bill of Middlesex

bill of Middlesex
Hist. A process by which the Court of the King's Bench in Middlesex obtains jurisdiction over a defendant who resides in a county outside the Court's jurisdiction, by alleging a fictitious tresspass in a county over which the court has jurisdiction. • Once the sheriff returns the bill noting that the defendant is not in the county where the tresspasss occurred, a latitat is issued to the sheriff of the defendant's actual residence.
"The bill of Middlesex is a kind of capias, directed to the sheriff of that county, and commanding him to take the defendant, and have him before our lord the king at Westminster on a day prefixed, to answer to the plaintiff of a plea of trespass. For this accusation of trespass it is, that gives the court of king's bench jurisdiction in other civil causes, as was formerly observed; since when once the defendant is taken into custody…, he, being then a prisoner of this court, may here be prosecuted for any other species of injury." William Blackstone, Commentaries on the Laws of England 285 (1768).

Black's law dictionary. . 1990.

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