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.
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
Areawide council: means an advisory comprehensive health planning council, as described and approved under all pertinent federal and state laws and rules and regulations. See Florida Statutes 154.205
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.
Case law: The law as laid down in cases that have been decided in the decisions of the courts.
Certificate of need: means a written advisory statement issued by the Agency for Health Care Administration, having as its basis a written advisory statement issued by an areawide council and, where there is no council, by the Agency for Health Care Administration, evidencing community need for a new, converted, expanded, or otherwise significantly modified health facility. See Florida Statutes 154.205
Certification determination procedures: means the process used by the county of residence or the agency to determine a person's county of residence. See Florida Statutes 154.304
Certified resident: means a United States citizen or lawfully admitted alien who has been certified as a resident of the county by a person designated by the county governing body to provide certification determination procedures for the county in which the patient resides; by the agency if such county does not make a determination of residency within 60 days after receiving a certified letter from the treating hospital; or by the agency if the hospital appeals the decision of the county making such determination. See Florida Statutes 154.304
Charity: An agency, institution, or organization in existence and operating for the benefit of an indefinite number of persons and conducted for educational, religious, scientific, medical, or other beneficent purposes.
Charity care obligation: means the minimum amount of uncompensated charity care as reported to the agency, based on the hospital's most recent audited actual experience, which must be provided by a participating hospital or a regional referral hospital before the hospital is eligible to be reimbursed by a county under this part. See Florida Statutes 154.304
Clerk: means the clerk of the local agency, or the officer of the local agency, charged with the duties customarily imposed upon the clerk thereof. See Florida Statutes 154.205
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.
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.
Damages: Money paid by defendants to successful plaintiffs in civil cases to compensate the plaintiffs for their injuries.
Decedent: A deceased person.
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.
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.
Eligibility determination procedures: means the process used by a county or the agency to evaluate a person's financial eligibility, eligibility for state-funded or federally funded programs, and the availability of insurance, in order to document a person as a qualified indigent for the purpose of this part. See Florida Statutes 154.304
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
Escrow: Money given to a third party to be held for payment until certain conditions are met.
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.
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.
Felony: A crime carrying a penalty of more than a year in prison.
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
Gift: A voluntary transfer or conveyance of property without consideration, or for less than full and adequate consideration based on fair market value.
Governing body: means the board, commission, or other governing body of any local agency in which the general legislative powers of such local agency are vested. See Florida Statutes 154.205
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.
Injunction: An order of the court prohibiting (or compelling) the performance of a specific act to prevent irreparable damage or injury.
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.
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: 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.
Local agency: means any county or municipality existing or hereafter created pursuant to the laws of this state. See Florida Statutes 154.205
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.
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.
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.
Participating hospital: means a hospital which is eligible to receive reimbursement under the provisions of this part because it has been certified by the agency as having met its charity care obligation and has either:
(a) A formal signed agreement with a county or counties to treat such county's indigent patients; or
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: includes individuals, children, firms, associations, joint adventures, partnerships, estates, trusts, business trusts, syndicates, fiduciaries, corporations, and all other groups or combinations. See Florida Statutes 1.01
Personal property: All property that is not real property.
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.
political subdivision: include counties, cities, towns, villages, special tax school districts, special road and bridge districts, bridge districts, and all other districts in this state. See Florida Statutes 1.01
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.
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.
Pro se: A Latin term meaning "on one's own behalf"; in courts, it refers to persons who present their own cases without lawyers.
Probate: Proving a will
Project: means any structure, facility, machinery, equipment, or other property suitable for use by a health facility in connection with its operations or proposed operations, including, without limitation, real property therefor; a clinic, computer facility, dining hall, firefighting facility, fire prevention facility, food service and preparation facility, health care facility, long-term care facility, hospital, interns' residence, laboratory, laundry, maintenance facility, nurses' residence, nursing home, nursing school, office, parking area, pharmacy, recreational facility, research facility, storage facility, utility, or X-ray facility, or any combination of the foregoing; and other structures or facilities related thereto or required or useful for health care purposes, the conducting of research, or the operation of a health facility, including facilities or structures essential or convenient for the orderly conduct of such health facility and other similar items necessary or convenient for the operation of a particular facility or structure in the manner for which its use is intended. See Florida Statutes 154.205
Prosecute: To charge someone with a crime. A prosecutor tries a criminal case on behalf of the government.
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.
Real property: includes all lands, including buildings, structures, improvements, and fixtures thereon; any property of any nature appurtenant thereto or used in connection therewith; and every estate, interest, and right, legal or equitable, therein, including any such interest for a term of years. See Florida Statutes 154.205
Regional referral hospital: means any hospital that is eligible to receive reimbursement under the provision of this part because it has met its charity care obligation and it meets the definition of teaching hospital as defined in…. See Florida Statutes 154.304
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.
revenue bonds: means revenue bonds of the authority issued under the provisions of this part, including revenue refunding bonds, notwithstanding that the same may be secured by mortgage or the full faith and credit of a health facility. See Florida Statutes 154.205
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.
Statute of limitations: A law that sets the time within which parties must take action to enforce their rights.
Subpoena: A command to a witness to appear and give testimony.
Summons: Another word for subpoena used by the criminal justice system.
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.
Trial: A hearing that takes place when the defendant pleads "not guilty" and witnesses are required to come to court to give evidence.
Trustee: A person or institution holding and administering property in trust.
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
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.
writing: includes handwriting, printing, typewriting, and all other methods and means of forming letters and characters upon paper, stone, wood, or other materials. See Florida Statutes 1.01