Definition for NI'SI-PRI-US


In law, a writ which lies in cases where the jury being impanneled and returned before the justices of the bench, one of the parties requests to have this writ for the ease of the county, that the cause may be tried before the justices of the same county. The purport of the writ is, that the sherif is commanded to bring to Westminster the men impanneled at a certain day, before the justices, nisi prius, that is, unless the justices shall first come into the county to take assizes. Hence the courts directed to try matters of fact in the several counties are called courts of Nisi Prius, or Nisi Prius courts. In some of the United States, similar courts are established, with powers defined by statute.

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