Chapter 81 Supreme Court
Chapter 83 Courts of Appeals
Chapter 85 District Courts; Jurisdiction
Chapter 87 District Courts; Venue
Chapter 89 District Courts; Removal of Cases From State Courts
Chapter 91 United States Court of Federal Claims
Chapter 95 Court of International Trade
Chapter 97 Jurisdictional Immunities of Foreign States
Chapter 99 General Provisions

Terms Used In U.S. Code > Title 28 > Part IV - Jurisdiction and Venue

  • absent uniformed services voter: means --

    (A) a member of a uniformed service on active duty who, by reason of such active duty, is absent from the place of residence where the member is otherwise qualified to vote. See 52 USC 20310

  • accessible: means accessible to handicapped and elderly individuals for the purpose of voting or registration, as determined under guidelines established by the chief election officer of the State involved. See 52 USC 20107
  • Adjournment sine die: The end of a legislative session "without day." These adjournments are used to indicate the final adjournment of an annual or the two-year session of legislature.
  • 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.
  • agency: includes any department, independent establishment, commission, administration, authority, board or bureau of the United States or any corporation in which the United States has a proprietary interest, unless the context shows that such term was intended to be used in a more limited sense. See 18 USC 6
  • agency: includes any department, independent establishment, commission, administration, authority, board or bureau of the United States or any corporation in which the United States has a proprietary interest, unless the context shows that such term was intended to be used in a more limited sense. See 28 USC 451
  • Allegation: something that someone says happened.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Appellate: About appeals; an appellate court has the power to review the judgement of another lower court or tribunal.
  • 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
  • Arraignment: 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.
  • 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
  • Attachment: A procedure by which a person's property is seized to pay judgments levied by the court.
  • 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.
  • balloting materials: means official post card forms (prescribed under section 20301 of this title), Federal write-in absentee ballots (prescribed under section 20303 of this title), and any State balloting materials that, as determined by the Presidential designee, are essential to the carrying out of this chapter. See 52 USC 20310
  • 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.
  • Budget authority: Authority provided by law to enter into obligations that will result in outlays of Federal funds. Budget authority may be classified by the period of availability (one-year, multiyear, no-year), by the timing of congressional action (current or permanent), or by the manner of determining the amount available (definite or indefinite).
  • Chief judge: The judge who has primary responsibility for the administration of a court but also decides cases; chief judges are determined by seniority.
  • Civil forfeiture: The loss of ownership of property used to conduct illegal activity.
  • 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.
  • Contract: A legal written agreement that becomes binding when signed.
  • Conviction: A judgement of guilt against a criminal defendant.
  • 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.
  • Counterclaim: A claim that a defendant makes against a plaintiff.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • department: means one of the executive departments enumerated in section 1 of Title 5, unless the context shows that such term was intended to describe the executive, legislative, or judicial branches of the government. See 28 USC 451
  • 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.
  • Discovery: Lawyers' examination, before trial, of facts and documents in possession of the opponents to help the lawyers prepare for trial.
  • Dismissal: The dropping of a case by the judge without further consideration or hearing. Source:
  • Docket: A log containing brief entries of court proceedings.
  • Donor: The person who makes a gift.
  • education: means enhancing public awareness, understanding, and appreciation of the resources of the System through learner-centered, place-based materials, programs, and activities that achieve specific learning objectives as identified in a curriculum. See 54 USC 100801
  • elderly: means 65 years of age or older. See 52 USC 20107
  • election: has the meaning stated in section 30101(1) of this title. See 52 USC 20502
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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 election: means a general, special, primary, or runoff election for the office of President or Vice President, or of Senator or Representative in, or Delegate or Resident Commissioner to, the Congress. See 52 USC 20107
  • Federal office: means the office of President or Vice President, or of Senator or Representative in, or Delegate or Resident Commissioner to, the Congress. See 52 USC 20310
  • Federal office: has the meaning stated in section 30101(3) of this title. See 52 USC 20502
  • Felony: A crime carrying a penalty of more than a year in prison.
  • Fiduciary: A trustee, executor, or administrator.
  • 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.
  • Forbearance: A means of handling a delinquent loan. A
  • Fraud: Intentional deception resulting in injury to another.
  • 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
  • Gift: A voluntary transfer or conveyance of property without consideration, or for less than full and adequate consideration based on fair market value.
  • Grace period: The number of days you'll have to pay your bill for purchases in full without triggering a finance charge. Source: Federal Reserve
  • Grand jury: agreement providing that a lender will delay exercising its rights (in the case of a mortgage,
  • Grantor: The person who establishes a trust and places property into it.
  • Guarantor: A party who agrees to be responsible for the payment of another party's debts should that party default. Source: OCC
  • Habeas corpus: A writ that is usually used to bring a prisoner before the court to determine the legality of his imprisonment. It may also be used to bring a person in custody before the court to give testimony, or to be prosecuted.
  • handicapped: means having a temporary or permanent physical disability. See 52 USC 20107
  • 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
  • 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.
  • Joint resolution: A legislative measure which requires the approval of both chambers.
  • judge of the United States: includes judges of the courts of appeals, district courts, Court of International Trade and any court created by Act of Congress, the judges of which are entitled to hold office during good behavior. See 28 USC 451
  • judicial district: means the districts enumerated in Chapter 5 of this title. See 28 USC 451
  • 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.
  • Litigation: A case, controversy, or lawsuit. Participants (plaintiffs and defendants) in lawsuits are called litigants.
  • Majority leader: see Floor Leaders
  • 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
  • member of the merchant marine: means an individual (other than a member of a uniformed service or an individual employed, enrolled, or maintained on the Great Lakes or the inland waterways)--

    (A) employed as an officer or crew member of a vessel documented under the laws of the United States, or a vessel owned by the United States, or a vessel of foreign-flag registry under charter to or control of the United States. See 52 USC 20310

  • Minority leader: See Floor Leaders
  • 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.
  • 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
  • officer of election: means any person who, under color of any Federal, State, Commonwealth, or local law, statute, ordinance, regulation, authority, custom, or usage, performs or is authorized to perform any function, duty, or task in connection with any application, registration, payment of poll tax, or other act requisite to voting in any general, special, or primary election at which votes are cast for candidates for the office of President, Vice President, presidential elector, Member of the Senate, Member of the House of Representatives, or Resident Commissioner from the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. See 52 USC 20706
  • Outlays: Outlays are payments made (generally through the issuance of checks or disbursement of cash) to liquidate obligations. Outlays during a fiscal year may be for payment of obligations incurred in prior years or in the same year.
  • overseas voter: means --

    (A) an absent uniformed services voter who, by reason of active duty or service is absent from the United States on the date of the election involved. See 52 USC 20310

  • Oversight: Committee review of the activities of a Federal agency or program.
  • 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.
  • Personal property: All property that is not real property.
  • Plaintiff: The person who files the complaint in a civil lawsuit.
  • Pleadings: Written statements of the parties in a civil case of their positions. In the federal courts, the principal pleadings are the complaint and the answer.
  • President pro tempore: A constitutionally recognized officer of the Senate who presides over the chamber in the absence of the Vice President. The President Pro Tempore (or, "president for a time") is elected by the Senate and is, by custom, the Senator of the majority party with the longest record of continuous service.
  • Probable cause: A reasonable ground for belief that the offender violated a specific law.
  • Probate: Proving a will
  • Probation: A sentencing alternative to imprisonment in which the court releases convicted defendants under supervision as long as certain conditions are observed.
  • Probation officers: Screen applicants for pretrial release and monitor convicted offenders released under court supervision.
  • 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 law: A public bill or joint resolution that has passed both chambers and been enacted into law. Public laws have general applicability nationwide.
  • 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.
  • related areas: means --

    (A) national wild and scenic rivers and national trails. See 54 USC 100801

  • 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.
  • Remand: When an appellate court sends a case back to a lower court for further proceedings.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • State: means a State of the United States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and any territory or possesssion 1 of the United States. See 52 USC 20107
  • State: means a State of the United States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam, the Virgin Islands, and American Samoa. See 52 USC 20310
  • State: means a State of the United States and the District of Columbia. See 52 USC 20502
  • Statute: A law passed by a legislature.
  • Subpoena: A command to a witness to appear and give testimony.
  • Summons: Another word for subpoena used by the criminal justice system.
  • Supplemental appropriation: Budget authority provided in an appropriations act in addition to regular or continuing appropriations already provided. Supplemental appropriations generally are made to cover emergencies, such as disaster relief, or other needs deemed too urgent to be postponed until the enactment of next year's regular appropriations act.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Trustee: A person or institution holding and administering property in trust.
  • uniformed services: means the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard, the commissioned corps of the Public Health Service, and the commissioned corps of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. See 52 USC 20310
  • United States: as used in this title in a territorial sense, includes all places and waters, continental or insular, subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, except the Canal Zone. See 18 USC 5
  • 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.
  • venue: refers to the geographic specification of the proper court or courts for the litigation of a civil action that is within the subject-matter jurisdiction of the district courts in general, and does not refer to any grant or restriction of subject-matter jurisdiction providing for a civil action to be adjudicated only by the district court for a particular district or districts. See 28 USC 1390
  • 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
  • voter registration agency: means an office designated under section 20506(a)(1) of this title to perform voter registration activities. See 52 USC 20502
  • whoever: include corporations, companies, associations, firms, partnerships, societies, and joint stock companies, as well as individuals. See 1 USC 1
  • Writ: A formal written command, issued from the court, requiring the performance of a specific act.
  • Writ of certiorari: An order issued by the Supreme Court directing the lower court to transmit records for a case for which it will hear on appeal.
  • writing: includes printing and typewriting and reproductions of visual symbols by photographing, multigraphing, mimeographing, manifolding, or otherwise. See 1 USC 1