Chapter 151 Declaratory Judgments
Chapter 153 Habeas Corpus
Chapter 154 Special Habeas Corpus Procedures in Capital Cases
Chapter 155 Injunctions; Three-Judge Courts
Chapter 157 Surface Transportation Board Orders; Enforcement and Review
Chapter 158 Orders of Federal Agencies; Review
Chapter 159 Interpleader
Chapter 161 United States as Party Generally
Chapter 163 Fines, Penalties and Forfeitures
Chapter 165 United States Court of Federal Claims Procedure
Chapter 169 Court of International Trade Procedure
Chapter 171 Tort Claims Procedure
Chapter 173 Attachment in Postal Suits
Chapter 176 Federal Debt Collection Procedure
Chapter 178 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection
Chapter 179 Judicial Review of Certain Actions by Presidential Offices
Chapter 180 Assumption of Certain Contractual Obligations
Chapter 181 Foreign Judgments
Chapter 190 Miscellaneous

Terms Used In U.S. Code > Title 28 > Part VI

  • Administrator: means the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. See
  • 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.
  • affiliate: means a business enterprise located in one country which is directly or indirectly owned or controlled by a person of another country to the extent of 10 per centum or more of its voting stock for an incorporated business or an equivalent interest for an unincorporated business, including a branch. See
  • Affirmed: In the practice of the appellate courts, the decree or order is declared valid and will stand as rendered in the lower court.
  • 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
  • agency: means --

    (A) the Commission, when the order sought to be reviewed was entered by the Federal Communications Commission, the Federal Maritime Commission, or the Atomic Energy Commission, as the case may be. See

  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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.
  • Asset: means property of a debtor, but does not include--

    (A) property to the extent it is encumbered by a valid lien. See

  • Assets: (1) The property comprising the estate of a deceased person, or (2) the property in a trust account.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Bureau: means the Bureau of the Census. See
  • Chairman: means the Chairman of the National Advisory Council on International Monetary and Financial Policies. See
  • Chairman: means the Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission. See
  • 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.
  • Claim: means a right to payment, whether or not the right is reduced to judgment, liquidated, unliquidated, fixed, contingent, matured, unmatured, disputed, undisputed, legal, equitable, secured, or unsecured. See
  • clerk: means the clerk of the court in which the petition for the review of an order, reviewable under this chapter, is filed. See
  • 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.
  • conservation and rehabilitation programs: means to utilize those methods and procedures which are necessary to protect, conserve, and enhance wildlife, fish, and game resources to the maximum extent practicable on public lands subject to this subchapter consistent with any overall land use and management plans for the lands involved. See
  • 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: 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.
  • Counsel for the United States: means --

    (A) a United States attorney, an assistant United States attorney designated to act on behalf of the United States attorney, or an attorney with the United States Department of Justice or with a Federal agency who has litigation authority. See

  • Counterclaim: A claim that a defendant makes against a plaintiff.
  • Court: means any court created by the Congress of the United States, excluding the United States Tax Court. See
  • court of the United States: includes the Supreme Court of the United States, courts of appeals, district courts constituted by chapter 5 of this title, including the 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
  • Creditor: means a person who has a claim. See
  • Cross examine: Questioning of a witness by the attorney for the other side.
  • Damages: Money paid by defendants to successful plaintiffs in civil cases to compensate the plaintiffs for their injuries.
  • Debt: means --

    (A) an amount that is owing to the United States on account of a direct loan, or loan insured or guaranteed, by the United States. See

  • Debtor: means a person who is liable for a debt or against whom there is a claim for a debt. See
  • 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
  • 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.
  • direct investment: means the ownership or control, directly or indirectly, by one person of 10 per centum or more of the voting securities of an incorporated business enterprise or an equivalent interest in an unincorporated business enterprise. See
  • 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:
  • Disposable earnings: means that part of earnings remaining after all deductions required by law have been withheld. See
  • Docket: A log containing brief entries of court proceedings.
  • domestic company: means a company which is substantially involved in the United States domestic production, processing, or use of steel, aluminum, copper, or other metals and has a substantial percentage of its operations located within the United States. See
  • Earnings: means compensation paid or payable for personal services, whether denominated as wages, salary, commission, bonus, or otherwise, and includes periodic payments pursuant to a pension or retirement program. See
  • Employee of the government: includes (1) officers or employees of any federal agency, members of the military or naval forces of the United States, members of the National Guard while engaged in training or duty under section 115, 316, 502, 503, 504, or 505 of title 32, and persons acting on behalf of a federal agency in an official capacity, temporarily or permanently in the service of the United States, whether with or without compensation, and (2) any officer or employee of a Federal public defender organization, except when such officer or employee performs professional services in the course of providing representation under section 3006A of title 18. See
  • En banc: In the bench or "full bench." Refers to court sessions with the entire membership of a court participating rather than the usual quorum. U.S. courts of appeals usually sit in panels of three judges, but may expand to a larger number in certain cases. They are then said to be sitting en banc.
  • 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
  • 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 agency: includes the executive departments, the judicial and legislative branches, the military departments, independent establishments of the United States, and corporations primarily acting as instrumentalities or agencies of the United States, but does not include any contractor with the United States. See
  • Federal public defender: An attorney employed by the federal courts on a full-time basis to provide legal defense to defendants who are unable to afford counsel. The judiciary administers the federal defender program pursuant to the Criminal Justice Act. Source: U.S. Courts
  • 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
  • Fee simple: Absolute title to property with no limitations or restrictions regarding the person who may inherit it.
  • 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.
  • 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 used in a geographic sense, means that which is situated outside the United States or which belongs to or is characteristic of a country other than the United States. See
  • Fraud: Intentional deception resulting in injury to another.
  • Garnishee: means a person (other than the debtor) who has, or is reasonably thought to have, possession, custody, or control of any property in which the debtor has a substantial nonexempt interest, including any obligation due the debtor or to become due the debtor, and against whom a garnishment under section 3104 or 3205 is issued by a court. See
  • Garnishment: Generally, garnishment is a court proceeding in which a creditor asks a court to order a third party who owes money to the debtor or otherwise holds assets belonging to the debtor to turn over to the creditor any of the debtor
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • In forma pauperis: In the manner of a pauper. Permission given to a person to sue without payment of court fees on claim of indigence or poverty.
  • Indictment: The formal charge issued by a grand jury stating that there is enough evidence that the defendant committed the crime to justify having a trial; it is used primarily for felonies.
  • Injunction: An order of the court prohibiting (or compelling) the performance of a specific act to prevent irreparable damage or injury.
  • Insider: includes --

    (A) if the debtor is an individual--

    (i) a relative of the debtor or of a general partner of the debtor. See

  • international investment: means (A) the ownership or control, directly or indirectly, by contractual commitment or otherwise, by foreign persons of any interest in property in the United States, or of stock, other securities, or short- and long-term debt obligations of a United States person, and (B) the ownership or control, directly or indirectly, by contractual commitment or otherwise, by United States persons of any interest in property outside the United States, or of stock, other securities, or short-and long-term debt obligations of a foreign person. See
  • 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 committee: Committees including membership from both houses of teh legislature. Joint committees are usually established with narrow jurisdictions and normally lack authority to report legislation.
  • 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
  • Judgment: means a judgment, order, or decree entered in favor of the United States in a court and arising from a civil or criminal proceeding regarding a debt. See
  • judicial district: means the districts enumerated in Chapter 5 of this title. See
  • 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.
  • Jurisprudence: The study of law and the structure of the legal system.
  • 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.
  • 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
  • Liabilities: The aggregate of all debts and other legal obligations of a particular person or legal entity.
  • Lien: means a charge against or an interest in property to secure payment of a debt and includes a security interest created by agreement, a judicial lien obtained by legal or equitable process or proceedings, a common law lien, or a statutory lien. See
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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.
  • Nonexempt disposable earnings: means 25 percent of disposable earnings, subject to section 303 of the Consumer Credit Protection Act. See
  • nuclear materials and equipment: means source material, special nuclear material, production facilities, utilization facilities, and components, items or substances determined to have significance for nuclear explosive purposes pursuant to subsection 109b 1 of the 1954 Act [42 U. See
  • 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.
  • off-road vehicle: means any motorized vehicle designed for, or capable of, cross-country travel on or immediately over land, water, sand, snow, ice, marsh, swampland, or other natural terrain. See
  • organization: means a person other than an individual. See
  • Oversight: Committee review of the activities of a Federal agency or program.
  • parent: means a person of one country who, directly or indirectly, owns or controls 10 per centum or more of the voting stock of an incorporated business enterprise, or an equivalent ownership interest in an unincorporated business enterprise, which is located outside that country. See
  • 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.
  • person: means any individual, branch, partnership, associated group, association, estate, trust, corporation, or other organization (whether or not organized under the laws of any State), and any government (including a foreign government, the United States Government, a State or local government, and any agency, corporation, financial institution, or other entity or instrumentality thereof, including a government-sponsored agency). See
  • Person: includes a natural person (including an individual Indian), a corporation, a partnership, an unincorporated association, a trust, or an estate, or any other public or private entity, including a State or local government or an Indian tribe. See
  • Personal property: All property that is not real property.
  • petitioner: means the party or parties by whom a petition to review an order, reviewable under this chapter, is filed. See
  • Plaintiff: The person who files the complaint in a civil lawsuit.
  • Plea: In a criminal case, the defendant's statement pleading "guilty" or "not guilty" in answer to the charges, a declaration made in open court.
  • 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.
  • portfolio investment: means any international investment which is not direct investment. See
  • Prejudgment remedy: means the remedy of attachment, receivership, garnishment, or sequestration authorized by this chapter to be granted before judgment on the merits of a claim for a debt. See
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Probable cause: A reasonable ground for belief that the offender violated a specific law.
  • Probation: A sentencing alternative to imprisonment in which the court releases convicted defendants under supervision as long as certain conditions are observed.
  • Property: includes any present or future interest, whether legal or equitable, in real, personal (including choses in action), or mixed property, tangible or intangible, vested or contingent, wherever located and however held (including community property and property held in trust (including spendthrift and pension trusts)), but excludes--

    (A) property held in trust by the United States for the benefit of an Indian tribe or individual Indian. See

  • 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 defender: Represent defendants who can't afford an attorney in criminal matters.
  • public land: means all lands, under the respective jurisdiction of the Secretary of the Interior, the Secretary of Agriculture, the Chairman, and the Administrator, except land which is, or hereafter may be, within or designated as--

    (A) a military reservation. See

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • research plan: means the Steel Initiative Research Plan issued in April 1988 by the Department of Energy, and updates to that plan. See
  • respondent: includes a corporation, company, association, firm, partnership, proprietorship, society, joint stock company, individual, or other organization or entity which reported information, or on behalf of which information was reported, in response to a questionnaire, inquiry, or other request of the Bureau. See
  • Restitution: The court-ordered payment of money by the defendant to the victim for damages caused by the criminal action.
  • Secretary: means the Secretary of Commerce. See
  • Secretary: means the Secretary of Energy. See
  • Secretary: means the Secretary of Health and Human Services. See
  • Security agreement: means an agreement that creates or provides for a lien. See
  • Sequester: To separate. Sometimes juries are sequestered from outside influences during their deliberations.
  • Service: means the Public Health Service. See
  • 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 any of the several States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas, or any territory or possession of the United States. See
  • State: includes , in addition to the several States, only the District of Columbia, Guam, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Northern Mariana Islands, the Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands. See
  • State agency: means the agency or agencies of a State responsible for the administration of the fish and game laws of the State. See
  • Statute: A law passed by a legislature.
  • Summons: Another word for subpoena used by the criminal justice system.
  • take: includes also pursue, shoot, shoot at, poison, wound, kill, capture, trap, collect, molest or disturb. See
  • temporary: shall be construed to mean not in excess of one year, or not in excess of the specific period during which appropriations are available for the conduct of a particular census, whichever is longer. See
  • 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.
  • Tenancy by the entirety: A type of joint tenancy between husband and wife that is recognized in some States. Neither party can sever the joint tenancy relationship; when a spouse dies, the survivor acquires full title to the property.
  • 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.
  • Transfer: means every mode, direct or indirect, absolute or conditional, voluntary or involuntary, of disposing of or parting with an asset or an interest in an asset, and includes payment of money, release, lease, and creation of a lien or other encumbrance. See
  • Treaty: means the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. See
  • Trial: A hearing that takes place when the defendant pleads "not guilty" and witnesses are required to come to court to give evidence.
  • Uniform Commercial Code: A set of statutes enacted by the various states to provide consistency among the states' commercial laws. It includes negotiable instruments, sales, stock transfers, trust and warehouse receipts, and bills of lading. Source: OCC
  • 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
  • United States: means --

    (A) a Federal corporation. See

  • United States marshal: means a United States marshal, a deputy marshal, or an official of the United States Marshals Service designated under section 564. See
  • Uphold: The decision of an appellate court not to reverse a lower court decision.
  • Valid lien: means a lien that is effective against the holder of a judicial lien subsequently obtained in legal or equitable proceeding. See
  • Venue: The geographical location in which a case is tried.
  • Verdict: The decision of a petit jury or a judge.
  • 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.