ASSISE, OR ASSIZE

1. An ancient species of court, consisting of a certain number of men, usually twelve, who 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, (assidco,) they were called the “assise.” See Bract. 4, 1, 6; Co. Litt 1536, 1596. 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 Cou. 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, or place where the judges of assise and nisi prius, 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 Iii England called “assises” down to the reign of Henry III. 6. A species of writ, or real action, said to have been invented by Glanvilie, 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. 150b. The verdict or finding of the jury upon such a writ 3 Bl. Comm. 57.

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