Regular process is that which has been lawfully issued by a court or magistrate, having competent jurisdiction. Irregular process
is that which has been illegally issued.
2. When the process is regular, and the defendant has been damnified, as in the case of a malicious arrest
, his remedy is by an action on the case, and not trespass: when it is irregular, the remedy is by action of trespass.
3. If the process be wholly illegal or misapplied as to the person intended to be arrested, without regard to any question of fact
, or whether innocent or guilty, or the existence of any debt, then the party imprisoned may legally resist the arrest and imprisonment, and may escape, be rescued, or even break prison; but if the process and imprisonment were in form legal, each of these acts would be punishable, however innocent the defendant might be, for he ought to submit to legal process
, and obtain his release by due course of law
. 1 Chit. Pr. 637; 5 East, R. 304, 308; S. C. 1 Smitt's Rep. 555; 6 T. R. 234; Foster, C. L. 312; 2 Wils. 47; 1 East, P. C. 310 Hawk. B. 2, c. 19, s. 1, 2.
4. When a party has been arrested on process which has afterwards been set aside for irregularity, he may bring an action of trespass and recover damages as well against the attorney who issued it, as the party, though such process will justify the officer who executed it. 8 Adolph. & Ell. 449; S. C. 35 E. C. L. R. 433; 15 East, R. 615, note c; 1 Stra. 509; 2 W. Bl. Rep., 845; 2 Conn. R. 700; 9 Conn. 141; 11 Mass. 500; 6 Greenl. 421; 3 Gill & John. 377; 1 Bailey, R. 441; 2 Litt. 234; 3 S. & R. 139 12 John. 257 3 Wils. 376; and vide Malicious Prosecution.