Amortization: Paying off a loan by regular installments.
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.
area median income: means the median family income of a geographic area of the state, as annually estimated by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development pursuant to Section 8 of the United States Housing Act of 1937. See California Health and Safety Code 50093
Attachment: A procedure by which a person's property is seized to pay judgments levied by the court.
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
Commission: means the Public Utilities Commission created by Section 1 of Article XII of the California Constitution, and "commissioner" means a member of the commission. See California Public Utilities Code 20
Complaint: A written statement by the plaintiff stating the wrongs allegedly committed by the 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.
Discovery: Lawyers' examination, before trial, of facts and documents in possession of the opponents to help the lawyers prepare for trial.
Educational institution: means a school district, a community college district, a state university, the University of California, and the State Department of Education special schools. See California Education Code 32220
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
Escrow: Money given to a third party to be held for payment until certain conditions are met.
Ex officio: Literally, by virtue of one's office.
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.
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
Gift: A voluntary transfer or conveyance of property without consideration, or for less than full and adequate consideration based on fair market value.
Governing board: means the governing board of a school district or community college district, the Trustees of the California State University, and the Regents of the University of California. See California Education Code 32220
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
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
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.
Member of an athletic team: means member of any extramural athletic team engaged in athletic events on or outside the school grounds, maintained or sponsored by the educational institution or a student body organization thereof. See California Education Code 32220
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.
Mortgage loan: A loan made by a lender to a borrower for the financing of real property. Source: OCC
Mortgagor: The person who pledges property to a creditor as collateral for a loan and who receives the money.
Navigable waters: means all public waters of the state in any river, stream, lake, reservoir, or other body of water, including all salt water bays, inlets, and estuaries within the jurisdiction of the state. See California Health and Safety Code 117510
Net: means any gear made of any kind of twine, thread, string, rope, wire, wood, or other materials used for the gilling, entangling, trapping, or impounding of fish. See California Fish and Game Code 56
Personal property: All property that is not real property.
Plaintiff: The person who files the complaint in a civil lawsuit.
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.
Resident: means any person who has resided continuously in the State of California for six months or more immediately prior to the date of his application for a license or permit, any person on active military duty with the Armed Forces of the United States or auxiliary branch thereof, or any person enrolled in the Job Corps established pursuant to Section 2883 of Title 29 of the United States Code. See California Fish and Game Code 70
State: includes the District of Columbia and the territories when applied to the different parts of the United States, and the words "United States" may include the district and territories. See California Code of Civil Procedure 17
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.
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
Wildlife: means and includes all wild animals, birds, plants, fish, amphibians, reptiles, and related ecological communities, including the habitat upon which the wildlife depends for its continued viability. See California Fish and Game Code 89.5