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ELEGIT Definition & Legal Meaning

Definition & Citations:

(Lat. lie has chosen.) This is the name, in English practice, of a writ ofexecution first given by the statute of Westm. 2 (13 Edw. I. c. IS) either upon ajudgment for a debt or damages or upon the forfeiture of a recognizance taken in theking’s court. It is so called because it is in the choice or election of the plaintiff whetherhe will sue out this writ or a /?,. fa. By it the defendant’s goods and chattels are appraisedand all of them (except oxen and beasts of the plow) are delivered to theplaintiff, at such reasonable appraisement and price, in part satisfaction of his debt. Ifthe goods are not sufficient, then the moiety of his freehold lands, which be had at thetime of the judgment given, are also to be delivered to tlie plaintiff, to hold till out of tlierents and profits thereof the debt be levied, or till the defendant’s interest be expired.During this period the plaintiff is called “tenant by elegit.” and his estate, an “estate byelegit.” This writ, or its analogue, is in use in some of the United States, as Virginia andKentucky. See 3 Bl. Comm. 418; Ilutcheson v. Grubbs, 80 Va. 254; North American F.Ins. Co. v. Graham, 5 Sandf. (N. Y.) 197.


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