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.
Annual percentage rate: The cost of credit at a yearly rate. It is calculated in a standard way, taking the average compound interest rate over the term of the loan so borrowers can compare loans. Lenders are required by law to disclose a card account's APR. Source: FDIC
Appellate: About appeals; an appellate court has the power to review the judgement of another lower court or tribunal.
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.
Asset forfeiture: A procedure by which a person's property is seized to pay judgments levied by the court.
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.
Case law: The law as laid down in cases that have been decided in the decisions of the courts.
Caucus: From the Algonquian Indian language, a caucus meant "to meet together." An informal organization of members of the legislature that exists to discuss issues of mutual concern and possibly to perform legislative research and policy planning for its members. There are regional, political or ideological, ethnic, and economic-based caucuses.
Chief judge: The judge who has primary responsibility for the administration of a court but also decides cases; chief judges are determined by seniority.
Civil forfeiture: The loss of ownership of property used to conduct illegal activity.
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.
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.
County board: means the board of county commissioners in counties not under township organization, and the board of supervisors in counties under township organization, and the board of commissioners of Cook County. See Illinois Compiled Statutes 5 ILCS 70/1.07
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.
Discovery: Lawyers' examination, before trial, of facts and documents in possession of the opponents to help the lawyers prepare for trial.
Docket: A log containing brief entries of court proceedings.
Escrow: Money given to a third party to be held for payment until certain conditions are met.
Ex officio: Literally, by virtue of one's office.
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.
Finance charge: The total cost of credit a customer must pay on a consumer loan, including interest. The Truth in Lending Act requires disclosure of the finance charge. Source: OCC
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.
Grace period: The number of days you'll have to pay your bill for purchases in full without triggering a finance charge. Source: Federal Reserve
Grand jury: agreement providing that a lender will delay exercising its rights (in the case of a mortgage,
Guarantor: A party who agrees to be responsible for the payment of another party's debts should that party default. Source: OCC
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.
Impeachment: (1) The process of calling something into question, as in "impeaching the testimony of a witness." (2) The constitutional process whereby the House of Representatives may "impeach" (accuse of misconduct) high officers of the federal government for trial in the Senate.
Indemnification: In general, a collateral contract or assurance under which one person agrees to secure another person against either anticipated financial losses or potential adverse legal consequences. Source: FDIC
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.
Intangible property: Property that has no intrinsic value, but is merely the evidence of value such as stock certificates, bonds, and promissory notes.
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
Interrogatories: Written questions asked by one party of an opposing party, who must answer them in writing under oath; a discovery device in a lawsuit.
Joint tenancy: A form of property ownership in which two or more parties hold an undivided interest in the same property that was conveyed under the same instrument at the same time. A joint tenant can sell his (her) interest but not dispose of it by will. Upon the death of a joint tenant, his (her) undivided interest is distributed among the surviving joint tenants.
Juror: A person who is on the jury.
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
Legal tender: coins, dollar bills, or other currency issued by a government as official money. Source: U.S. Mint
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.
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.
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.
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.
police force: shall be construed to include such persons in the employ of a municipality as members of the department of police, who are or shall hereafter be appointed and sworn as policemen. See Illinois Compiled Statutes 5 ILCS 70/1.20
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.
Preliminary hearing: A hearing where the judge decides whether there is enough evidence to make the defendant have a trial.
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.
Probate: Proving a will
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.
Public law: A public bill or joint resolution that has passed both chambers and been enacted into law. Public laws have general applicability nationwide.
Quorum: The number of legislators that must be present to do business.
Recourse: An arrangement in which a bank retains, in form or in substance, any credit risk directly or indirectly associated with an asset it has sold (in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles) that exceeds a pro rata share of the bank's claim on the asset. If a bank has no claim on an asset it has sold, then the retention of any credit risk is recourse. Source: FDIC
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).
Rescission: The cancellation of budget authority previously provided by Congress. The Impoundment Control Act of 1974 specifies that the President may propose to Congress that funds be rescinded. If both Houses have not approved a rescission proposal (by passing legislation) within 45 days of continuous session, any funds being withheld must be made available for obligation.
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.
Site: means a not-for-profit organization,
public body, church, charitable organization, or individual agreeing to accept community service from offenders and to report on the progress of ordered or required public or community service to the court or to the authorized diversion program that has referred the offender for public or community service. See Illinois Compiled Statutes 705 ILCS 405/5-105
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.
Temporary restraining order: Prohibits a person from an action that is likely to cause irreparable harm. This differs from an injunction in that it may be granted immediately, without notice to the opposing party, and without a hearing. It is intended to last only until a hearing can be held.
Tenancy in common: A type of property ownership in which two or more individuals have an undivided interest in property. At the death of one tenant in common, his (her) fractional percentage of ownership in the property passes to the decedent
Testify: Answer questions in court.
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.
Truth in Lending Act: The Truth in Lending Act is a federal law that requires lenders to provide standardized information so that borrowers can compare loan terms. In general, lenders must provide information on Source: OCC
Venue: The geographical location in which a case is tried.