Subchapter I Federal Energy Administration
Subchapter II Office of Energy Information and Analysis

Terms Used In U.S. Code > Title 15 > Chapter 16B

  • Advice and consent: Under the Constitution, presidential nominations for executive and judicial posts take effect only when confirmed by the Senate, and international treaties become effective only when the Senate approves them by a two-thirds vote.
  • 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.
  • affiliated group: means --

    (A) 1 or more chains of includible corporations connected through stock ownership with a common parent corporation which is an includible corporation, but only if--

    (B)(i) the common parent owns directly stock meeting the requirements of paragraph (2) in at least 1 of the other includible corporations, and

    (ii) stock meeting the requirements of paragraph (2) in each of the includible corporations (except the common parent) is owned directly by 1 or more of the other includible corporations. See 26 USC 1504

  • Amendment: A proposal to alter the text of a pending bill or other measure by striking out some of it, by inserting new language, or both. Before an amendment becomes part of the measure, thelegislature must agree to it.
  • Amortization: Paying off a loan by regular installments.
  • Annuity: A periodic (usually annual) payment of a fixed sum of money for either the life of the recipient or for a fixed number of years. A series of payments under a contract from an insurance company, a trust company, or an individual. Annuity payments are made at regular intervals over a period of more than one full year.
  • Appeal: A request made after a trial, asking another court (usually the court of appeals) to decide whether the trial was conducted properly. To make such a request is "to appeal" or "to take an appeal." One who appeals is called the appellant.
  • Appraisal: A determination of property value.
  • Appropriation: The provision of funds, through an annual appropriations act or a permanent law, for federal agencies to make payments out of the Treasury for specified purposes. The formal federal spending process consists of two sequential steps: authorization
  • archaeological resource: means any material remains of past human life or activities which are of archaeological interest, as determined under uniform regulations promulgated pursuant to this chapter. See 16 USC 470bb
  • Arrest: Taking physical custody of a person by lawful authority.
  • Assets: (1) The property comprising the estate of a deceased person, or (2) the property in a trust account.
  • association: when used in reference to a corporation, shall be deemed to embrace the words "successors and assigns of such company or association" in like manner as if these last-named words, or words of similar import, were expressed. See 1 USC 5
  • Attorney General: means the Attorney General of the United States. See 26 USC 7701
  • Attorney General: means the Attorney General of the United States or his designee. See 34 USC 10251
  • Bail: Security given for the release of a criminal defendant or witness from legal custody (usually in the form of money) to secure his/her appearance on the day and time appointed.
  • Bankruptcy: Refers to statutes and judicial proceedings involving persons or businesses that cannot pay their debts and seek the assistance of the court in getting a fresh start. Under the protection of the bankruptcy court, debtors may discharge their debts, perhaps by paying a portion of each debt. Bankruptcy judges preside over these proceedings.
  • Baseline: Projection of the receipts, outlays, and other budget amounts that would ensue in the future without any change in existing policy. Baseline projections are used to gauge the extent to which proposed legislation, if enacted into law, would alter current spending and revenue levels.
  • Beneficiary: A person who is entitled to receive the benefits or proceeds of a will, trust, insurance policy, retirement plan, annuity, or other contract. Source: OCC
  • Bequest: Property gifted by will.
  • Chairman: means the Chairman of the National Advisory Council on International Monetary and Financial Policies. See 22 USC 262r
  • Chambers: A judge's office.
  • Civil forfeiture: The loss of ownership of property used to conduct illegal activity.
  • Codicil: An addition, change, or supplement to a will executed with the same formalities required for the will itself.
  • Commissioner: means the Commissioner of Internal Revenue. See 26 USC 7701
  • Common law: The legal system that originated in England and is now in use in the United States. It is based on judicial decisions rather than legislative action.
  • Complaint: A written statement by the plaintiff stating the wrongs allegedly committed by the defendant.
  • Concurrent resolution: A legislative measure, designated "S. Con. Res." and numbered consecutively upon introduction, generally employed to address the sentiments of both chambers, to deal with issues or matters affecting both houses, such as a concurrent budget resolution, or to create a temporary joint committee. Concurrent resolutions are not submitted to the President/Governor and thus do not have the force of law.
  • Continuance: Putting off of a hearing ot trial until a later time.
  • Contract: A legal written agreement that becomes binding when signed.
  • Conviction: A judgement of guilt against a criminal defendant.
  • corporation: includes associations, joint-stock companies, and insurance companies. See 26 USC 7701
  • Corporation: A legal entity owned by the holders of shares of stock that have been issued, and that can own, receive, and transfer property, and carry on business in its own name.
  • county: includes a parish, or any other equivalent subdivision of a State or Territory of the United States. See 1 USC 2
  • criminal justice: means activities pertaining to crime prevention, control, or reduction, or the enforcement of the criminal law, including, but not limited to, police efforts to prevent, control, or reduce crime or to apprehend criminals, including juveniles, activities of courts having criminal jurisdiction, and related agencies (including but not limited to prosecutorial and defender services, juvenile delinquency agencies and pretrial service or release agencies), activities of corrections, probation, or parole authorities and related agencies assisting in the rehabilitation, supervision, and care of criminal offenders, and programs relating to the prevention, control, or reduction of narcotic addiction and juvenile delinquency. See 34 USC 10251
  • Damages: Money paid by defendants to successful plaintiffs in civil cases to compensate the plaintiffs for their injuries.
  • Decedent: A deceased person.
  • Deed: The legal instrument used to transfer title in real property from one person to another.
  • Defendant: In a civil suit, the person complained against; in a criminal case, the person accused of the crime.
  • Dependent: A person dependent for support upon another.
  • Deposition: An oral statement made before an officer authorized by law to administer oaths. Such statements are often taken to examine potential witnesses, to obtain discovery, or to be used later in trial.
  • Devise: To gift property by will.
  • domestic: when applied to a corporation or partnership means created or organized in the United States or under the law of the United States or of any State unless, in the case of a partnership, the Secretary provides otherwise by regulations. See 26 USC 7701
  • Donee: The recipient of a gift.
  • Donor: The person who makes a gift.
  • employee: shall include a full-time life insurance salesman who is considered an employee for the purpose of chapter 21. See 26 USC 7701
  • Entitlement: A Federal program or provision of law that requires payments to any person or unit of government that meets the eligibility criteria established by law. Entitlements constitute a binding obligation on the part of the Federal Government, and eligible recipients have legal recourse if the obligation is not fulfilled. Social Security and veterans' compensation and pensions are examples of entitlement programs.
  • Equitable: Pertaining to civil suits in "equity" rather than in "law." In English legal history, the courts of "law" could order the payment of damages and could afford no other remedy. See damages. A separate court of "equity" could order someone to do something or to cease to do something. See, e.g., injunction. In American jurisprudence, the federal courts have both legal and equitable power, but the distinction is still an important one. For example, a trial by jury is normally available in "law" cases but not in "equity" cases. Source: U.S. Courts
  • Escrow: Money given to a third party to be held for payment until certain conditions are met.
  • evaluation: means the administration and conduct of studies and analyses to determine the impact and value of a project or program in accomplishing the statutory objectives of this chapter. See 34 USC 10251
  • Evidence: Information presented in testimony or in documents that is used to persuade the fact finder (judge or jury) to decide the case for one side or the other.
  • Ex officio: Literally, by virtue of one's office.
  • Executor: A male person named in a will to carry out the decedent
  • Extradition: The formal process of delivering an accused or convicted person from authorities in one state to authorities in another state.
  • Fair market value: The price at which an asset would change hands in a transaction between a willing, informed buyer and a willing, informed seller.
  • Federal land manager: means , with respect to any public lands, the Secretary of the department, or the head of any other agency or instrumentality of the United States, having primary management authority over such lands. See 16 USC 470bb
  • Federal Reserve System: The central bank of the United States. The Fed, as it is commonly called, regulates the U.S. monetary and financial system. The Federal Reserve System is composed of a central governmental agency in Washington, D.C. (the Board of Governors) and twelve regional Federal Reserve Banks in major cities throughout the United States. Source: OCC
  • federally owned or administered forest land: shall be construed to mean forest land in which, or in the natural resources of which, the United States has a legal or equitable interest of any character sufficient to entitle the United States to control the management or disposition of the timber or other forest products thereon, except land heretofore or hereafter reserved or withdrawn for purposes which are inconsistent with the exercise of the authority conferred by this subchapter. See 16 USC 583f
  • Felony: A crime carrying a penalty of more than a year in prison.
  • fiduciary: means a guardian, trustee, executor, administrator, receiver, conservator, or any person acting in any fiduciary capacity for any person. See 26 USC 7701
  • Fiduciary: A trustee, executor, or administrator.
  • fiscal year: means an accounting period of 12 months ending on the last day of any month other than December. See 26 USC 7701
  • Fiscal year: The fiscal year is the accounting period for the government. For the federal government, this begins on October 1 and ends on September 30. The fiscal year is designated by the calendar year in which it ends; for example, fiscal year 2006 begins on October 1, 2005 and ends on September 30, 2006.
  • Foreclosure: A legal process in which property that is collateral or security for a loan may be sold to help repay the loan when the loan is in default. Source: OCC
  • foreign: when applied to a corporation or partnership means a corporation or partnership which is not domestic. See 26 USC 7701
  • foreign estate: means an estate the income of which, from sources without the United States which is not effectively connected with the conduct of a trade or business within the United States, is not includible in gross income under subtitle A. See 26 USC 7701
  • foreign trust: means any trust other than a trust described in subparagraph (E) of paragraph (30). See 26 USC 7701
  • forestry research: as used in this subchapter shall include investigations relating to: (1) Reforestation and management of land for the production of crops of timber and other related products of the forest. See 16 USC 582a-6
  • Freedom of Information Act: A federal law that mandates that all the records created and kept by federal agencies in the executive branch of government must be open for public inspection and copying. The only exceptions are those records that fall into one of nine exempted categories listed in the statute. Source: OCC
  • Friendly foreign force: means any military, naval, or air force of any friendly foreign state with respect to which this chapter is operative by virtue of a Presidential declaration as provided in section 706 of this title. See 22 USC 701
  • functions: shall be deemed to include references to duty, obligation, power, authority, responsibility, right, privilege, and activity, or the plural thereof, as the case may be. See 15 USC 769
  • Gift: A voluntary transfer or conveyance of property without consideration, or for less than full and adequate consideration based on fair market value.
  • Grantor: The person who establishes a trust and places property into it.
  • Gross estate: The total fair market value of all property and property interests, real and personal, tangible and intangible, of which a decedent had beneficial ownership at the time of death before subtractions for deductions, debts, administrative expenses, and casualty losses suffered during estate administration.
  • including: when used in a definition contained in this title shall not be deemed to exclude other things otherwise within the meaning of the term defined. See 26 USC 7701
  • Indemnification: In general, a collateral contract or assurance under which one person agrees to secure another person against either anticipated financial losses or potential adverse legal consequences. Source: FDIC
  • Indian lands: means lands of Indian tribes, or Indian individuals, which are either held in trust by the United States or subject to a restriction against alienation imposed by the United States, except for any subsurface interests in lands not owned or controlled by an Indian tribe or an Indian individual. See 16 USC 470bb
  • Indian tribal government: means the governing body of any tribe, band, community, village, or group of Indians, or (if applicable) Alaska Natives, which is determined by the Secretary, after consultation with the Secretary of the Interior, to exercise governmental functions. See 26 USC 7701
  • Indian tribe: means any Indian tribe, band, nation, or other organized group or community, including any Alaska Native village or regional or village corporation as defined in, or established pursuant to, the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (85 Stat. See 16 USC 470bb
  • individual: shall include every infant member of the species homo sapiens who is born alive at any stage of development. See 1 USC 8
  • Injunction: An order of the court prohibiting (or compelling) the performance of a specific act to prevent irreparable damage or injury.
  • Intangible property: Property that has no intrinsic value, but is merely the evidence of value such as stock certificates, bonds, and promissory notes.
  • Inter vivos: Transfer of property from one living person to another living person.
  • Interest rate: The amount paid by a borrower to a lender in exchange for the use of the lender's money for a certain period of time. Interest is paid on loans or on debt instruments, such as notes or bonds, either at regular intervals or as part of a lump sum payment when the issue matures. Source: OCC
  • international financial institutions: means the International Monetary Fund, International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, International Development Association, International Finance Corporation, Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency, African Development Bank, African Development Fund, Asian Development Bank, Inter-American Development Bank 2 Bank for Economic Cooperation and Development in the Middle East and North Africa,,3 and Inter-American Investment Corporation. See 22 USC 262r
  • international organization: means a public international organization entitled to enjoy privileges, exemptions, and immunities as an international organization under the International Organizations Immunities Act (22 U. See 26 USC 7701
  • Interrogatories: Written questions asked by one party of an opposing party, who must answer them in writing under oath; a discovery device in a lawsuit.
  • Joint resolution: A legislative measure which requires the approval of both chambers.
  • joint return: means a single return made jointly under section 6013 by a husband and wife. See 26 USC 7701
  • Jurisdiction: (1) The legal authority of a court to hear and decide a case. Concurrent jurisdiction exists when two courts have simultaneous responsibility for the same case. (2) The geographic area over which the court has authority to decide cases.
  • Lease: A contract transferring the use of property or occupancy of land, space, structures, or equipment in consideration of a payment (e.g., rent). Source: OCC
  • Legacy: A gift of property made by will.
  • Liabilities: The aggregate of all debts and other legal obligations of a particular person or legal entity.
  • Lien: A claim against real or personal property in satisfaction of a debt.
  • Life estate: A property interest limited in duration to the life of the individual holding the interest (life tenant).
  • Lineal descendant: Direct descendant of the same ancestors.
  • Litigation: A case, controversy, or lawsuit. Participants (plaintiffs and defendants) in lawsuits are called litigants.
  • Magistrate judges: Judicial officers who assist U.S. district judges in getting cases ready for trial, who may decide some criminal and civil trials when both parties agree to have the case heard by a magistrate judge instead of a judge.
  • Majority leader: see Floor Leaders
  • Majority whip: See Whips.
  • Marital deduction: The deduction(s) that can be taken in the determination of gift and estate tax liabilities because of the existence of a marriage or marital relationship.
  • Markup: The process by which congressional committees and subcommittees debate, amend, and rewrite proposed legislation.
  • marriage: means only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife, and the word "spouse" refers only to a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife. See 1 USC 7
  • Minority leader: See Floor Leaders
  • Minority whip: See Whips.
  • Misdemeanor: Usually a petty offense, a less serious crime than a felony, punishable by less than a year of confinement.
  • Mortgage: The written agreement pledging property to a creditor as collateral for a loan.
  • multilateral development banks: means the multilateral development institutions other than the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency. See 22 USC 262r
  • multilateral development institutions: means the international financial institutions other than the International Monetary Fund. See 22 USC 262r
  • oath: includes affirmation, and "sworn" includes affirmed. See 1 USC 1
  • Oath: A promise to tell the truth.
  • Obligation: An order placed, contract awarded, service received, or similar transaction during a given period that will require payments during the same or a future period.
  • officer: includes any person authorized by law to perform the duties of the office. See 1 USC 1
  • Oversight: Committee review of the activities of a Federal agency or program.
  • partner: includes a member in such a syndicate, group, pool, joint venture, or organization. See 26 USC 7701
  • partnership: includes a syndicate, group, pool, joint venture, or other unincorporated organization, through or by means of which any business, financial operation, or venture is carried on, and which is not, within the meaning of this title, a trust or estate or a corporation. See 26 USC 7701
  • Partnership: A voluntary contract between two or more persons to pool some or all of their assets into a business, with the agreement that there will be a proportional sharing of profits and losses.
  • performance: may be construed to mean "exercise". See 3 USC 303
  • performance: when used in relation to functions, shall be deemed to include the exercise of power, authority, rights, and privileges. See 15 USC 769
  • person: shall be construed to mean and include an individual, a trust, estate, partnership, association, company or corporation. See 26 USC 7701
  • person: means an individual, corporation, partnership, trust, institution, association, or any other private entity or any officer, employee, agent, department, or instrumentality of the United States, of any Indian tribe, or of any State or political subdivision thereof. See 16 USC 470bb
  • Personal property: All property that is not real property.
  • Plaintiff: The person who files the complaint in a civil lawsuit.
  • Precedent: A court decision in an earlier case with facts and law similar to a dispute currently before a court. Precedent will ordinarily govern the decision of a later similar case, unless a party can show that it was wrongly decided or that it differed in some significant way.
  • preceding calendar period: means --

    (1) calendar years 1932 and 1970 and all calendar years intervening between calendar year 1932 and calendar year 1970,

    (2) the first calendar quarter of calendar year 1971 and all calendar quarters intervening between such calendar quarter and the first calendar quarter of calendar year 1982, and

    (3) all calendar years after 1981 and before the calendar year for which the tax is being computed. See 26 USC 2502

  • Presiding officer: A majority-party Senator who presides over the Senate and is charged with maintaining order and decorum, recognizing Members to speak, and interpreting the Senate's rules, practices and precedents.
  • Private law: A private bill enacted into law. Private laws have restricted applicability, often addressing immigration and naturalization issues affecting individuals.
  • Probable cause: A reasonable ground for belief that the offender violated a specific law.
  • Prosecute: To charge someone with a crime. A prosecutor tries a criminal case on behalf of the government.
  • Public debt: Cumulative amounts borrowed by the Treasury Department or the Federal Financing Bank from the public or from another fund or account. The public debt does not include agency debt (amounts borrowed by other agencies of the Federal Government). The total public debt is subject to a statutory limit.
  • public lands: means --

    (A) lands which are owned and administered by the United States as part of--

    (i) the national park system,

    (ii) the national wildlife refuge system, or

    (iii) the national forest system. See 16 USC 470bb

  • Public law: A public bill or joint resolution that has passed both chambers and been enacted into law. Public laws have general applicability nationwide.
  • qualified blood collector organization: means an organization which is--

    (A) described in section 501(c)(3) and exempt from tax under section 501(a),

    (B) primarily engaged in the activity of the collection of human blood,

    (C) registered with the Secretary for purposes of excise tax exemptions, and

    (D) registered by the Food and Drug Administration to collect blood. See 26 USC 7701

  • Quorum: The number of legislators that must be present to do business.
  • Ranking minority member: The highest ranking (and usually longest serving) minority member of a committee or subcommittee.
  • Real property: Land, and all immovable fixtures erected on, growing on, or affixed to the land.
  • Recourse: An arrangement in which a bank retains, in form or in substance, any credit risk directly or indirectly associated with an asset it has sold (in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles) that exceeds a pro rata share of the bank's claim on the asset. If a bank has no claim on an asset it has sold, then the retention of any credit risk is recourse. Source: FDIC
  • Remainder: An interest in property that takes effect in the future at a specified time or after the occurrence of some event, such as the death of a life tenant.
  • Rescission: The cancellation of budget authority previously provided by Congress. The Impoundment Control Act of 1974 specifies that the President may propose to Congress that funds be rescinded. If both Houses have not approved a rescission proposal (by passing legislation) within 45 days of continuous session, any funds being withheld must be made available for obligation.
  • Secretary: means the Secretary of the Treasury or his delegate. See 26 USC 7701
  • Secretary of the Treasury: means the Secretary of the Treasury, personally, and shall not include any delegate of his. See 26 USC 7701
  • Service court: means any military, naval, or air force court, or court martial or similar tribunal of any friendly foreign force within the United States. See 22 USC 701
  • Service of process: The service of writs or summonses to the appropriate party.
  • Settlement: Parties to a lawsuit resolve their difference without having a trial. Settlements often involve the payment of compensation by one party in satisfaction of the other party's claims.
  • shareholder: includes a member in an association, joint-stock company, or insurance company. See 26 USC 7701
  • State: as used in this subchapter shall include Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and Guam. See 16 USC 582a-7
  • State: shall be construed to include the District of Columbia, where such construction is necessary to carry out provisions of this title. See 26 USC 7701
  • State: means any of the fifty States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Virgin Islands. See 16 USC 470bb
  • Statute: A law passed by a legislature.
  • Statute of limitations: A law that sets the time within which parties must take action to enforce their rights.
  • stock: includes shares in an association, joint-stock company, or insurance company. See 26 USC 7701
  • student: means any individual--

    (i) who is temporarily present in the United States--

    (I) under subparagraph (F) or (M) of section 101(15) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, or

    (II) as a student under subparagraph (J) or (Q) of such section 101(15), and


    (ii) who substantially complies with the requirements for being so present. See 26 USC 7701

  • Subpoena: A command to a witness to appear and give testimony.
  • Tax Court: means the United States Tax Court. See 26 USC 7701
  • taxable year: means the calendar year, or the fiscal year ending during such calendar year, upon the basis of which the taxable income is computed under subtitle A. See 26 USC 7701
  • taxpayer: means any person subject to any internal revenue tax. See 26 USC 7701
  • Temporary restraining order: Prohibits a person from an action that is likely to cause irreparable harm. This differs from an injunction in that it may be granted immediately, without notice to the opposing party, and without a hearing. It is intended to last only until a hearing can be held.
  • Testify: Answer questions in court.
  • Testimony: Evidence presented orally by witnesses during trials or before grand juries.
  • Tort: A civil wrong or breach of a duty to another person, as outlined by law. A very common tort is negligent operation of a motor vehicle that results in property damage and personal injury in an automobile accident.
  • trade or business: includes the performance of the functions of a public office. See 26 USC 7701
  • transaction: includes a series of transactions. See 26 USC 7701
  • Trial: A hearing that takes place when the defendant pleads "not guilty" and witnesses are required to come to court to give evidence.
  • Trust account: A general term that covers all types of accounts in a trust department, such as estates, guardianships, and agencies. Source: OCC
  • Trustee: A person or institution holding and administering property in trust.
  • United States: when used in a geographical sense includes only the States and the District of Columbia. See 26 USC 7701
  • United States: means the United States, its Territories, its insular possessions, the Canal Zone, and any other place subject to the jurisdiction of the United States. See 22 USC 701
  • United States person: means --

    (A) a citizen or resident of the United States,

    (B) a domestic partnership,

    (C) a domestic corporation,

    (D) any estate (other than a foreign estate, within the meaning of paragraph (31)), and

    (E) any trust if--

    (i) a court within the United States is able to exercise primary supervision over the administration of the trust, and

    (ii) one or more United States persons have the authority to control all substantial decisions of the trust. See 26 USC 7701

  • Uphold: The decision of an appellate court not to reverse a lower court decision.
  • User fees: Fees charged to users of goods or services provided by the government. In levying or authorizing these fees, the legislature determines whether the revenue should go into the treasury or should be available to the agency providing the goods or services.
  • vehicle: includes every description of carriage or other artificial contrivance used, or capable of being used, as a means of transportation on land. See 1 USC 4
  • vessel: includes every description of watercraft or other artificial contrivance used, or capable of being used, as a means of transportation on water. See 1 USC 3
  • Veto: The procedure established under the Constitution by which the President/Governor refuses to approve a bill or joint resolution and thus prevents its enactment into law. A regular veto occurs when the President/Governor returns the legislation to the house in which it originated. The President/Governor usually returns a vetoed bill with a message indicating his reasons for rejecting the measure. In Congress, the veto can be overridden only by a two-thirds vote in both the Senate and the House.
  • Victim advocate: work with prosecutors and assist the victims of a crime.
  • Whips: Assistants to the floor leaders who are also elected by their party conferences. The Majority and Minority Whips (and their assistants) are responsible for mobilizing votes within their parties on major issues. In the absence of a party floor leader, the whip often serves as acting floor leader.
  • whoever: include corporations, companies, associations, firms, partnerships, societies, and joint stock companies, as well as individuals. See 1 USC 1
  • withholding agent: means any person required to deduct and withhold any tax under the provisions of section 1441, 1442, 1443, or 1461. See 26 USC 7701
  • writing: includes printing and typewriting and reproductions of visual symbols by photographing, multigraphing, mimeographing, manifolding, or otherwise. See 1 USC 1