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.
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.
Budget authority: Authority provided by law to enter into obligations that will result in outlays of Federal funds. Budget authority may be classified by the period of availability (one-year, multiyear, no-year), by the timing of congressional action (current or permanent), or by the manner of determining the amount available (definite or indefinite).
Chief judge: The judge who has primary responsibility for the administration of a court but also decides cases; chief judges are determined by seniority.
Common disaster: A sudden and extraordinary misfortune that brings about the simultaneous or near-simultaneous deaths of two or more associated persons, such as husband and wife.
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.
Community development district: means a local unit of special-purpose government which is created pursuant to this act and limited to the performance of those specialized functions authorized by this act; the governing head of which is a body created, organized, and constituted and authorized to function specifically as prescribed in this act for the purpose of the delivery of urban community development services; and the formation, powers, governing body, operation, duration, accountability, requirements for disclosure, and termination of which are as required by general law. See Florida Statutes 287.012
Complaint: A written statement by the plaintiff stating the wrongs allegedly committed by the defendant.
Component independent special district: means an independent special district that proposes to be merged into a merged independent district, or an independent special district as it existed before its merger into the merged independent district of which it is now a part. See Florida Statutes 189.07
Contract: A legal written agreement that becomes binding when signed.
Damages: Money paid by defendants to successful plaintiffs in civil cases to compensate the plaintiffs for their injuries.
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.
Elector-initiated merger plan: means the merger plan of two or more independent special districts, a majority of whose qualified electors have elected to merge, which outlines the terms and agreements for the official merger of the districts and is finalized and approved by the governing bodies of the districts pursuant to this part. See Florida Statutes 189.07
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
Escheat: Reversion of real or personal property to the state when 1) a person dies without leaving a will and has no heirs, or 2) when the property (such as a bank account) has been inactive for a certain period of time. Source: OCC
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.
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
Fraud: Intentional deception resulting in injury to another.
General hospital: means any facility which meets the provisions of subsection (12) and which regularly makes its facilities and services available to the general population. See Florida Statutes 395.002
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 governing body of the independent special district in which the general legislative, governmental, or public powers of the district are vested and by authority of which the official business of the district is conducted. See Florida Statutes 189.07
Guarantor: A party who agrees to be responsible for the payment of another party's debts should that party default. Source: OCC
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.
hospital: includes a medical office building located on the same premises as a hospital facility, provided the land on which the medical office building is constructed is zoned for use as a hospital; provided the premises were zoned for hospital purposes on January 1, 1992. See Florida Statutes 395.002
Independent special district: means a special district that is not a dependent special district as defined in subsection (2). See Florida Statutes 189.012
Initiative: means the filing of a petition containing a proposal for a referendum to be placed on the ballot for election. See Florida Statutes 189.07
Joint merger plan: means the merger plan that is adopted by resolution of the governing bodies of two or more independent special districts that outlines the terms and agreements for the official merger of the districts and that is finalized and approved by the governing bodies pursuant to this part. See Florida Statutes 189.07
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.
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
Legislative Auditing Committee: means a committee or committees designated by joint rule of the Legislature, by the President of the Senate or the Speaker of the House of Representatives, or by agreement between the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives. See Florida Statutes 88.6011
Liabilities: The aggregate of all debts and other legal obligations of a particular person or legal entity.
Licensed facility: means a hospital or ambulatory surgical center licensed in accordance with this chapter. See Florida Statutes 395.002
Litigation: A case, controversy, or lawsuit. Participants (plaintiffs and defendants) in lawsuits are called litigants.
Local governing authority: means the governing body of a unit of local general-purpose government. See Florida Statutes 189.012
Merged independent district: means a single independent special district that results from a successful merger of two or more independent special districts pursuant to this part. See Florida Statutes 189.07
Merger: means the combination of two or more contiguous independent special districts resulting in a newly created merged independent district that assumes jurisdiction over all of the component independent special districts. See Florida Statutes 189.07
Merger plan: means a written document that contains the terms, agreements, and information regarding the merger of two or more independent special districts. See Florida Statutes 189.07
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 of Economic and Demographic Research: means an entity designated by joint rule of the Legislature or by agreement between the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives. See Florida Statutes 88.6011
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.
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 88.6011
Personal property: All property that is not real property.
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 88.6011
Proposed elector-initiated merger plan: means a written document that contains the terms and information regarding the merger of two or more independent special districts and that accompanies the petition initiated by the qualified electors of the districts but that is not yet finalized and approved by the governing bodies of each component independent special district pursuant to this part. See Florida Statutes 189.07
Proposed joint merger plan: means a written document that contains the terms and information regarding the merger of two or more independent special districts and that has been prepared pursuant to a resolution of the governing bodies of the districts but that is not yet finalized and approved by the governing bodies of each component independent special district pursuant to this part. See Florida Statutes 189.07
Public facilities: means major capital improvements, including, but not limited to, transportation facilities, sanitary sewer facilities, solid waste facilities, water management and control facilities, potable water facilities, alternative water systems, educational facilities, parks and recreational facilities, health systems and facilities, and, except for spoil disposal by those ports listed in…. See Florida Statutes 189.012
Qualified elector: means an individual at least 18 years of age who is a citizen of the United States, a permanent resident of this state, and a resident of the district who registers with the supervisor of elections of a county within which the district lands are located when the registration books are open. See Florida Statutes 189.07
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.
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.
Restitution: The court-ordered payment of money by the defendant to the victim for damages caused by the criminal action.
Special district: means a unit of local government created for a special purpose, as opposed to a general purpose, which has jurisdiction to operate within a limited geographic boundary and is created by general law, special act, local ordinance, or by rule of the Governor and Cabinet. See Florida Statutes 189.012
Specialty hospital: means any facility which meets the provisions of subsection (12), and which regularly makes available either:
(a) The range of medical services offered by general hospitals, but restricted to a defined age or gender group of the population;
(b) A restricted range of services appropriate to the diagnosis, care, and treatment of patients with specific categories of medical or psychiatric illnesses or disorders; or
(c) Intensive residential treatment programs for children and adolescents as defined in subsection (15). See Florida Statutes 395.002
Statute: A law passed by a legislature.
Testimony: Evidence presented orally by witnesses during trials or before grand juries.
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.
veteran: means a person who served in the active military, naval, or air service and who was discharged or released under honorable conditions only or who later received an upgraded discharge under honorable conditions, notwithstanding any action by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs on individuals discharged or released with other than honorable discharges. See Florida Statutes 88.6011
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 88.6011