A chronological summary of all official records and recorded documents affecting the title to a parcel of real property.
A person who knowingly and voluntarily participates with another in a criminal activity.
A formal declaration made before an authorized official by the person who executed an instrument that it is his or her free act and deed.
To find a defendant not guilty in a criminal trial.
Case, cause, suit, or controversy disputed or contested before a court of justice.
A Latin term meaning for the purposes of the lawsuit. For example, a guardian "ad litem" is a person appointed by the court to protect the interests of a minor or legally incompetent person in a lawsuit.
An increase by a judge in the amount of damages awarded by a jury.
Giving or pronouncing a judgment or decree. Also the judgment given.
A person appointed by the court to manage the estate of a person who dies without a will. 2. A court official.
Evidence that is relevant and can be legally and properly introduced at trial or in an evidentiary hearing.
To advise or caution. For example a judge or magistrate judge may caution or admonish counsel for wrong practices.
The trial method used in the US and some other countries. This system is based on the belief that truth can best be determined by giving opposing parties full opportunity to present and establish their evidence, and to test by cross-examination the evidence presented by the opposing party. All this is done under the established rules of procedure before an impartial judge and/or jury.
A person who makes and signs an affidavit.
A written statement of facts confirmed by the oath of the party making it, before a notary or officer having authority to administer oaths. For example, in criminal cases, affidavits are often used by police officers seeking to convince a judge or magistrate judge to issue a warrant to make an arrest or a search. In civil cases, affidavits of witnesses are often used to support motions for summary judgment.
Circumstances raised by the defendant that will defeat the plaintiff’s or prosecutor’s claim(s), even if the claims are true. For example: insanity, self-defense, or entrapment.
In the practice of appellate courts, the word means that the decision of the trial court was correct.
To actively, knowingly or intentionally assist another person in the commission or attempted commission of a crime.
A statement of the issues in a written document (a pleading) that a person is prepared to prove in court. For example, an indictment contains allegations of crimes against the defendant.
Settling a dispute without a full, formal trial. Methods include mediation, conciliation, arbitration, and settlement, among others.
A friend of the court. A person, who is not a party to a case, that volunteers to offer information on a point of law or some other aspect of the case to assist the court in deciding a matter before it.
The defendant's response to the plaintiff’s allegations as stated in a complaint.
A request made after a trial, asking another court (usually the court of appeals) to decide whether the trial was conducted properly.
The formal proceeding by which a defendant submits to the jurisdiction of the court. 2. A written notification to the court by an attorney stating that he or she is representing a party to the action.
A court having jurisdiction to hear appeals and review a trial court's procedure.
The party against whom an appeal is taken. Sometimes called a respondent.
A form of alternative dispute resolution in which the parties bring their dispute to a neutral third party and agree to abide by his or her decision. In arbitration there is a hearing at which both parties have an opportunity to be heard.
A proceeding in which an individual who is accused of committing a crime is brought into court, told of the charges, and asked to plead guilty or not guilty. Sometimes called a preliminary hearing or initial appearance.
To take into custody by legal authority.
A threat to inflict injury with an apparent ability to do so. Also, any intentional display of force that would give the victim reason to fear or expect immediate bodily harm.
The time in a lawsuit when the complaining party has stated their claim and the other side has responded with a denial and the matter is ready to be tried.
Taking a person's property to satisfy a court-ordered debt.
The principal attorney in a lawsuit, who signs all formal documents relating to the suit.
An advocate or counsel legally qualified to prepare, manage, and try cases in the courts.
A private person (who is not necessarily a lawyer) who is authorized by another to act in his or her place for a non-legal purpose, either for some specific act or for the transaction of business in general. This authority is conferred by an instrument in writing, called a letter of attorney, or more commonly a power of attorney.
Money or other security (such as a bail bond) provided to the court to temporarily allow a person's release from jail and assure their appearance in court. "Bail" and "bond" are often used interchangeably.
An obligation signed by the accused to secure his or her presence at the trial. This obligation means that the accused may lose money by not properly appearing for the trial. Often referred to simply as bond.