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 of distress; a writ to enforce the attendance of jurors by distress of their goods or seizure of their persons; an equity proceeding to enforce a corporation’s obedience to a summons; a form of execution. See 1 Rawle (Pa.), 44.

  • Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition

    In English practice. A writ directed to the sheriff of the county in which a defendant resides or has any goods or chattels, commanding him to distrain upon the goods and chattels of the defendant for forty shillings, in order to compel his appearance. 3 Steph. Comm. 567. This writ issues in cases where it is found impracticable to get at the defendant personally, so as to serve a summons upon him. Id. A distringas is also used in equity, as the first process to compel the appearance of a corporation aggregate. St 11 Geo. IV. and 1 Wm. IV. c. 36. A form of execution in the actions of detinue and assise of nuisance. Brooke, Abr. pi. 26; Barnet v. Ihrie, 1 Rawle (Pa.) 44.
    —Distringas jnratores. A writ commanding the sheriff to have the bodies of the jurors, or to distrain them by their lands and goods, that they may appear upon the day appointed. 3 Bl. Comm. 354. It issues at the same time with the venire, though in theory afterwards, founded on the supposed neglect of the juror to attend. 3 Steph. Comm. 590.
    —Distringas nuper vice comitem. A writ to distrain the goods of one who lately filled the office of sheriff, to compel him to do some act which he ought to have done bsfore leaving the office; as to bring in the body of a defendant, or to sell goods attached under a fi. fa.
    —Distringas vice comitem. A writ of distringas, directed to the coroner, may be issued against a sheriff if he neglects to execute a writ of venditioni exponas. Arch. Pr. 584.