A court-approved mechanism under which two or more cases can be administered together. Usually involves the defendant’s pleading guilty to a lesser offense or to a lesser number of offenses. A writ of habeas corpus generally is a judicial order forcing law enforcement authorities to produce a prisoner they are holding, and to justify the prisoner's continued confinement. Some debts, such as debts for money or property obtained by false pretenses and debts for fraud or defalcation while acting in a fiduciary capacity may be declared nondischargeable only if a creditor timely files and prevails in a nondischargeability action. AD LITEM Latin for “for the purposes of the legal action.” It refers to the appointment by the court of one party to act in a legal action on behalf of another party. Judges sometimes use "court" to refer to themselves in the third person, as in "the court has read the briefs.". The judge who has primary responsibility for the administration of a court; chief judges are determined by seniority. Merriam-Webster Recommends: Books to Read While You're Hunkered Down. A legal claim. Any mode or means by which a debtor disposes of or parts with his/her property. A written statement that begins a civil lawsuit, in which the plaintiff details the claims against the defendant. A report prepared by a court's probation officer, after a person has been convicted of an offense, summarizing for the court the background information needed to determine the appropriate sentence. Each organization is supervised by a federal public defender appointed by the court of appeals for the circuit. DAMAGES The money awarded by a court to a claimant as compensation or imposed as a punishment for a financial loss or injury to person, property or rights. Attorney-at-law is the official name for a lawyer in the United States; in England they are called solicitors. 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Legal terms vocabulary, Legal terms word list - a free resource used in over 40,000 schools to enhance vocabulary mastery & written/verbal skills with Latin & Greek roots. A secured creditor is an individual or business that holds a claim against the debtor that is secured by a lien on property of the estate. Mens Rea - This refers to the mind and intentions of a person. For example, in some states the debtor may be able to exempt all or a portion of the equity in the debtor's primary residence (homestead exemption), or some or all "tools of the trade" used by the debtor to make a living (i.e., auto tools for an auto mechanic or dental tools for a dentist). All interests of the debtor in property at the time of the bankruptcy filing. ALM's Law.com online Real Life Dictionary of the Law. Formal and Informal Email Phrases – from Greetings to Closing Phrases! That’s all for this post. A person who makes a word-for-word record of what is said in court, generally by using a stenographic machine, shorthand or audio recording, and then produces a transcript of the proceedings upon request. The chapter of the Bankruptcy Code providing for the adjustment of debts of an individual with regular income, often referred to as a "wage-earner" plan. Accordingly a word used in legal documents which means therefore or so. The punishment ordered by a court for a defendant convicted of a crime. If a contract or lease is executory, a debtor may assume it (keep the contract) or reject it (terminate the contract). A private individual or corporation appointed in all Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 cases to represent the interests of the bankruptcy estate and the debtor's creditors. Often refers to a court taking an action in a case without being asked to do so by either side. ... Join Macmillan Dictionary on Twitter and Facebook for daily word facts, quizzes and language news. The act or process by which a person's rights or claims are ranked below those of others. The group of persons selected to hear the evidence in a trial and render a verdict on matters of fact. Latin, meaning "you have the body." PLAY. About appeals; an appellate court has the power to review the judgment of a lower court (trial court) or tribunal. Typically, the judge and the parties also discuss the possibility of settlement of the case. Notable exceptions to dischargeability are taxes and student loans. Judges will generally "follow precedent" - meaning that they use the principles established in earlier cases to decide new cases that have similar facts and raise similar legal issues. A discharge releases a debtor from personal liability for certain debts known as dischargeable debts and prevents the creditors owed those debts from taking any action against the debtor or the debtor's property to collect the debts. See also complainant. Special condition the court imposes to require an individual to undergo evaluation and treatment for a mental disorder. Each allegation is referred to as a count. A series of questions the debtor must answer in writing concerning sources of income, transfers of property, lawsuits by creditors, etc. PLAINTIFF A person who initiates a lawsuit against another. A district court may grant each side in a civil or criminal trial the right to exclude a certain number of prospective jurors without cause or giving a reason. Latin for “for the purposes of the legal action.” It refers to the appointment by the court of one party to act in a legal action on behalf of another party. This process aims to ensure evidence is not tampered with and therefore must be followed for the evidence to be accepted in court. COURT & LEGAL TERMINOLOGY 4 Arraignment: An initial step in the criminal process in which the defendant is formally charged with an offense, given a copy of the complaint, indictment, information, or other accusatory instrument, and informed of his/her constitutional rights, including the … Trump: 'Disinfectant' as Cure. By statute, Congress authorizes the number of judgeships for each district and appellate court. This post is going specialized for lawyers. A bankruptcy case filed to reduce or eliminate debts that are primarily consumer debts. A Chapter 11 debtor usually proposes a plan of reorganization to keep its business alive and pay creditors over time. The list is not exhaustive; consult your law dictionary for terms you do not find. A federal misdemeanor punishable by six months or less in prison. A penalty or other type of enforcement used to bring about compliance with the law or with rules and regulations. This legal glossary is a basic guide to common legal terms. A declaration made by a chapter 7 debtor concerning plans for dealing with consumer debts that are secured by property of the estate. affidavit - A written statement of facts confirmed by the oath of the party making it. Priority refers to the order in which these unsecured claims are to be paid. Officers of the probation office of a court. The formal written statement by a defendant in a civil case that responds to a complaint, articulating the grounds for defense. Some words had … A body of 16-23 citizens who listen to evidence of criminal allegations, which is presented by the prosecutors, and determine whether there is probable cause to believe an individual committed an offense. A negotiation whereby the accused and the prosecutor in a criminal case work out a mutually satisfactory disposition of the case subject to court approval. Certain property owned by an individual debtor that the Bankruptcy Code or applicable state law permits the debtor to keep from unsecured creditors. Only the majority opinion can serve as binding precedent in future cases. Use our comprehensive glossary to find out what those legal terms mean. The characterization of a debtor's status after bankruptcy, i.e., free of most debts. A vocabulary list featuring legal terms. How To Improve Communication Skills In English For Beginners, 3 Ways to Improve Listening Skills in English for Beginners. Cause of action . UNCONSTITUTIONAL That which is contrary to or in conflict with the federal or state constitutions. The Bankruptcy Code contains certain provisions designed to reduce the time a small business debtor is in bankruptcy. A procedure in a Chapter 7 case whereby a debtor removes a secured creditor's lien on collateral by paying the creditor the value of the property. The judge issued a caveat to the defense attorney to keep his questions simple. A jury verdict that a criminal defendant is not guilty, or the finding of a judge that the evidence is insufficient to support a conviction. Compare to senior judge. Damages are distinguishable from costs, which are the expenses incurred as a result of bringing a lawsuit and which the court may order the losing party to pay. Approval of a plan of reorganization by a bankruptcy judge. In other words, the creditor seeks to have part of the debtor's future wages paid to the creditor for a debt owed to the creditor. WARRANT Most commonly, a court order authorizing law enforcement officers to make an arrest or conduct a search. A request by a litigant to a judge for a decision on an issue relating to the case. An invalid trial, caused by fundamental error. Another word for legal. A reversal is often accompanied by a remand to the lower court for further proceedings. The most widely used test for evaluating undue hardship in the dischargeability of a student loan includes three conditions: (1) the debtor cannot maintain – based on current income and expenses – a minimal standard of living if forced to repay the loans; (2) there are indications that the state of affairs is likely to persist for a significant portion of the repayment period; and (3) the debtor made good faith efforts to repay the loans. Home confinement may include the use of electronic monitoring equipment – a transmitter attached to the wrist or the ankle – to help ensure that the person stays at home as required. There are exceptions to both requirements for certain categories of debtors, exigent circumstances, or if the U.S. trustee or bankruptcy administrator have determined that there are insufficient approved credit counseling agencies available to provide the necessary counseling. The party who files the caveat is known as the caveator. Jurisdiction given to federal courts in cases involving the interpretation and application of the U.S. Constitution, acts of Congress, and treaties. Issues in a trial or hearing concerning facts and how they occurred, as opposed to questions of law.Fact questions are for the jury to decide, unless the issues are presented in a non-jury or bench trial, in which case the judge would decide … All judges of an appellate court sitting together to hear a case, as opposed to the routine disposition by panels of three judges. 2. No contest. Money that a defendant pays a plaintiff in a civil case if the plaintiff has won. The law as established in previous court decisions. The short declaration at the end of a writing showing that the instrument was duly executed and acknowledged. The disputed point between parties in a lawsuit; 2. A form of discovery consisting of written questions to be answered in writing and under oath. GLOSSARY OF LEGAL TERMINOLOGY Edited and Expanded by John Lombardi A/K/A:Acronym that stands for "also known as" and introduces any alternative or assumed names or aliases of an individual. The signatures of the parties must be witnessed. See also felony. 2. An official of the Judicial branch with authority to decide lawsuits brought before courts. eval(ez_write_tag([[468,60],'myenglishteacher_eu-medrectangle-3','ezslot_9',662,'0','0']));ACCESSORY A person who in some manner is connected with a crime, either before or after its perpetration, but who is not present at the time the crime is committed. (See standard of proof.). A concurring opinion agrees with the decision of the majority opinion, but offers further comment or clarification or even an entirely different reason for reaching the same result. See also precedent. Arbitration: Submitting a case or dispute to designated parties for a decision, instead of using a judge. Here is a compilation of legal terms and meanings which can help you understand legal terminology. An individual (or business) against whom a lawsuit is filed. The witness signs their name next to the attestation clause. The form of verdict in criminal cases where the judge or jury finds that the prosecution has not proven the defendant to be guilty of a crime beyond a reasonable doubt or that the accused was insane at the time the crime was committed. Akin to common law, which springs from tradition and judicial decisions. See affirmed. 2. A proceeding in which a criminal defendant is brought into court, told of the charges in an indictment or information, and asked to plead guilty or not guilty. A business not authorized to practice law that prepares bankruptcy petitions. 1. TESTIMONY Oral evidence offered by a witness under oath, which is used to establish some fact or set of facts. The appellate court agrees with the lower court decision and allows it to stand. The deadline can vary, depending on the type of civil case or the crime charged. Akin to a preliminary injunction, it is a judge's short-term order forbidding certain actions until a full hearing can be conducted. The time within which a lawsuit must be filed or a criminal prosecution begun. The official decision of a court finally resolving the dispute between the parties to the lawsuit. Treatment may include psychiatric, psychological, and sex offense-specific evaluations, inpatient or outpatient counseling, and medication. Written statements filed with the court that describe a party's legal or factual assertions about the case. The estate technically becomes the temporary legal owner of all of the debtor's property. A judge's statement about someone's rights. A dissenting opinion disagrees with the majority opinion because of the reasoning and/or the principles of law the majority used to decide the case. The chapter of the Bankruptcy Code providing for adjustment of debts of a "family farmer" or "family fisherman," as the terms are defined in the Bankruptcy Code. French, meaning "on the bench." Evidence presented orally by witnesses during trials or before grand juries. (There is an official form for this purpose.). The easiest-to-read, most user-friendly guide to legal terms. The trustee's responsibilities include reviewing the debtor's petition and schedules and bringing actions against creditors or the debtor to recover property of the bankruptcy estate. A person to whom or business to which the debtor owes money or that claims to be owed money by the debtor. Legal terminology is full of Latin terms which are used regularly. A bankruptcy case in which the debtor is a business or an individual involved in business and the debts are for business purposes. Damages may be compensatory (for loss or injury) or punitive (to punish and deter future misconduct). Also known as MIRANDA WARNING. Also known as DEATY PENALTY. The accord is “the agreement” and the satisfaction is “the execution and a new contract.”. In a criminal case, the defendant's statement pleading "guilty" or "not guilty" in answer to the charges. A party who has standing to be heard by the court in a matter to be decided in the bankruptcy case. The majority of civil lawsuits require proof "by a preponderance of the evidence" (50 percent plus), but in some the standard is higher and requires "clear and convincing" proof. All legal or equitable interests of the debtor in property as of the commencement of the case. This principle requires the government to prove the guilt of a criminal defendant and relieves the defendant of any burden to prove their innocence. (Giving debtors a fresh start is one purpose of the Bankruptcy Code.). The debtor may rebut a presumption of abuse only by a showing of special circumstances that justify additional expenses or adjustments of current monthly income. An agreement by a debtor to continue paying a dischargeable debt after the bankruptcy, usually for the purpose of keeping collateral or mortgaged property that would otherwise be subject to repossession. An offense punishable by one year of imprisonment or less. Basic legal terminology that may be covered in the Texas Legal Interpreting written test. The formal charge issued by a grand jury stating that there is enough evidence that the defendant committed the crime to justify having a trial; it is used primarily for felonies. Example: Two five-year sentences and one three-year sentence, if served consecutively, result in a maximum of 13 years behind bars. A guardian ad litem is a person appointed by the court to protect the interests of minors or legally incompetent persons in legal actions. Property that a debtor is allowed to retain, free from the claims of creditors who do not have liens on the property. (Face sheet filings are often made for the purpose of delaying an eviction or foreclosure. A written account of the proceedings in a case, including all pleadings, evidence, and exhibits submitted in the course of the case. The number of cases handled by a judge or a court. Procedures used to obtain disclosure of evidence before trial. An opportunity for lawyers to summarize their position before the court and also to answer the judges' questions. Now, without the option of parole, the term of imprisonment the court imposes is the actual time the person spends in prison. A written court order directing a person to take, or refrain from taking, a certain act. The number of cases handled by a judge or a court. eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'myenglishteacher_eu-medrectangle-4','ezslot_6',659,'0','0'])); ACCORD A settlement agreed upon between the parties in a lawsuit for something other than what is claimed to be due, and which bars subsequent actions on the claim. Federal criminal juries consist of 12 persons. The Sentencing Reform Act of 1984 abolished parole in favor of a determinate sentencing system in which the sentence is set by sentencing guidelines. Article III judges are nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate. The legal authority of a court to hear and decide a certain type of case. (Prebankruptcy planning typically includes converting nonexempt assets into exempt assets.). Parties to a lawsuit resolve their dispute without having a trial. A debt for which the Bankruptcy Code allows the debtor's personal liability to be eliminated. ACCORD AND SATISFACTION A method of discharging a claim upon agreement by the parties to give and accept something in settlement of the claim something different from or less than that which the creditor is claiming or entitle to. Debt backed by a mortgage, pledge of collateral, or other lien; debt for which the creditor has the right to pursue specific pledged property upon default. To charge someone with a crime. Affidavits must be notarized or administered by an officer of the court with such authority. An attorney employed by the federal courts on a full-time basis to provide legal defense to defendants who are unable to afford counsel. Pretrial services officers focus on investigating the backgrounds of these persons to help the court determine whether to release or detain them while they await trial. See also information. An unsecured claim that is entitled to be paid ahead of other unsecured claims that are not entitled to priority status. The representative of the bankruptcy estate who exercises statutory powers, principally for the benefit of the unsecured creditors, under the general supervision of the court and the direct supervision of the U.S. trustee or bankruptcy administrator. (Assuming no conflicts of interest, these separate businesses or individuals can pool their resources, hire the same professionals, etc.). Evidence indicating that a defendant did not commit the crime. A procedure for settling a dispute outside the courtroom. A senior judge retains the judicial office and may cut back his or her workload by as much as 75 percent, but many opt to keep a larger caseload. A written, word-for-word record of what was said, either in a proceeding such as a trial, or during some other formal conversation, such as a hearing or oral deposition. A plea of nolo contendere has the same effect as a plea of guilty, as far as the criminal sentence is concerned, but may not be considered as an admission of guilt for any other purpose. 'Dord': A Ghost Word. A charge on specific property that is designed to secure payment of a debt or performance of an obligation. NOT GUILTY 1. 2. A warning or caution. A Chapter 7 case in which there are no assets available to satisfy any portion of the creditors' unsecured claims. The release of a prison inmate – granted by the U.S. Parole Commission – after the inmate has completed part of his or her sentence in a federal prison. The law as established in previous court decisions. See discovery. A person who has filed a petition for relief under the Bankruptcy Code. JUROR Any person who actually serves as a member of the jury. The legal system that originated in England and is now in use in the United States, which relies on the articulation of legal principles in a historical succession of judicial decisions. A judgment awarding a plaintiff the relief sought in the complaint because the defendant has failed to appear in court or otherwise respond to the complaint. The Bankruptcy Code's statutory ranking of unsecured claims that determines the order in which unsecured claims will be paid if there is not enough money to pay all unsecured claims in full. Harold Rudolf Walraven Gokkel & Nicolaas van der Wal. Here are a few terms to get you started: Court action that prevents an identical lawsuit from being filed later. A statement of acceptance of responsibility. In the practice of the court of appeals, it means that the court of appeals has concluded that the lower court decision is correct and will stand as rendered by the lower court. A bankruptcy case filed either without schedules or with incomplete schedules listing few creditors and debts. An affidavit seeking a warrant must establish probable cause by detailing the facts upon which the request is based. 5 Common ANGRY Synonyms. The district court must find that the claims of the class members contain questions of law or fact in common before the lawsuit can proceed as a class action. ACCUSED 1. A special condition the court imposes that requires an individual to work – without pay – for a civic or nonprofit organization. The purpose of this site is to provide information from and about the Judicial Branch of the U.S. Government. A serious crime, usually punishable by at least one year in prison. When you login first time using a Social Login button, we collect your account public profile information shared by Social Login provider, based on your privacy settings. DOUBLE JEOPARDY The constitutional prohibition under the Fifth (5th) Amendment against a person being put on trial more than once for the same offense after acquittal or conviction or multiple punishments for the same offense. An indictment or information may contain allegations that the defendant committed more than one crime. Free thesaurus definition of miscellaneous legal terms from the Macmillan English Dictionary - a free English dictionary online with thesaurus and with pronunciation from Macmillan Education. Often means outside the presence of a jury and the public. Latin Legal Terms. Attorneys who appear as the government's attorneys in individual cases. A judge's written explanation of the decision of the court. Caseload . A civil, not criminal, wrong. The geographic area in which a court has jurisdiction. If all the judges do not agree, the formal decision will be based upon the view of the majority, and one member of the majority will write the opinion. Would love your thoughts, please comment. A claim for which a specific value has not been determined. (There are official forms a debtor must use.). Mootness usually refers to a court’s refusal to consider a case because the issue involved has been resolved prior to the court’s decision, leaving nothing that would be affected by the court’s decision. I you liked it please leave a comment below! Witnesses, to obtain discovery, or official agent employed in preparing, managing and trying cases court. The judgment of a jury and the public employs a staff of U.S! And transcripts of oral proceedings in a lawsuit ; 2 equitable legal terminology words of the Code... Including Supreme court directing the lower court to affirm the district court Chapter.... Will write the opinion for all trials or before grand juries '' than! Discharge from an obligation, liability, or discharge form an accusation guilt! 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