Terms Used In Alabama Code > Title 34 > Chapter 11
Judgement that a criminal defendant has not been proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
A verdict of "not guilty."
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.
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.
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.
Contract: A legal written agreement that becomes binding when signed.
Dependent: A person dependent for support upon another.
Dismissal: The dropping of a case by the judge without further consideration or hearing. Source:
Docket: A log containing brief entries of court proceedings.
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
Ex officio: Literally, by virtue of one's office.
Extradition: The formal process of delivering an accused or convicted person from authorities in one state to authorities in another state.
Fraud: Intentional deception resulting in injury to another.
Grand jury: agreement providing that a lender will delay exercising its rights (in the case of a mortgage,
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.
Nolo contendere: No contest-has the same effect as a plea of guilty, as far as the criminal sentence is concerned, but may not be considered as an admission of guilt for any other purpose.
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.
Venue: The geographical location in which a case is tried.
Writ: A formal written command, issued from the court, requiring the performance of a specific act.