Part 1 General Provisions 40-17-101 – 40-17-125
Part 2 Uniform Law to Secure Attendance of Witnesses 40-17-201 – 40-17-105

Terms Used In Tennessee Code > Title 40 > Chapter 17 - Evidence and Witnesses

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Code: includes the Tennessee Code and all amendments and revisions to the code and all additions and supplements to the code. See Tennessee Code 1-3-105
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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
  • Grand jury: agreement providing that a lender will delay exercising its rights (in the case of a mortgage,
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Insane: includes all persons of unsound mind. See Tennessee Code 1-3-105
  • 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.
  • Lands: includes lands, tenements and hereditaments, and all rights thereto and interests therein, equitable as well as legal. See Tennessee Code 1-3-105
  • 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.
  • Livestock: means all equine as well as animals that are being raised primarily for use as food or fiber for human utilization or consumption including, but not limited to, cattle, sheep, swine, goats, and poultry. See Tennessee Code 1-3-105
  • Minor: means any person who has not attained eighteen (18) years of age. See Tennessee Code 1-3-105
  • Mistrial: An invalid trial, caused by fundamental error. When a mistrial is declared, the trial must start again from the selection of the jury.
  • Month: means a calendar month. See Tennessee Code 1-3-105
  • Mortgage: The written agreement pledging property to a creditor as collateral for a loan.
  • National Bank: A bank that is subject to the supervision of the Comptroller of the Currency. The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency is a bureau of the U.S. Treasury Department. A national bank can be recognized because it must have "national" or "national association" in its name. Source: OCC
  • 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
  • Oath: includes affirmation. See Tennessee Code 1-3-105
  • Oath: A promise to tell the truth.
  • 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: includes a corporation, firm, company or association. See Tennessee Code 1-3-105
  • 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.
  • Probate: Proving a will
  • Property: includes both personal and real property. See Tennessee Code 1-3-105
  • Prosecute: To charge someone with a crime. A prosecutor tries a criminal case on behalf of the government.
  • Real property: Land, and all immovable fixtures erected on, growing on, or affixed to the land.
  • real property: include lands, tenements and hereditaments, and all rights thereto and interests therein, equitable as well as legal. See Tennessee Code 1-3-105
  • Record: means information that is inscribed on a tangible medium or that is stored in an electronic or other medium and is retrievable in a perceivable form. See Tennessee Code 1-3-105
  • Representative: when applied to those who represent a decedent, includes executors and administrators, unless the context implies heirs and distributees. See Tennessee Code 1-3-105
  • Service of process: The service of writs or summonses to the appropriate party.
  • signed: includes a mark, the name being written near the mark and witnessed, or any other symbol or methodology executed or adopted by a party with intention to authenticate a writing or record, regardless of being witnessed. See Tennessee Code 1-3-105
  • State: when applied to the different parts of the United States, includes the District of Columbia and the several territories of the United States. See Tennessee Code 1-3-105
  • State: includes any territory of the United States and the District of Columbia. See Tennessee Code 40-17-202
  • 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.
  • Summons: includes a subpoena, order or other notice requiring the appearance of a witness. See Tennessee Code 40-17-202
  • Testify: Answer questions in court.
  • Testimony: Evidence presented orally by witnesses during trials or before grand juries.
  • 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.
  • 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
  • United States: includes the District of Columbia and the several territories of the United States. See Tennessee Code 1-3-105
  • Witness: includes a person whose testimony is desired in any proceeding or investigation by a grand jury or in a criminal action, prosecution or proceeding. See Tennessee Code 40-17-202
  • Writ: A formal written command, issued from the court, requiring the performance of a specific act.
  • written: includes printing, typewriting, engraving, lithography, and any other mode of representing words and letters. See Tennessee Code 1-3-105
  • Year: means a calendar year, unless otherwise expressed. See Tennessee Code 1-3-105