Terms Used In U.S. Code > Title 20 > Chapter 8 - Howard University
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.
Answer: The formal written statement by a defendant responding to a civil complaint and setting forth the grounds for defense.
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.
Chambers: A judge's office.
Committee print: A publication used by committees for various purposes. For example, the rules of each standing committee may be published as a committee print, and drafts of bills or committee reports may be produced as committee prints.
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.
Congressional Record: The substantially verbatim account of daily proceedings in Congress. It is printed for each day Congress is in session. At the back of each daily issue is the "Daily Digest," which summarizes the day's floor and committee activities.
controlled substance: means a drug or other substance, or immediate precursor, included in schedule I, II, III, IV, or V of part B of this subchapter. See 21 USC 802
county: includes a parish, or any other equivalent subdivision of a State or Territory of the United States. See 1 USC 2
Damages: Money paid by defendants to successful plaintiffs in civil cases to compensate the plaintiffs for their injuries.
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.
Fee simple: Absolute title to property with no limitations or restrictions regarding the person who may inherit it.
Injunction: An order of the court prohibiting (or compelling) the performance of a specific act to prevent irreparable damage or injury.
Lawsuit: A legal action started by a plaintiff against a defendant based on a complaint that the defendant failed to perform a legal duty, resulting in harm to the plaintiff.
Lien: A claim against real or personal property in satisfaction of a debt.
marihuana: means all parts of the plant Cannabis sativa L. See 21 USC 802
Mortgage: The written agreement pledging property to a creditor as collateral for a loan.
Original bill: A bill which is drafted by a committee. It is introduced by the committee or subcommittee chairman after the committee votes to report it.
Plaintiff: The person who files the complaint in a civil lawsuit.
Power of attorney: A written instrument which authorizes one person to act as another's agent or attorney. The power of attorney may be for a definite, specific act, or it may be general in nature. The terms of the written power of attorney may specify when it will expire. If not, the power of attorney usually expires when the person granting it dies. Source: OCC
Prosecute: To charge someone with a crime. A prosecutor tries a criminal case on behalf of the government.
Quorum: The number of legislators that must be present to do business.
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.
Subpoena: A command to a witness to appear and give testimony.
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.
Transcript: A written, word-for-word record of what was said, either in a proceeding such as a trial or during some other conversation, as in a transcript of a hearing or oral deposition.
Trial: A hearing that takes place when the defendant pleads "not guilty" and witnesses are required to come to court to give evidence.
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
Venue: The geographical location in which a case is tried.