Duhaime's Law Dictionary

Tales Definition:

The act of supplementing a jury otherwise incomplete.

Related Terms: Tales de circumstantibus, Talesmen

The supplemental jurors are called talesmen.

In Barnes v State, Justice Chalmers of the Mississippi Supreme Court referred to tales as:

"... the old common-law writ of tales de circumstantibus. The sheriff being ordered to summon tales hormines, it is said that there must already be one or more men in attendance, and that those summoned must be such as those already present or so many as may be requisite to complete the panel."

As to tales, the 5th edition of Stroud's Judicial Dictionary offered this:

"A tales is when the jury empanelled do not appear, or appearing, are challenged, in this case the judge upon petition granteth a supply to be made by the sheriff of some men there present equal in reputation to those that were empanelled, and hereupon, the very act of supplying is called a tales de circumstantibus."


  • Barnes v State, [1882] Miss. Sup. Ct. 355 at page 360.
  • Duhaime, Lloyd, Legal Definition of Talesmen
  • James, John, Stroud's Judicial Dictionary, 5th Edition (London: Sweet & Maxwell Limited, 1986), Volume 5, page 2587

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