Washington Law Review


The statutory information in the nature of quo warranto is a remedy granted by the appropriate provisions of the Washington Constitution and statutes. Except for very minor changes, the statutory provisions have remained unaltered since first enacted as laws of the Territory in 1854. The decisions dealing with sections of the earlier laws are therefore, still of full effect except in so far as they have been distinguished or qualified by later decisions involving the same issues. The modem statutory information is an outgrowth of the old common law writ of quo warranto. The common law writ, as distinguished from the common law information in the nature of quo warranto, had long been used by the crown to test the right of a person or a corporation to the possession of, or title to, public office, franchise, or charter emanating from the crown. The writ of quo warranto was a high prerogative writ in the nature of a writ of right for the crown. But the writ in its early form was not a satisfactory remedy. The procedure was cumbersome; also, there was an additional disadvantage in that judgment once rendered thereon was final even as against the crown. Therefore, it was early displaced to a great extent by a common law information in the nature of quo warranto which did away with a greater part of the procedural defects of the common law writ, as well as, mitigating the finality of judgment rule. Moreover, the common law information was criminal in nature, a quality not possessed by the common law writ. However, this latter quality has not been carried over into the American practice, the information at present being almost entirely civil in nature.

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