Judgement that a criminal defendant has not been proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
A verdict of "not guilty."
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.
Administrative personnel: includes K-12 personnel who perform management activities such as developing broad policies for the school district and executing those policies through the direction of personnel at all levels within the district. See Florida Statutes 1012.01
Advance rent: means moneys paid to the landlord to be applied to future rent payment periods, but does not include rent paid in advance for a current rent payment period. See Florida Statutes 83.43
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.
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.
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
Arraignment: A proceeding in which an individual who is accused of committing a crime is brought into court, told of the charges, and asked to plead guilty or not guilty.
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.
Attachment: A procedure by which a person's property is seized to pay judgments levied by the court.
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.
Baseline: Projection of the receipts, outlays, and other budget amounts that would ensue in the future without any change in existing policy. Baseline projections are used to gauge the extent to which proposed legislation, if enacted into law, would alter current spending and revenue levels.
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
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).
Chambers: A judge's office.
Civil forfeiture: The loss of ownership of property used to conduct illegal activity.
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.
Complaint: A written statement by the plaintiff stating the wrongs allegedly committed by the defendant.
Concurrent resolution: A legislative measure, designated "S. Con. Res." and numbered consecutively upon introduction, generally employed to address the sentiments of both chambers, to deal with issues or matters affecting both houses, such as a concurrent budget resolution, or to create a temporary joint committee. Concurrent resolutions are not submitted to the President/Governor and thus do not have the force of law.
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.
Counterclaim: A claim that a defendant makes against a plaintiff.
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.
Deposit money: means any money held by the landlord on behalf of the tenant, including, but not limited to, damage deposits, security deposits, advance rent deposit, pet deposit, or any contractual deposit agreed to between landlord and tenant either in writing or orally. See Florida Statutes 83.43
Deposition: An oral statement made before an officer authorized by law to administer oaths. Such statements are often taken to examine potential witnesses, to obtain discovery, or to be used later in trial.
Determination of value: means a court order determining the fair market value of heirs property under…. See Florida Statutes 64.202
Devise: To gift property by will.
Discovery: Lawyers' examination, before trial, of facts and documents in possession of the opponents to help the lawyers prepare for trial.
Dismissal: The dropping of a case by the judge without further consideration or hearing. Source:
Docket: A log containing brief entries of court proceedings.
Donor: The person who makes a gift.
Dwelling unit: means :
(a) A structure or part of a structure that is rented for use as a home, residence, or sleeping place by one person or by two or more persons who maintain a common household. See Florida Statutes 83.43
Early termination fee: means any charge, fee, or forfeiture that is provided for in a written rental agreement and is assessed to a tenant when a tenant elects to terminate the rental agreement, as provided in the agreement, and vacates a dwelling unit before the end of the rental agreement. See Florida Statutes 83.43
Educational support employees: means K-12 employees whose job functions are neither administrative nor instructional, yet whose work supports the educational process. See Florida Statutes 1012.01
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
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
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.
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
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.
Fee simple: Absolute title to property with no limitations or restrictions regarding the person who may inherit it.
Felony: A crime carrying a penalty of more than a year in prison.
Fiduciary: A trustee, executor, or administrator.
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.
Fixed Rate: Having a "fixed" rate means that the APR doesn't change based on fluctuations of some external rate (such as the "Prime Rate"). In other words, a fixed rate is a rate that is not a variable rate. A fixed APR can change over time, in several circumstances:
You are late making a payment or commit some other default, triggering an increase to a penalty rate
The bank changes the terms of your account and you do not reject the change.
The rate expires (if the rate was fixed for only a certain period of time).
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.
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.
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.
Heirs property: means real property held in tenancy in common which satisfies all of the following requirements as of the filing of a partition action:
(a) There is no agreement in a record binding all the cotenants which governs the partition of the property;
(b) One or more of the cotenants acquired title from a relative, whether living or deceased; and
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.
Instructional personnel: means any K-12 staff member whose function includes the provision of direct instructional services to students. See Florida Statutes 1012.01
Interest rate: The amount paid by a borrower to a lender in exchange for the use of the lender's money for a certain period of time. Interest is paid on loans or on debt instruments, such as notes or bonds, either at regular intervals or as part of a lump sum payment when the issue matures. Source: OCC
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.
law enforcement agency: means any agency or unit of government that has authority to employ or appoint law enforcement officers, as defined in…. See Florida Statutes 23.1225
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
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 1.01
Legislative session: That part of a chamber's daily session in which it considers legislative business (bills, resolutions, and actions related thereto).
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.
Managers: includes those K-12 staff members who perform managerial and supervisory functions while usually also performing general operations functions. See Florida Statutes 1012.01
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.
Mortgagor: The person who pledges property to a creditor as collateral for a loan and who receives the money.
mutual aid agreement: as used in this part , refers to one of the following types of agreement:
(a) A voluntary cooperation written agreement between two or more law enforcement agencies, which agreement permits voluntary cooperation and assistance of a routine law enforcement nature across jurisdictional lines. See Florida Statutes 23.1225
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.
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 1.01
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 1.01
Oversight: Committee review of the activities of a Federal agency or program.
Partition by sale: means a court-ordered sale of the entire heirs property, whether by open-market sale, sealed bids, or auction conducted under…. See Florida Statutes 64.202
Partition in kind: means the division of heirs property into physically distinct and separately titled parcels. See Florida Statutes 64.202
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.
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 1.01
Preliminary hearing: A hearing where the judge decides whether there is enough evidence to make the defendant have a trial.
Premises: means a dwelling unit and the structure of which it is a part and a mobile home lot and the appurtenant facilities and grounds, areas, facilities, and property held out for the use of tenants generally. See Florida Statutes 83.43
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.
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.
Probation officers: Screen applicants for pretrial release and monitor convicted offenders released under court supervision.
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.
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.
Recess: A temporary interruption of the legislative business.
Record: means information that is inscribed on a tangible medium or that is stored in an electronic or other medium and is retrievable in perceivable form. See Florida Statutes 64.202
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.
Remand: When an appellate court sends a case back to a lower court for further proceedings.
Rent: means the periodic payments due the landlord from the tenant for occupancy under a rental agreement and any other payments due the landlord from the tenant as may be designated as rent in a written rental agreement. See Florida Statutes 83.43
Rental agreement: means any written agreement, including amendments or addenda, or oral agreement for a duration of less than 1 year, providing for use and occupancy of premises. See Florida Statutes 83.43
Restitution: The court-ordered payment of money by the defendant to the victim for damages caused by the criminal action.
Security deposits: means any moneys held by the landlord as security for the performance of the rental agreement, including, but not limited to, monetary damage to the landlord caused by the tenant's breach of lease prior to the expiration thereof. See Florida Statutes 83.43
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.
Statute: A law passed by a legislature.
Subpoena: A command to a witness to appear and give testimony.
Summons: Another word for subpoena used by the criminal justice system.
Tenant: means any person entitled to occupy a dwelling unit under a rental agreement. See Florida Statutes 83.43
Testify: Answer questions in court.
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.
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.
Transient occupancy: means occupancy when it is the intention of the parties that the occupancy will be temporary. See Florida Statutes 83.43
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
Uphold: The decision of an appellate court not to reverse a lower court decision.
User fees: Fees charged to users of goods or services provided by the government. In levying or authorizing these fees, the legislature determines whether the revenue should go into the treasury or should be available to the agency providing the goods or services.
Usury: Charging an illegally high interest rate on a loan. Source: OCC
Venue: The geographical location in which a case is tried.
Verdict: The decision of a petit jury or a judge.
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 1.01
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