Subchapter I House of Representatives
Subchapter II Senate
Subchapter III Restaurants
Subchapter IV Child Care
Subchapter V Historical Preservation and Fine Arts
Subchapter VI Botanic Garden and National Garden
Subchapter VII Other Entities and Services
Subchapter VIII Miscellaneous

Terms Used In U.S. Code > Title 2 > Chapter 30

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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 19 USC 2295
  • 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.
  • 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
  • Board: means the Board of Directors of the Office of Compliance. See 10 USC 454
  • Caucus: From the Algonquian Indian language, a caucus meant "to meet together." An informal organization of members of the legislature that exists to discuss issues of mutual concern and possibly to perform legislative research and policy planning for its members. There are regional, political or ideological, ethnic, and economic-based caucuses.
  • Chief judge: The judge who has primary responsibility for the administration of a court but also decides cases; chief judges are determined by seniority.
  • Clerk of court: An officer appointed by the court to work with the chief judge in overseeing the court's administration, especially to assist in managing the flow of cases through the court and to maintain court records.
  • 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.
  • Continuance: Putting off of a hearing ot trial until a later time.
  • Contract: A legal written agreement that becomes binding when signed.
  • 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 19 USC 2292
  • covered employee: means any employee of--

    (A) the House of Representatives. See 10 USC 454

  • covered employee: means any employee of an employing office. See 10 USC 2255
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Discovery: Lawyers' examination, before trial, of facts and documents in possession of the opponents to help the lawyers prepare for trial.
  • Docket: A log containing brief entries of court proceedings.
  • employee: includes an applicant for employment and a former employee. See 10 USC 2255
  • employee: includes an applicant for employment and a former employee. See 10 USC 454
  • employee of the Senate: includes any employee whose pay is disbursed by the Secretary of the Senate, but not any such individual employed by any entity listed in subparagraphs (C) through (I) of paragraph (3). See 10 USC 454
  • employing office: means --

    (A) the personal office of a Member of the House of Representatives or of a Senator. See 10 USC 454

  • employing office: means --

    (A) each office, agency, or other component of the Executive Office of the President. See 10 USC 2255

  • 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.
  • Executive Director: means the Executive Director of the Office of Compliance. See 10 USC 454
  • 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.
  • Fraud: Intentional deception resulting in injury to another.
  • 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
  • General Counsel: means the General Counsel of the Office of Compliance. See 10 USC 454
  • Gift: A voluntary transfer or conveyance of property without consideration, or for less than full and adequate consideration based on fair market value.
  • Guardian: A person legally empowered and charged with the duty of taking care of and managing the property of another person who because of age, intellect, or health, is incapable of managing his (her) own affairs.
  • 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.
  • individual: shall include every infant member of the species homo sapiens who is born alive at any stage of development. See 19 USC 2297
  • Injunction: An order of the court prohibiting (or compelling) the performance of a specific act to prevent irreparable damage or injury.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Juror: A person who is on the jury.
  • 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
  • Litigation: A case, controversy, or lawsuit. Participants (plaintiffs and defendants) in lawsuits are called litigants.
  • Majority leader: see Floor Leaders
  • Majority whip: See Whips.
  • Member of the House of Representatives: means a Representative in, or a Delegate or Resident Commissioner to, the Congress. See 10 USC 628
  • 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.
  • oath: includes affirmation, and "sworn" includes affirmed. See 19 USC 2291
  • 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.
  • Office: means the Office of Compliance. See 10 USC 454
  • officer: includes any person authorized by law to perform the duties of the office. See 19 USC 2291
  • Oral argument: An opportunity for lawyers to summarize their position before the court and also to answer the judges' questions.
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Probation: A sentencing alternative to imprisonment in which the court releases convicted defendants under supervision as long as certain conditions are observed.
  • 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.
  • Recess: A temporary interruption of the legislative business.
  • 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.
  • Restitution: The court-ordered payment of money by the defendant to the victim for damages caused by the criminal action.
  • 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.
  • Statute: A law passed by a legislature.
  • Subpoena: A command to a witness to appear and give testimony.
  • subscription: includes a mark when the person making the same intended it as such. See 19 USC 2291
  • Summons: Another word for subpoena used by the criminal justice system.
  • 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.
  • vehicle: includes every description of carriage or other artificial contrivance used, or capable of being used, as a means of transportation on land. See 19 USC 2294
  • vessel: includes every description of watercraft or other artificial contrivance used, or capable of being used, as a means of transportation on water. See 19 USC 2293
  • Writ: A formal written command, issued from the court, requiring the performance of a specific act.
  • writing: includes printing and typewriting and reproductions of visual symbols by photographing, multigraphing, mimeographing, manifolding, or otherwise. See 19 USC 2291