Terms Used In Alabama Code > Title 15 > Chapter 2 - Jurisdiction and Venue
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.
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.
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
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.
COLLATERAL CONSEQUENCE: A consequence, penalty, or other result automatically imposed by operation of state law or rule that limits or prohibits an individual convicted of a crime from obtaining occupational licensing, certification, or other evidence of qualification necessary to engage in a particular occupation. See Alabama Code 12-26-1
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.
Conviction: A judgement of guilt against a criminal defendant.
CUSTODIAL SENTENCE: A criminal sentence or portion of a sentence during which an individual convicted of a crime serves time in the jurisdictional custody of the state, including, but not limited to, a prison term, jail term, or community corrections sentence. See Alabama Code 12-26-1
Defendant: In a civil suit, the person complained against; in a criminal case, the person accused of the crime.
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.
Docket: A log containing brief entries of court proceedings.
Ex officio: Literally, by virtue of one's office.
Fee simple: Absolute title to property with no limitations or restrictions regarding the person who may inherit it.
Gift: A voluntary transfer or conveyance of property without consideration, or for less than full and adequate consideration based on fair market value.
Grand jury: agreement providing that a lender will delay exercising its rights (in the case of a mortgage,
Guarantor: A party who agrees to be responsible for the payment of another party's debts should that party default. Source: OCC
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.
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.
Irrevocable trust: A trust arrangement that cannot be revoked, rescinded, or repealed by the grantor.
Mortgage: The written agreement pledging property to a creditor as collateral for a loan.
Oral argument: An opportunity for lawyers to summarize their position before the court and also to answer the judges' questions.
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.
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.
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.
Public law: A public bill or joint resolution that has passed both chambers and been enacted into law. Public laws have general applicability nationwide.
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.
Restitution: The court-ordered payment of money by the defendant to the victim for damages caused by the criminal action.
Testify: Answer questions in court.
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.
Venue: The geographical location in which a case is tried.