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ESTREPEMENT. The name of a writ which lay at common law to prevent a party
in possession from committing waste on an estate, the title to which is
disputed, after judgment obtained in any real action, and before possession
was delivered by the sheriff.
2. But as waste might be committed in some cases, pending the suit, the statute of Gloucester gave another writ of estrepement pendente placito, commanding the sheriff firmly to inhibit the tenant "ne faciat vastum vel strepementum pendente placito dicto indiscusso." By virtue of either of these writs, the sheriff may resist those who commit waste or offer to do so; and he may use sufficient force for the purpose. 3 Bl. Com. 225, 226.
3. This writ is sometimes directed to the sheriff and the party in possession of the lands, in order to make him amenable to the court as for a contempt in case of his disobedience to the injunction of the writ. At common law the process proper to bring the tenant into court is a venire facias, and thereon an attachment. Upon the defendant's coming in, the plaintiff declares against him. The defendant usually pleads "that he has done no waste contrary to the prohibition of the writ." The issue on this plea is tried by a jury, and in case they find against the defendant, they assess damages which the plaintiff recovers. But as this verdict convicts the defendant of a contempt, the court proceed against him for that cause as in other cases. 2 Co. Inst. 329; Rast. Ent. 317; Brev. Judic. 88; More's Rep. 100; 1 Bos. & Pull. 121; 2 Lilly's Reg. tit. Estrepement; 5 Rep. 119; Reg. Brev. 76, 77.
4. In Pennsylvania, by legislative enactment, the remedy by estrepement is extended for the benefit of any owner of lands leased for years or at will, at any time during the continuance or after the expiration of such demise, and due notice given to the tenant to leave the same, agreeably to law, or for any purchaser at sheriff or coroner's sale of lands. &c., after he has been declared the highest bidder by the sheriff or coroner; or for any mortgagee or judgment creditor, after the lands bound by such judgment or mortgage, shall have been condemned by inquisition, or which may be subject to be sold by a writ of venditioni exponas or levari facias. Vide 10 Vin. Ab. 497; Woodf. Landl. & Ten, 447; Archb. Civ. Pl. 17; 7 Com. Dig. 659.