The whole proceedings in court upon a writ of assise, Co. Litt. 159b. The verdict or finding of the Jury upon such a writ. 3 Bl. Comm. 57.
    —Assise of Clarendon. .See Assisa.
    —Assise of darrein presentment. A writ of assise which formerly lay when a man or his ancestors under whom he claimed presented a clerk to a benefice, who was instituted, and afterwards, upon the next avoidance, a stranger presented a clerk and thereby disfurbed the real patron. 3 BL Comm. 245; St. 13 Edw. I. (Westm. 2) c.
    5. It has given way to the remedy by aware impedit.
    —Assise of fresh force. In old English practice. A writ which lay by the usage and custom of a city or borough, where a man was disseised of his lands and tenements in such city or borough. It was called "fresh force," because it was to be sued within forty days after the party's title accrued to him. Fitzh. Nat. Brev. 7 C
    —Assise of mort d'ancestor. A real action which lay to recover land of which a person bad been deprived on the death of his ancestor by the abatement or intrusion of a stranger. 3 Bl. Comm. 185; Co.. litt. 159. It was abolished by St. 3 & 4 Wm. IV. c. 27.
    —Assise of novel disseisin. A writ of assise which lay for the recovery of lands or tenements, where the claimant had been lately disseised.
    —Assise of nuisance. A writ of assise which lay where a nuisance had been committed to the complainant's freehold ; either for abatement of the nnisance or for damages.
    —Assise of the forest. A statute touching orders to be observed in the king's forests. Manwood, 35.
    —Assise rents. The certain established rents of the freeholders and ancient copyholders of a manor; so called because they are asstsed, or made precise and certain.
    — Grand assize. A peculiar species of trial by jury, introduced in the time of Henry II., giving the tenant or defendant in a writ of right the alternative of a trial by battel, or by his peers. Abolished by 3 & 4 Wm. IV. c. 42, § 13. See 3 Bl. Comm. 341.