COMMENCE - Black's Law Dictionary

What is COMMENCE? Definition of COMMENCE in Black's Law Dictionary - Legal dictionary - Glossary of legal terms.

To perform the first act of. Robinson v. Gordon Oil Co., 258 Mich. 643, 242 N.W. 795, 796. To institute. State v. Murphy, 120 Kan. 350, 243 P. 288, 289. To demand something by the institution of process in a court of justice.
Ledonne v. Commerce Ins. Co. of Glen Falls, N.Y., 307 Pa. 1, 160 A. 612.

To commence an action or suit is to demand something by the institution of process in a court of justice. Cohens v. Virginia, 6 Wheat. 408, 5 L.Ed. 257.

To "bring" a suit is an equivalent term; an action Is "commenced" when it is "brought," and vice versa. Goldenberg v. Murphy, 108 U.S. 162, 2 S. Ct. 388, 27 L.Ed. 686 ; Hannaman v. Gordon, Tex.Com.App., 261 S.W. 1006, 1007.

An action is "commenced" within the meaning of the statute of limitations as soon as the summons is signed and sealed in good faith, for the purpose of immediate service, and that purpose is not afterwards abandoned. Wilson v. Clear, 85 N.J.L. 474, 89 A. 1031. Compare Glenn v. Payne, 153 Tenn. 240, 280 S. W. 1019, 1021. Owen v. City of Eastland, 124 Tex. 419, 78 S.W.2d 178, 179.

A suit in a court of record is "commenced", so as to save suit from bar of statute of limitations, when the petition is filed, even though process is not issued until the period of limitation has run, since plaintiff has done all he can toward commencement of the suit. Mo.St.Ann. § 724, p. 940. City of St. Louis v. Miller, 235 Mo.App. 987, 145 S. W.2d 504, 505.

A suit in equity is not commenced until the issuance of a subpoena followed by a bona fide effort to serve it. U. S. v. Scheurman, D.C.Idaho, 218 F. 915, 919.

To commence drilling operations within the meaning of an oil and gas lease has reference to the first movement of the drill in penetrating the ground. Solberg v. Sunburst Oil & Gas Co., 73 Mont. 94, 235 P. 761, 763. But see Terry v. Texas Co., Tex.Civ.App., 228 S.W. 1019, holding that a lessee, by placing timbers for the erection of a derrick, together with machinery, including a boiler, on the ground where an oil well was to be drilled, complied with a provision requiring him to "commence to drill." But compare Lauderdale Power Co. v. Perry, 202 Ala. 394, 80 So. 476, 480.

Criminal prosecution is "commenced" within statute of limitations when complaint is filed with magistrate in good faith and warrant issued. Hicks v. State, 54 Okl.Cr. 431, 23 P.2d 219.

Commencement of building or improvement, within the meaning of Lien Law, is the visible commencement of actual operations on the ground for the erection of the building, which every one can readily recognize as commencement of a building, and which is done with intention to continue the work until building is completed. Security Stove & Mfg. Co. v. Sellards, 133 Kan. 747, 3 P.2d 481, 482, 76 A.L.R. 1397.

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