The bailiff then becomes liable for non-execution, mis-execution or insufficient return of any writs, and in the case of non-return of any writ, if the sheriff returns that he has delivered the writ to a bailiff of a liberty, the sheriff will be ordered to execute the writ notwithstanding the liberty, and must cause the bailiff to attend before the high court of justice and answer why he did not execute the writ.
In ecclesiastical law, the contempt of the authority of an ecclesiastical court is dealt with by the issue of a writ de contumace capiendo from the court of chancery at the instance of the judge of the ecclesiastical court; this writ took the place of that de excommunicato capiendo in 1813, by an act of George III.
This writ was one transferring cases concerning the ownership of property from the courts of the feudal lords to those of the king.
Early in Henry II.'s time it had become the custom of England for the court Christian: to "signify" its sentence of excommunication to the king and to demand from him a writ of significavit to the sheriff, to imprison the person excommunicated.
Charles directed a writ quo warranto against the corporation of London in 1683, and the Court of King's Bench declared its charter forfeited.