SCIRE FACIAS, in English law, a judicial writ founded upon some record directing the sheriff to make it known (scire facias) to the party against whom it is brought, and requiring the latter to show cause why the party bringing the writ should not have the advantage of such record, or why (in the case of letters patent and grants) the record should not be annulled and vacated. Proceedings in scire facias are regarded as an action, and the defendant may plead his defense as in an action. The writ is now of little practical importance; its principal uses are to compel the appearance of corporations aggregate in revenue suits, and to enforce judgments against shareholders in such companies as are regulated by the Companies Clauses Act 1845, or similar private acts, and against garnishees in proceedings in foreign attachment in the lord mayor's court. Proceedings by scire facias to repeal letters patent for inventions were abolished by the Patents, 'Designs and Trademarks Act 1883, and a petition to the court substituted. It is not used in Scottish procedure.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)