1902 Encyclopedia > Quare Impedit

Quare Impedit

QUARE IMPEDIT, in English law, is a form of action by which the right of presentation to a benefice is tried. It is so called from the words of the writ formerly in use which directed the sheriff to command the person disturb-ing the possession to permit the plaintiff to present a fit person, or to show cause " why he hinders " the plaintiff in his right. The action is one of the few surviving real actions preserved by 3 & 4 Will. IV. c. 27. As a real action it could before the Judicature Acts have been brought only in the Court of Common Pleas. The effect of recent legislation has been to assimilate proceedings in quare impedit as far as possible to those in an ordinary action. It is now usually brought against a bishop to try the legality of his refusal to institute a particular clerk. The bishop must fully state upon the pleadings the grounds on which he refuses. Quare impedit is peculiarly the remedy of the patron ; the remedy of the clerk is the proceeding called duplex querela in the ecclesiastical court. At common law no damages or costs were recoverable in quare impedit; 13 Edw. I. st. 1, c. 5, provided for damages up to two years' value of the benefice, and 4 <fe 5 Will. IV. c. 39 for costs. The action is not barred till the expira-tion of sixty years, or of three successive incumbencies adverse to the plaintiff's right, whichever period be the longer (3 & 4 Will. IV. c. 27, § 29). Where the patron of a benefice is a Roman Catholic, one of the universities presents in his place (1 Will, and Mary, sess. 1, c. 26). By 13 Anne c. 13 during the pendency of a quare impedit to which either of the universities is a party in right of the patron being a Roman Catholic the court has power to administer an oath for the discovery of any secret trust, and to order the cestui que trust to repeat and subscribe a declaration against transubstantiation.

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