Common Law Pleading Regarding Name Changes
Part Two A -- How Do Common Law Suits Proceed?

In this section will be taught how a suit proceeded at common law. Because there is no written law, no statutes to guide, the only thing one has is one’s own sovereign authority, the force of logic, and a knowledge of history.

One should also be informed that when a suit at common law was filed, usually no statement of what the “law” is was mentioned. It was merely assumed that the facts which transpired had caused a wrong, else why would the suit be brought!? If the defendant wished to counter attack, logic of the facts and how they were presented was all that could be done. No arguments of what was right and wrong could be made. If you had a wrong, it would fit into a category (a form of action), and suits were filed using those specific categories or forms, each relating to either contractual agreements, or natural or ownership rights. That was all. These forms of wrongs were centuries old, and that they stood the test of time was the proof for their continued use. One of the few ways a Defendant could counter attack not just concerning facts and logic was a claim that the suit was not filed under the proper form, but as will be shown, at common law, appeals to for cannot hinder justice from being executed. Those forms of action though will be discussed further below. Nonetheless, first will be addressed the subject of history.



An understanding of history is imperative to understanding how common law functions in the United States. As mentioned, whenever there is a book published in the U.S. teaching about the common law, it teaches the pre-revolutionary history of it, so that the student will understand what the law is and how they can apply it in their own royal court.

Moreover, history itself is taught so that one will not resort to new cumbersome laws of which the past has already found solutions. Perry (p.108) quotes Pollock and Maitland:

One need not reinvent the wheel if we can find that the wheel has already been invented. History also provides us with the living law (4):

Thus is maintained the understanding that the common law is not a set of rules, but a knowledge of the past. Thus, the study of common law entails the study of the origins of law and how conflicts have been historically resolved, and, then, such knowledge is applied to the present.

These books also teach some of Roman law too, because most of mainland Europe used Roman law, while England used common law. This is done so that the student will clearly understand the difference. Roman law evolved primarily out of people seeking an arbitrator to resolve their conflicts (Perry, 13) and by way of the writing down or codification of laws (RCCL, 591). As civil law applies not to the case of common law name changes, the details of civil law will not be covered. The student ought to keep aware though of the adoption by the civil law of the common law principle to change their name by the common law, similar to the civil law’s adoption of the right of Habeas Corpus (RCCL, 592).

The history of common law itself is also detailed and for the purpose of this document, what is covered is only what may be deemed the most essential to an understanding of the origins and application of common law, and, most especially, details in relation to common law name changes and other changes to the indica of the self.


When William the Conqueror came to England and overthrew the old kings, with him and his posterity, it became established that the kingship was the source of the law and of justice itself. The name of the king’s court was called, Curia Regis. Perry (28) explains it below:

The king was the source of the law and of justice, and had ministers which assisted him in carrying out that law and justice. The king’s ministers “pronounced his judgments.” His court was the highest court and carried an unlimited jurisdiction. All other courts were inferior.

Elsewhere, Perry (p.21) speaks of the king being the fountain of all justice:

Here again we see the absoluteness of the king’s jurisdiction and authority.

Furthermore, although the king did delegate authority to others, this by no means diminished his own authority in any matter within his overarching jurisdiction (p.139):

The king’s will was supreme. If the king wished it, it was in his jurisdiction. Literally, his jurisdiction was unlimited (and at common law, so is yours). Moreover, the king could hear or review any case from a lower court, and could issue royal writs to command lower courts to do things according to his will. These writs will be discussed later in one of the next sections. (p.141):

If the king was pleased to hear a case, it was done, the only thing limiting his jurisdiction was his will alone. This passage above also touches on the need to petition for a royal writ to be issued by the king. In common law courts in the United States, where there is no sovereign but the people themselves, they themselves can issue their own writs by their own prerogative. Returning to the texts again, nearly all documents issuing from the king and his court also bore a seal (141):

The seal was clearly a mark to whomever received a document from the king, be it someone in another land, to all people of his land, or to an individual, so that they would know with absolute surety that it was from the king himself. There would be no mistaking a document from the king. Additionally, for writs issuing from the king, the seal and the king’s name together stood as a test or a witness of the document’s validity (p.145):

This was how the king operated in his affairs, how his will was made know and justice administered.

In England, after William the Conqueror, the rights of freemen began to be established. It was pretty bumpy at first and the first few kings were rather unruly, but with King Henry II, he established the grand jury and the jury trial to put checks on the kings own power (p.14 in The Development of Constitutional Guarantees of Liberty, by Roscoe Pound, New Haven: Yale University Press, 1957).

When King John came to rule, some thought that he was not behaving justly and rightly, and under the sword was forced to sign the Magna Carta in 1215 A.D.; it put some great checks on the king’s power which have endured the test of time. This Great Charter laid down a firm foundation for the common law to stand. Particularly, it established numerous rights in the land, putting a check on the king’s previously unlimited power and authority. The 34th chapter established that every freeman could not be deprived of his own court in which to settle matters (Pound, p.122):

and the 61st chapter of the Magna Carta established that when the king did step into a matter, that a jury of barons could be called, which upon making a decision had the force to counter the king’s will. Later, the Magna Carta was given additional strength with the signing by King Edward I of the Confirmatio Cartarum or Confirmation of the Charters. Part of that confirmation reads (Pound, p.129):

The Great Charter and the Confirmation of it later profoundly influenced the establishment of the common law in the United States. Pound himself says (18):

It was a charter, a set of propositions meant to become ordinary parts of how they lived their lives – not a set of written down civil laws for which there was no bending.

In time, also, the several forms of common law actions evolved. How they evolved is a very long tail in itself, but, essentially, each one had come about simply to fulfill a specific purpose. They are each is listed below (McKelvey, 4):

A suit to claim the right of a common law name change, or change of other indica of the self, falls under the form of Case, specifically “Trespass on the Case.” This specific form will be explained later. For now it is important to understand that each of these represented specific rights for which remedy could be sought.

Historically, that is the purpose of any action at law (meaning common law) – to remedy a wrong. These actions represent the unwritten living law, and they adapt to fit the circumstance. More will be said of this later.


The next few sections address why a suit is brought and how it is brought. In particular covering:

• what a remedy is and how reason informs all the proceedings of common law
• what a common law court is
• the use of high prerogative writs in a common law suit
• the aspects of an original complaint/action in relation to the common law form “Trespass on the Case” used to remedy the loss of a right to a name change,
• how battle between the parties occurs at common law, and
• how common law applies when or if you were to file a suit at common law.

Part Two B -- How Do Common Law Suits Proceed?: Remedies and reason