Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Capias, in English law, a writ directed against the person, commanding his or her arrest. There are several writs bearing this title, as

1. Capias ad audiendum judicium, which issues against a defendant who is at large when a verdict of guilty is found on a criminal charge, and is for the purpose of bringing him up to receive judgment.

2. Capias ad respondendum, which is issued for the arrest of a person against whom an indictment for misdemeanor has been found in order that he may be arraigned.

3. Capias ad satisfaciendum, or ca. sa., for the arrest of a defendant in a civil action; since the abolition of imprisonment for debt writs of ca. sa. are now rare, but the writ when executed still operates as a satisfaction of the debt, and no other writ of execution can be sued out upon the same judgment against the defendant's goods or lands, unless he die in confinement or escape from custody.

4. Capias extendi facias, a writ of execution issued against a debtor to the Crown, commanding the sheriff to take or arrest the body, and "cause to be extended" the lands of the debtor.

5. Capias ut lagatum is a writ for the arrest of an outlaw. Outlawry having been abolished in civil cases, it is now applicable only to criminal process.