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Letter missive refers to a letter from the king to the dean and chapter of a cathedral, containing the name of the person whom the king wants elected as bishop. Earlier, after a lawsuit is filed against a peer, peeress, or lord of Parliament, letter missive in the form of a request is sent to defendant to appear and answer the suit.
Under civil law, letter missive refers to the appellate record sent by a lower court to a superior court. It is also known as letter dismissory.