Affidavit: A written statement of facts confirmed by the oath of the party making it, before a notary or officer having authority to administer oaths.
Allegation: something that someone says happened.
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.
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.
Arrest: Taking physical custody of a person by lawful authority.
Attachment: A procedure by which a person's property is seized to pay judgments levied by the court.
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.
Buyer: means any individual who is solicited to purchase, or who purchases, the services of a credit service organization. See Florida Statutes 817.7001
Chief judge: The judge who has primary responsibility for the administration of a court but also decides cases; chief judges are determined by seniority.
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.
Continuance: Putting off of a hearing ot trial until a later time.
Contract: A legal written agreement that becomes binding when signed.
Conviction: A judgement of guilt against a criminal 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.
Court reporter: A person who makes a word-for-word record of what is said in court and produces a transcript of the proceedings upon request.
Credit counseling agency: means any organization providing debt management services or credit counseling services. See Florida Statutes 817.801
Credit counseling services: means confidential money management, debt reduction, and financial educational services. See Florida Statutes 817.801
Credit service organization: means any person who, with respect to the extension of credit by others, sells, provides, performs, or represents that he or she can or will sell, provide, or perform, in return for the payment of money or other valuable consideration, any of the following services:
Creditor contribution: means any sum that a creditor agrees to contribute to a credit counseling agency, whether directly or by setoff against amounts otherwise payable to the creditor on behalf of debtors. See Florida Statutes 817.801
Cross examine: Questioning of a witness by the attorney for the other side.
Damages: Money paid by defendants to successful plaintiffs in civil cases to compensate the plaintiffs for their injuries.
Debt management services: means services provided to a debtor by a credit counseling organization for a fee to:
(a) Effect the adjustment, compromise, or discharge of any unsecured account, note, or other indebtedness of the debtor; or
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:
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.
Fair Credit Reporting Act: A federal law, established in 1971 and revised in 1997, that gives consumers the right to see their credit records and correct any mistakes. Source: OCC
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation: A government corporation that insures the deposits of all national and state banks that are members of the Federal Reserve System. Source: OCC
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.
Forgery: The fraudulent signing or alteration of another's name to an instrument such as a deed, mortgage, or check. The intent of the forgery is to deceive or defraud. Source: OCC
Fraud: Intentional deception resulting in injury to another.
Garnishment: Generally, garnishment is a court proceeding in which a creditor asks a court to order a third party who owes money to the debtor or otherwise holds assets belonging to the debtor to turn over to the creditor any of the debtor
Gift: A voluntary transfer or conveyance of property without consideration, or for less than full and adequate consideration based on fair market value.
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.
Habeas corpus: A writ that is usually used to bring a prisoner before the court to determine the legality of his imprisonment. It may also be used to bring a person in custody before the court to give testimony, or to be prosecuted.
Injunction: An order of the court prohibiting (or compelling) the performance of a specific act to prevent irreparable damage or injury.
Intestate: Dying without leaving a will.
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
Lien: A claim against real or personal property in satisfaction of a debt.
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.
National Credit Union Administration: The federal regulatory agency that charters and supervises federal credit unions. (NCUA also administers the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund, which insures the deposits of federal credit unions.) Source: OCC
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.
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: means any individual, corporation, partnership, trust, association, or other legal entity. See Florida Statutes 817.801
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.
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.
Plea agreement: An arrangement between the prosecutor, the defense attorney, and the defendant in which the defendant agrees to plead guilty in exchange for special considerations. Source:
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 88.6011
Probation: A sentencing alternative to imprisonment in which the court releases convicted defendants under supervision as long as certain conditions are observed.
Prosecute: To charge someone with a crime. A prosecutor tries a criminal case on behalf of the government.
Public defender: Represent defendants who can't afford an attorney in criminal matters.
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.
Reporter: Makes a record of court proceedings and prepares a transcript, and also publishes the court's opinions or decisions (in the courts of appeals).
Restitution: The court-ordered payment of money by the defendant to the victim for damages caused by the criminal action.
Service of process: The service of writs or summonses to the appropriate party.