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p651 Judicati Actio

Article by George Long, M.A., Fellow of Trinity College
on p651 of

William Smith, D.C.L., LL.D.:
A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, John Murray, London, 1875.

JUDICATI ACTIO. A thing was a Res judicata, when the matter in dispute had been determined by a judicial sentence; and the actio judicati was a mode which the successful party might adopt, for obtaining a decree of the magistratus by which he could take possession of the property of the person who had lost the cause and had not satisfied the judgment. The plaintiff in the actio judicati was also protected in his possession of the defendant's property by a special interdict, and he was empowered to sell it. The party condemned was limited as to his defence. Originally the judicatus was obliged to find a vindex (vindicem dare); but in the time of Gaius it had become the practice for him to give security to the amount of the judgment (judicatum solvi satisdare). If the defendant pleaded that there was no res judicata, he was mulcted in double the amount of the judgment, if his plea was false.

The actio judicati, as a peculiar obligation, is merely the development and completion of the obligatio which is founded on the Litis Contestatio; but this peculiar obligatio is merely another form of execution, and it participates in the general nature of the process of execution. The general nature of the actio judicati appears from the following passages. (Dig. 42 tit. 1 s4, 5, 6, 7, 41 § 2, 43, 44, 61). Savigny, System, &c. VI p411.

(Gaius, IV.9, 25, 171, 102; Cic. pro Flacc. 21; Paulus, S. R. 1 tit. 19.)


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