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Abstract of judgment:

A brief statement that contains important points of the civil judgment.

Affidavit:

A written, videotaped, or printed statement that is confirmed under oath.

Alleged:

Suspect; charged; claimed; doubtful; asserted.

Amicus Curiae:

This Latin phrase refers to someone other than part to the case who voluntarily offers some information to the court regarding a case.

Arraignment:

A proceeding of a criminal complaint in front of the defendant to inform him or her about the charges and demanding the defendant to enter the plea.

Bail:

The release of an accused person under specified condition assuring that the person will appear in court whenever required. 

Bankruptcy:

A legal process to deal with the debt problems of a person or organization.

Bench Trial:

A trial conducted without a jury where a judge works as a fact-finder.

Brief:

A legal statement submitted in a proceeding that explains the factual and legal arguments of one party.

Burden of proof:

An obligation submitted by a party to provide more evidence to support their position.

Capital Offense:

A criminal charge that is punished by the death penalty.

Case file:

A complete set of documents submitted in court with respect to a case.

Codicil:

A document that amends a will.

Convict:

To prove or find guilty of a crime or offense.

Custody:

Detaining a person or property by lawful process. 

Damages:

Money paid to a person as a compensation for the injury, loss, or harm suffered due to unlawful act.

Defendant:

A person or party against the complaint of the plaintiff is made. Sometimes, in criminal cases, this refers to the accused person.

Demurrer:

An objection filed against the earlier pleading alleged by the opposing party.

Docket:

A complete record of all actions and cases that should be heard in the court in that particular day.

Due Process:

A procedure that safeguards the legal rights of a person.

Elements:

A set of common law or facts that define criminal liability.

Eviction:

A legal procedure by which a person recovers a land or property from the other.

Evidence:

Information that is submitted in the form of documents or testimony to decide the case.

Ex Parte:

A legal proceeding that is brought before a court by a person without giving notice to the other.

Expungement:

A process in which the record of a defendant is removed or erased officially, only if the defendant is not convicted.

Felony

A serious or grave crime.

File:

Submitting the documents to the clerk of the court.

Fiduciary:

A legal relationship of trust between more than two parties.

Findings:

A result that is obtained after investigations.

Forfeiture:

Loss of property or money due to the nonperformance of legal obligations.

Grand Jury:

A special kind of jury formed to determine whether a person has committed a crime.

Guilty:

A person or organization is found to have committed an offense or crime.

Habeas Corpus:

A judicial order that forces the law officials to produce the inmate to justify the prisoner’s confinement.

Hearsay:

Information gathered by the witness from certain events, thing or condition without any direct experience.

Home Confinement:

A special condition where a person is confined in his/her home.

Incarceration:

Detention of an individual in prison.

Inculpatory Evidence:

Evidence that indicates a person’s involvement in a crime.

Indictment:

The legal accusation that an individual has committed a crime or offense.

Insanity Plea:

An affirmative claim by the defendants that they lacked mental stability at the time of an offense and should not hold responsible for the crime. 

Interrogatories:

A set of written questions that is asked by one party to another and should be answered under oath.

Jail:

A place where a criminal suspect or defendant is confined.

Judge:

A judge is an official authority who leads the court of law.

Judgment:

A final or official decision of the court in a case.

Jurisdiction:

A legal authority of a court who adjudicates the case brought before it.

Jury:

A group of people selected to hear and decide a case.

Lawsuit:

A civil action that is taken by a plaintiff against a defendant complaining that the defendant has not performed a legal action.

Legal Aid:

Free legal services offered to people who cannot afford a lawyer.

Lien:

Security interest provided upon property to make payment of an obligation or debt.

Litigation:

To conduct a legal proceeding.

Liquidation:

To settle a debt.

Magistrate:

A legal authority who has limited power to enforce a law.

Mediation:

An effort to bring a peaceful settlement between disputants by the neutral party.

Minor:

A person below legal age.

Misdemeanor

A criminal offense that is punished by fine or one year jail term.

Mistrial:

A trial that is invalid due to some procedural error.

Next Friend:

An individual appointed by the court on behalf of a minor.

Nolle prosequi:

A plea that the prosecutor in a case will dismiss prosecution.

Nolo contendere:

A plea by a defendant on a criminal charge, which has the same effect as that of a plea of guilty.

Notary:

A legal officer who administer oaths.

Notice:

A formal announcement of legal proceedings.

Objection:

A legal protest against the action made by the opposing party.

Ordinance:

A regulation enacted by the local government.

Opinion:

A written statement on the court decision.

Ore tenus:

A hearing that is made verbally.

Original Jurisdiction:

Authorization of a court to conduct a trial.

Parole:

A conditional release of a criminal defendant.

Party:

A person or an organization in the lawsuit or legal proceeding.

Petition:

An application to a court requesting to take a legal action against certain matters.

Plea:

Response of a defendant against the charge.

Probation:

Allowing a convicted person to remain free instead of sending to jail.

Remand:

Sending back the case to the same court.

Sentence:

The punishment that is given to the convicted crime by the court.

Testimony:

Oral evidence given by a witness under oath.

Verdict:

A legal decision made by the judge after the trial.

Warrant:

A court order for law enforcement officer to arrest a person.

Here are few links on courtroom procedures and legal procedures:

 

("Legal information found on this page does not constitute legal advice.")

California Personal Injury Law Areas