QUARE IMPEDIT, in English law, 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 disturbing 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 was one of the few real actions preserved by the Real Property Limitation Act 1833, and survived up to 1860. The effect of the Common Law Procedure Act 1860, 26, was to assimilate proceedings in quart 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. The action is not barred till the expiration of sixty years, or of three successive incumbencies adverse to the plaintiff's right, whichever period be the longer (Real Property Limitation Act, 1833, 29). Where the patron of a benefice is a Roman Catholic, one of the universities presents in his place (1689, i Will. & Mary, sess. i, c. 29). By 13 Anne c. 13 (1714), 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. In Scotland the effect of a quare impedit is attained by action of declarator. In the United States, owing to the difference of ecclesiastical organization, the action is unknown.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)