Latin Legal Terms

Custodia

Custodia - protection, custody. The origin of this word is “custos”, which means guardian, keeper, watchman. In practice, the term participates in forming the legal phrase “cepi corpus et est in custodia”, which literally means “I have the person and he is in custody” (i.e. person arrested). It is applicable in the area of Court Trials, where details a statement by the police that they already have got the person to appear on hearing, and they are ready to bring this person to court. A similar phrase is “cepi corpus et paratum habeo”, which literally means “I have the body with me already”.
In practice, the word relates also to the term “custos morum”, which literally means “keeper of morals”, i.e. a censor, who is considered to be an example to the others with high moral standards.

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