Glossary of Court Terms

This "Glossary of Terms" is not intended to be a definitive legal definition of terms, but, is merely provided to assist the public with a general understanding of court terminology. If you have a need for definitive legal definitions of these or any other legal terms, you should seek the services of an attorney.

  1. A
  2. B
  3. C
  4. D
  5. E
  6. F
  7. G
  8. H
  9. I
  10. J-K
  11. L
  12. M
  13. N
  14. O
  15. P
  16. Q
  17. R
  18. S
  19. T
  20. U-V
  21. W-Z
  • Abstract of Title - A condensed history of the title to land.
  • Acknowledgment - Formal declaration before authorized official, be person who executed the instrument, that it is his free act and deed. The certificate of the officer on such instrument that is has been so acknowledged.
  • Addendum - A thing that is added or to be added. Addendums to documents may be copies.
  • Adjudicated - The court finds a youth guilty of committing a delinquent act. The court can commit the youth or place the youth on community supervision.
  • Adjudication Withheld - The court finds that a youth committed a delinquent act, but withholds an adjudication of delinquency. The court places the youth on community supervision.
  • Adjudicatory Hearing - The court determines if the facts support the allegation(s) made against a youth. The court must find that a youth is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
  • Administrative Order - An order by the chief judge governing a function of the Court.
  • Affiant - A person making an affidavit.
  • Affidavit - A written or printed declaration or statement of the facts made voluntarily, and confirmed by the oath or affirmation of the party making it, taken before a person having the authority to administer such oath or affirmation.
  • Affirmative Defenses - The offering of new evidence in an attempt to avoid or mitigate judgment.
  • Affix - Attach securely.
  • Aftercare (Conditional Release or Post-Commitment Probation) - A state-operated or contacted program that monitors a youth who has been released from a commitment program.
  • Agreement for Deed - Transfer of interest in real property by an agreement, which when recorded, is treated like a deed and a mortgage when determining the tax stamps due. Documentary Stamp Tax at.70 cents per $100 is due on the total sales price. Documentary Stamp Tax at.35 cents per $100 and Intangible Tax at.20 cents per $100 is due on the total sales price minus the down payment. Upon repayment of the loan, the seller will give the buyer a deed and when that deed is recorded, there are no tax stamps due because they were paid previously on the "Agreement."
  • A/K/A - Also known as.
  • Alias - When used in connection with a description of a person, it indicates that he/she has used or been known by another name.
  • Alias process - A second or further writ, summons, execution or subpoena, used when the first or earlier process has for any reason failed to accomplish its purpose.
  • Alias subpoena - One issued after the first has been returned without having accomplished its purpose.
  • Alias summons - A summons issued when original has not produced its effect because defective in form or manner of service, and when issued, supersedes the first writ.
  • Alimony - The money allowance one spouse must pay another by order of a court during or after a divorce action.
  • Amend - To change a complaint, motion, order, etc., that has already been filed.
  • Amendment - Alteration of a law or resolution.
  • Amicus Curiae - A Latin term which means "friend of the court."
  • Ancillary Administration - Administration of an estate other than where the decedent was domiciled.
  • Annulment - The voiding of an act (marriage).
  • Answer - The pleading of a defendant in response to a plaintiff's complaint.
  • Appeal - Criminal - When a party dissatisfied with a decision of their judge appeals to a higher court to reverse a decision or ruling.
  • Appeal - A request that a case be removed from a lower court to a higher court in order for the case to be reviewed.
  • Appellant - The party filing the appeal.
  • Arraignment - Procedure whereby the accused is brought before the court to plead to the criminal charge in the indictment or information. After the charge is read to him, he is asked to plead "guilty," "not guilty" or "nolocontendere" (no contest).
  • Attachment, Writ of - A writ instructing the sheriff to seize property and bring it into the custody of the court.
  • Authenticated - when referring to copies of documents or judicial proceedings required to be filed with the court under this code) shall mean a certified copy or a copy authenticated according to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.