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Terms Used In Michigan Laws > Chapter 570 > Act 497 of 1980

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Complaint: A written statement by the plaintiff stating the wrongs allegedly committed by the defendant.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Dismissal: The dropping of a case by the judge without further consideration or hearing. Source:
  • Embezzlement: In most states, embezzlement is defined as theft/larceny of assets (money or property) by a person in a position of trust or responsibility over those assets. Embezzlement typically occurs in the employment and corporate settings. 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.
  • Felony: A crime carrying a penalty of more than a year in prison.
  • Fiduciary: A trustee, executor, or administrator.
  • 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
  • firearm: except as otherwise specifically defined in statute, includes any weapon which will, is designed to, or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by action of an explosive. See Michigan Laws 8.3t
  • 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.
  • Freedom of Information Act: A federal law that mandates that all the records created and kept by federal agencies in the executive branch of government must be open for public inspection and copying. The only exceptions are those records that fall into one of nine exempted categories listed in the statute. Source: OCC
  • grantee: may be construed as including every person to whom any such interest or estate passes in like manner. See Michigan Laws 8.3e
  • Home visitation: means a voluntary service delivery strategy that is carried out in relevant settings, primarily in the homes of families with children ages 0 to 5 years and pregnant women. See Michigan Laws 400.791
  • in writing: shall be construed to include printing, engraving, and lithographing; except that if the written signature of a person is required by law, the signature shall be the proper handwriting of the person or, if the person is unable to write, the person's proper mark, which may be, unless otherwise expressly prohibited by law, a clear and classifiable fingerprint of the person made with ink or another substance. See Michigan Laws 8.3q
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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.
  • Misdemeanor: Usually a petty offense, a less serious crime than a felony, punishable by less than a year of confinement.
  • month: means a calendar month; the word "year" a calendar year; and the word "year" alone shall be equivalent to the words "year of our Lord". See Michigan Laws 8.3j
  • Mortgage: The written agreement pledging property to a creditor as collateral for a loan.
  • Mortgagee: The person to whom property is mortgaged and who has loaned the money.
  • 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.
  • oath: shall be construed to include the word "affirmation" in all cases where by law an affirmation may be substituted for an oath; and in like cases the word "sworn" shall be construed to include the word "affirmed". See Michigan Laws 8.3k
  • 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: may extend and be applied to bodies politic and corporate, as well as to individuals. See Michigan Laws 8.3l
  • 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.
  • Presentence report: A report prepared by a court's probation officer, after a person has been convicted of an offense, summarizing for the court the background information needed to determine the appropriate sentence. Source: U.S. Courts
  • 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.
  • Public law: A public bill or joint resolution that has passed both chambers and been enacted into law. Public laws have general applicability nationwide.
  • Real property: Land, and all immovable fixtures erected on, growing on, or affixed to the land.
  • seal: shall be construed to include any of the following:

    (a) The impression of the seal on the paper alone. See Michigan Laws 8.3n

  • shall not apply: means that the pertinent provision is not operative as to certain persons or things or in conjunction with a particular date or dates. See Michigan Laws 8.4c
  • state: when applied to the different parts of the United States, shall be construed to extend to and include the District of Columbia and the several territories belonging to the United States; and the words "United States" shall be construed to include the district and territories. See Michigan Laws 8.3o
  • Statute: A law passed by a legislature.
  • 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.