action, legal defined in 1939 yearaction, legal - Action, legal;
action, legal - In legal phraseology this term means "a civil proceeding commenced by writ, or in such manner (e.g. by originating summons) as may be prescribed by rules of court." Thus, divorce suits are not actions, nor are bankruptcy proceedings, because they are commenced by petition and not by writ. Nor are criminal proceedings actions, because they are commenced by summons, indictment, or information; and, moreover, they are not civil proceedings. Before the Judicature Act, 1873, only Common Law proceedings were actions. Now the term is properly applied also to proceedings in the Chancery, the Admiralty, and the Probate Divisions of the High Court of Justice, and in County Courts.
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