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

    A writ for the seizure of the property or person of the defendant.

  • Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition

    Lat. "That you take." The general name for several species of writs, the common characteristic of which is that they require the officer to take the body of the defendant into custody; they are writs of attachment or arrest. In English practice. A capias is the process on an indictment when the person charged is not in custody, and in cases not otherwise provided for by statute. 4 Steph. Comm. 383.
    —Capias ad audiendum judicium. A writ issued, in a case of misdemeanor, after the defendant has appeared and is found guilty, to bring him to hear j'udgment if he is not present when called. 4 Bl. Comm. 368.
    —Capias ad computandum. In the action of account render, after judgment of quod computet, if the defendant refuses to appear personally before the auditors and make his account, a writ by this name may issue to compel him.
    —Capias ail respondendum. A judicial writ, (usually simply termed a "capias,") by which actions at law were frequently commenced; and which commands the sheriff to take the defendant, and him safely keep, so that he may bave his body before the court on a certain day, to answer the plaintiff in the action. 3 Bl. Comm. 282; 1 Tidd, Pr. 128. The name of this writ is commonly abbreviated to oa. resp.
    —Capias ad satisfaciendum. A writ of execution, (usually termed, for brevity, a "co. sa.,") which a party may issue after having recovered judgment against another in certain actions at law. It commands the sheriff to take the party named, and keep him safely, so that he may have his body before the court on a certain day, to satisfy the party by whom it is issued, the damages or debt and damages recovered by the judgment Its effect is to deprive the party taken of his liberty until he makes the satisfaction awarded. 3 Bl. Comm. 414, 415 ; 2 Tidd, Pr. 993, 1025; Litt. § 504; Co. Litt. 289a; Strong v. Linn, 5 N. J. Law, 803.
    —Capias extendi facias. A writ of execution issuable in England against a debtor to the crown, which commands the sheriff to "take" or arrest the body, and "cause to be extended" the lands and goods of the debtor. Man. Exch. Pr. 5.
    —Capias in withernam. A writ, in the nature of a reprisal, which lies for one whose goods or cattle, taken under a distress, are removed from the county, so that they cannot be replevied, commanding the sheriff to seize other goods or cattle of the distrainor of equal value.
    —Capias pro fine. (That you take for the fine or in mercy.) Formerly, if the verdict was for the defendant, the plaintiff was adjudged to be amerced for his false claim ; but, if the verdict was for the plaintiff, then in all actions vi et armis, or where the defendant, in his pleading, had falsely denied his own deed, the judgment contained an award of a capiatur pro fine; and in all other cases the defendant was adjudged to be amerced. The insertion of the misericordia or of the capiatur in the judgment is now unnecessary. Wharton.
    —Capias utlagatum. (You take the outlaw.) In English practice. A writ which lies against a person who has been outlawed in an action, by which the sheriff is commanded to take him, and keep him in custody until the day of the return, and then present him to the court, there to be dealt with for his contempt Reg. Orig. 138b; 3 Bl. Comm. 284.