Abuse: means any willful act or threatened act that results in any physical, mental, or sexual abuse, injury, or harm that causes or is likely to cause the child's physical, mental, or emotional health to be significantly impaired. See Florida Statutes 1001.38
Accreditation: means accredited status awarded to an institution by an accrediting agency or association that is recognized by the United States Department of Education and that has standards comparable to the minimum standards required to operate an educational institution at that level in this state. See Florida Statutes 1005.02
Additional offense: means any offense other than the primary offense for which an offender is convicted and which is pending before the court for sentencing at the time of the primary offense. See Florida Statutes 1005.08
Adjournment sine die: The end of a legislative session "without day." These adjournments are used to indicate the final adjournment of an annual or the two-year session of legislature.
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.
Agent: means a person who is employed by an independent postsecondary educational institution under the jurisdiction of the Commission for Independent Education, or by an out-of-state independent postsecondary educational institution, and who secures an application or accepts payment of fees from prospective students for the institution at any place other than the legal place of business of the institution. See Florida Statutes 1005.02
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.
Annuity: A periodic (usually annual) payment of a fixed sum of money for either the life of the recipient or for a fixed number of years. A series of payments under a contract from an insurance company, a trust company, or an individual. Annuity payments are made at regular intervals over a period of more than one full year.
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.
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.
assessment: means the gathering of information for the evaluation of a child's and caregiver's physical, psychiatric, psychological, or mental health; developmental delays or challenges; and educational, vocational, and social condition and family environment as they relate to the child's and caregiver's need for rehabilitative and treatment services, including substance abuse treatment services, mental health services, developmental services, literacy services, medical services, family services, and other specialized services, as appropriate. See Florida Statutes 1001.38
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.
Avocational: means a course or program the objective of which is not occupational but is only for personal enrichment or enjoyment. See Florida Statutes 1005.02
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.
Bankruptcy: Refers to statutes and judicial proceedings involving persons or businesses that cannot pay their debts and seek the assistance of the court in getting a fresh start. Under the protection of the bankruptcy court, debtors may discharge their debts, perhaps by paying a portion of each debt. Bankruptcy judges preside over these proceedings.
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
Bequest: Property gifted by will.
Case law: The law as laid down in cases that have been decided in the decisions of the courts.
Cease and Desist Letter: A letter requesting that a company stops the activity mentioned in the letter. Source: OCC
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.
Continuance: Putting off of a hearing ot trial until a later time.
Contract: A legal written agreement that becomes binding when signed.
Contract training: means instruction or training provided through a written contract with an independent contractor whose fees and any other charges are entirely paid by a company, trade or professional association, or group of employers to provide the instruction exclusively to bona fide employees of the entity that engaged the contractor. See Florida Statutes 1005.02
Conviction: means a determination of guilt that is the result of a plea or a trial, regardless of whether adjudication is withheld. See Florida Statutes 1005.08
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.
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.
Degree: means any educational credential that is generally taken to signify satisfactory completion of the requirements of an undergraduate, graduate, academic, educational, or professional program of study or any honorary credential conferred for meritorious recognition. See Florida Statutes 1005.02
Diploma: means a credential that is not a degree but is any of the following: a certificate, transcript, report, document, or title; a designation, mark, or appellation; or a series of letters, numbers, or words that generally are taken to signify satisfactory completion of the requirements of an educational or career program of study or training or course of study. See Florida Statutes 1005.02
Dismissal: The dropping of a case by the judge without further consideration or hearing. Source:
Domestic violence center: means an agency that provides services to victims of domestic violence, as its primary mission. See Florida Statutes 1006.063
Donor: The person who makes a gift.
Electronic communication: means contact, other than face-to-face contact, facilitated by tools such as telephones, electronic mail or e-mail, webcams, video-conferencing equipment and software or other wired or wireless technologies, or other means of communication to supplement face-to-face contact between a parent and that parent's minor child. See Florida Statutes 1006.16
Electronic funds transfer: The transfer of money between accounts by consumer electronic systems-such as automated teller machines (ATMs) and electronic payment of bills-rather than by check or cash. (Wire transfers, checks, drafts, and paper instruments do not fall into this category.) Source: OCC
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
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
Family: means a collective body of persons, consisting of a child and a parent, legal custodian, or adult relative, in which:
(a) The persons reside in the same house or living unit; or
(b) The parent, legal custodian, or adult relative has a legal responsibility by blood, marriage, or court order to support or care for the child. See Florida Statutes 1001.38
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.
Governmental: means an institution provided, operated, and supported by a federal, state, or county government or any of its political subdivisions. See Florida Statutes 1005.02
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.
Guardian: means a relative, nonrelative, next of kin, or fictive kin who is awarded physical custody of a child in a proceeding brought pursuant to this chapter. See Florida Statutes 1001.38
Guardian advocate: means a person appointed by the court to act on behalf of a drug dependent newborn pursuant to the provisions of this part. See Florida Statutes 1004.726
Health insurance: means coverage under a fee-for-service arrangement, health maintenance organization, or preferred provider organization, and other types of coverage available to either parent, under which medical services could be provided to a dependent child. See Florida Statutes 1006.16
Hearsay: Statements by a witness who did not see or hear the incident in question but heard about it from someone else. Hearsay is usually not admissible as evidence in court.
Income: means any form of payment to an individual, regardless of source, including, but not limited to: wages, salary, commissions and bonuses, compensation as an independent contractor, worker's compensation, disability benefits, annuity and retirement benefits, pensions, dividends, interest, royalties, trusts, and any other payments, made by any person, private entity, federal or state government, or any unit of local government. See Florida Statutes 1006.16
Independent postsecondary educational institution: means any postsecondary educational institution that operates in this state or makes application to operate in this state, and is not provided, operated, and supported by the State of Florida, its political subdivisions, or the Federal Government. See Florida Statutes 1005.02
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.
Juror: A person who is on the jury.
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
Legal status: means an offender's status if the offender:
(a) Escapes from incarceration;
(b) Flees to avoid prosecution;
(c) Fails to appear for a criminal proceeding;
(d) Violates any condition of a supersedeas bond;
(e) Is incarcerated;
(f) Is under any form of a pretrial intervention or diversion program; or
Liabilities: The aggregate of all debts and other legal obligations of a particular person or legal entity.
License: means a certificate signifying that an independent postsecondary educational institution meets standards prescribed in statute or rule and is permitted to operate in this state. See Florida Statutes 1005.02
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.
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.
Obligee: means the person to whom payments are made pursuant to an order establishing, enforcing, or modifying an obligation for alimony, for child support, or for alimony and child support. See Florida Statutes 1006.16
Obligor: means a person responsible for making payments pursuant to an order establishing, enforcing, or modifying an obligation for alimony, for child support, or for alimony and child support. See Florida Statutes 1006.16
Office: means the Office of Adoption and Child Protection within the Executive Office of the Governor. See Florida Statutes 1001.38
Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability: 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.
Parenting plan: means a document created to govern the relationship between the parents relating to decisions that must be made regarding the minor child and must contain a time-sharing schedule for the parents and child. See Florida Statutes 1006.16
Parenting plan recommendation: means a nonbinding recommendation concerning one or more elements of a parenting plan made by a court-appointed mental health practitioner or other professional designated pursuant to…. See Florida Statutes 1006.16
Payor: means an employer or former employer or any other person or agency providing or administering income to the obligor. See Florida Statutes 1006.16
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.
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
Preliminary hearing: A hearing where the judge decides whether there is enough evidence to make the defendant have a trial.
Primary offense: means the offense at conviction pending before the court for sentencing for which the total sentence points recommend a sanction that is as severe as, or more severe than, the sanction recommended for any other offense committed by the offender and pending before the court at sentencing. See Florida Statutes 1005.08
Prior record: means a conviction for a crime committed by the offender, as an adult or a juvenile, prior to the time of the primary offense. See Florida Statutes 1005.08
Probable cause: A reasonable ground for belief that the offender violated a specific law.
Probate: Proving a will
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.
Protective investigation: means the acceptance of a report alleging child abuse, abandonment, or neglect, as defined in this chapter, by the central abuse hotline or the acceptance of a report of other dependency by the department; the investigation of each report; the determination of whether action by the court is warranted; the determination of the disposition of each report without court or public agency action when appropriate; and the referral of a child to another public or private agency when appropriate. See Florida Statutes 1001.38
Public defender: Represent defendants who can't afford an attorney in criminal matters.
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.
Relative: means a grandparent, great-grandparent, sibling, first cousin, aunt, uncle, great-aunt, great-uncle, niece, or nephew, whether related by the whole or half blood, by affinity, or by adoption. See Florida Statutes 1001.38
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.
School: means any nonpublic postsecondary noncollegiate educational institution, association, corporation, person, partnership, or organization of any type which:
(a) Offers to provide or provides any complete, or substantially complete, postsecondary program of instruction through the student's personal attendance; in the presence of an instructor; in a classroom, clinical, or other practicum setting; or through correspondence or other distance education;
(b) Represents, directly or by implication, that the instruction will qualify the student for employment in an occupation for which a degree is not required in order to practice in this state;
(c) Receives remuneration from the student or any other source based on the enrollment of a student or the number of students enrolled; or
(d) Offers to award or awards a diploma, regardless of whether it conducts instruction or receives remuneration. See Florida Statutes 1005.02
Sentencing guidelines: A set of rules and principles established by the United States Sentencing Commission that trial judges use to determine the sentence for a convicted defendant. Source: U.S. Courts
Service of process: The service of writs or summonses to the appropriate party.
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.
Shared parental responsibility: means a court-ordered relationship in which both parents retain full parental rights and responsibilities with respect to their child and in which both parents confer with each other so that major decisions affecting the welfare of the child will be determined jointly. See Florida Statutes 1006.16
Shelter: means a placement with a relative or a nonrelative, or in a licensed home or facility, for the temporary care of a child who is alleged to be or who has been found to be dependent, pending court disposition before or after adjudication. See Florida Statutes 1001.38
Social worker: means any person who has a bachelor's, master's, or doctoral degree in social work. See Florida Statutes 1001.38
Sole parental responsibility: means a court-ordered relationship in which one parent makes decisions regarding the minor child. See Florida Statutes 1006.16
State Case Registry: means the automated registry maintained by the Title IV-D agency, containing records of each Title IV-D case and of each support order established or modified in the state on or after October 1, 1998. See Florida Statutes 1006.16
State Disbursement Unit: means the unit established and operated by the Title IV-D agency to provide one central address for collection and disbursement of child support payments made in cases enforced by the department pursuant to Title IV-D of the Social Security Act and in cases not being enforced by the department in which the support order was initially issued in this state on or after January 1, 1994, and in which the obligor's child support obligation is being paid through income deduction order. See Florida Statutes 1006.16
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.
Support order: means a judgment, decree, or order, whether temporary or final, issued by a court of competent jurisdiction or administrative agency for the support and maintenance of a child which provides for monetary support, health care, arrearages, or past support. See Florida Statutes 1006.16
Testify: Answer questions in court.
Testimony: Evidence presented orally by witnesses during trials or before grand juries.
Time-sharing schedule: means a timetable that must be included in the parenting plan that specifies the time, including overnights and holidays, that a minor child will spend with each parent. See Florida Statutes 1006.16
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.
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.
Trial jury: A group of citizens who hear the evidence presented by both sides at trial and determine the facts in dispute. Federal criminal juries consist of 12 persons. Federal civil juries consist of six persons.
university: means any incorporated postsecondary educational entity, and its additional locations, offering a substantially complete program that confers or offers to confer at least an associate degree requiring at least 15 semester hours or the equivalent of general education, or that furnishes or offers to furnish instruction leading toward, or prerequisite to, college credit. See Florida Statutes 1005.02
Uphold: The decision of an appellate court not to reverse a lower court decision.
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
Victim: means any child who has sustained or is threatened with physical, mental, or emotional injury identified in a report involving child abuse, neglect, or abandonment, or child-on-child sexual abuse. See Florida Statutes 1001.38
Victim injury: means the physical injury or death suffered by a person as a direct result of the primary offense, or any additional offense, for which an offender is convicted and which is pending before the court for sentencing at the time of the primary offense. See Florida Statutes 1005.08
White-collar crime: A nonviolent criminal act involving deceit, concealment, subterfuge, or other fraudulent activity.
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 88.6011