COMMON PLEAS. The name of a court having jurisdiction generally of civil actions. For a historical account of the origin of this court in England, see Boote's Suit at Law, 1 to 10. Vide Common Bench and Bench.

2. By common pleas, is also understood, such pleas or actions as are brought by private persons against private persons; or by the government, when the cause of action is of a civil nature. In England, whence we derived this phrase, common pleas are so called to distinguish them from pleas of the crown. (q. v.)