de  contumace  capiendo  (dee  kon-ty<<schwa>>-may-see  kap-ee-en-doh),  n.[Law  Latin  “for

arresting a contumacious person”] Hist. A writ issuing out of the Court of Chancery at the request

of an ecclesiastical court that has found a person to be in contempt. • This writ came into use after

the  Ecclesiastical  Courts  Act  of  1813  removed  ecclesiastical  courts’  power  to  excommunicate

litigants who failed to comply with a court order. Cf. EXCOMMUNICATO CAPIENDO .

“In  1812  the  case of  Mary  Ann  Dix  —  a  woman  not of  age,  who  was  imprisoned  for  two

years  on  a  writ  de  excommunicato  capiendo  for  not  paying  costs  in  a  suit  for  defamation  —

aroused the Legislature. In the following year it was enacted that excommunication should cease

to  exist  as  part  of  the  process  of  the  ecclesiastical  courts  to  enforce  appearance,  and  as  a

punishment for contempt…. [F]or the writ de excommunicato capiendo was substituted the writ de

contumace capiendo; and the rules applying to the older writ were made applicable to the new.” 1

William Holdsworth, A History of English Law 632 (7th ed. 1956).[Blacks Law 8th]