Sections
Chapter 441 Libraries and Archives 441.001 – 441.246
Chapter 442 Texas Historical Commission 442.001 – 442.272
Chapter 443 State Preservation Board 443.001 – 443.030
Chapter 444 Texas Commission On the Arts 444.001 – 444.032
Chapter 445 Texas State History Museum 445.001 – 445.015
Chapter 447 State Energy Conservation Office 447.001 – 447.013
Chapter 449 Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission 449.001 – 449.053
Chapter 450 Educational Programs to Advance the Teaching of Texas History 450.001 – 450.002

Terms Used In Texas Government Code > Title 4 > Subtitle D

  • Adjourn: A motion to adjourn a legislative chamber or a committee, if passed, ends that day's session.
  • Advice and consent: Under the Constitution, presidential nominations for executive and judicial posts take effect only when confirmed by the Senate, and international treaties become effective only when the Senate approves them by a two-thirds vote.
  • Affidavit: means a statement in writing of a fact or facts signed by the party making it, sworn to before an officer authorized to administer oaths, and officially certified to by the officer under his seal of office. See Texas Government Code 312.011
  • Affirmed: In the practice of the appellate courts, the decree or order is declared valid and will stand as rendered in the lower court.
  • Amortization: Paying off a loan by regular installments.
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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
  • Bequest: Property gifted by will.
  • City secretary: includes a city clerk or, in a city that has no city secretary or clerk, the city officer who performs the duties of a city secretary. See Texas Election Code 1.005
  • Committee membership: Legislators are assigned to specific committees by their party. Seniority, regional balance, and political philosophy are the most prominent factors in the committee assignment process.
  • Complaint: A written statement by the plaintiff stating the wrongs allegedly committed by the defendant.
  • Comptroller: means the state comptroller of public accounts. See Texas Government Code 312.011
  • Conviction: A judgement of guilt against a criminal defendant.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Effects: includes all personal property and all interest in that property. See Texas Government Code 312.011
  • 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
  • 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.
  • Executor: A male person named in a will to carry out the decedent
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • General election: means an election, other than a primary election, that regularly recurs at fixed dates. See Texas Election Code 1.005
  • General election for state and county officers: means the general election at which officers of the federal, state, and county governments are elected. See Texas Election Code 1.005
  • Gift: A voluntary transfer or conveyance of property without consideration, or for less than full and adequate consideration based on fair market value.
  • Grantor: The person who establishes a trust and places property into it.
  • 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.
  • 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
  • Injunction: An order of the court prohibiting (or compelling) the performance of a specific act to prevent irreparable damage or injury.
  • Irrevocable trust: A trust arrangement that cannot be revoked, rescinded, or repealed by the grantor.
  • 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: means a constitution, statute, city charter, or city ordinance. See Texas Election Code 1.005
  • 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
  • Legacy: A gift of property made by will.
  • 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.
  • Licensed practitioner: includes a sex offender treatment provider who is licensed under Chapter Texas Health and Safety Code 1.005
  • 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.
  • Local canvass: means the canvass of the precinct election returns. See Texas Election Code 1.005
  • Measure: means a question or proposal submitted in an election for an expression of the voters' will. See Texas Election Code 1.005
  • 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. See Texas Government Code 312.011
  • Mortgage: The written agreement pledging property to a creditor as collateral for a loan.
  • Oath: includes affirmation. See Texas Government Code 311.005
  • Outlays: Outlays are payments made (generally through the issuance of checks or disbursement of cash) to liquidate obligations. Outlays during a fiscal year may be for payment of obligations incurred in prior years or in the same year.
  • 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.
  • Personal property: All property that is not real property.
  • Political subdivision: means a county, city, or school district or any other governmental entity that:
    (A) embraces a geographic area with a defined boundary;
    (B) exists for the purpose of discharging functions of government; and
    (C) possesses authority for subordinate self-government through officers selected by it. See Texas Election Code 1.005
  • Population: means the population shown by the most recent federal decennial census. See Texas Government Code 311.005
  • Power of attorney: A written instrument which authorizes one person to act as another's agent or attorney. The power of attorney may be for a definite, specific act, or it may be general in nature. The terms of the written power of attorney may specify when it will expire. If not, the power of attorney usually expires when the person granting it dies. Source: OCC
  • 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.
  • Primary election: means an election held by a political party under Chapter Texas Election Code 1.005
  • Probable cause: A reasonable ground for belief that the offender violated a specific law.
  • Probation: A sentencing alternative to imprisonment in which the court releases convicted defendants under supervision as long as certain conditions are observed.
  • Property: means real and personal property. See Texas Government Code 311.005
  • Proposition: means the wording appearing on a ballot to identify a measure. See Texas Election Code 1.005
  • Real property: Land, and all immovable fixtures erected on, growing on, or affixed to the land.
  • Registered voter: means a person registered to vote in this state whose registration is effective. See Texas Election Code 1.005
  • 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.
  • Residence address: means the street address and any apartment number, or the address at which mail is received if the residence has no address, and the city, state, and zip code that correspond to a person's residence. See Texas Election Code 1.005
  • Restitution: The court-ordered payment of money by the defendant to the victim for damages caused by the criminal action.
  • Revocable trust: A trust agreement that can be canceled, rescinded, revoked, or repealed by the grantor (person who establishes the trust).
  • 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.
  • Signature: includes the mark of a person unable to write, and "subscribe" includes the making of such a mark. See Texas Government Code 312.011
  • Signed: includes any symbol executed or adopted by a person with present intention to authenticate a writing. See Texas Government Code 311.005
  • Sole ownership: The type of property ownership in which one individual holds legal title to the property and has full control of it.
  • Statewide office: means an office of the federal or state government that is voted on statewide. See Texas Election Code 1.005
  • 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.
  • Straight-party vote: means a vote by a single mark, punch, or other action by the voter for all the nominees of one political party and for no other candidates. See Texas Election Code 1.005
  • Subpoena: A command to a witness to appear and give testimony.
  • Subpoena duces tecum: A command to a witness to produce documents.
  • Succeeding: means immediately following. See Texas Government Code 312.011
  • Summons: Another word for subpoena used by the criminal justice system.
  • Swear: includes affirm. See Texas Government Code 311.005
  • sworn: includes affirm or affirmed. See Texas Government Code 312.011
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Trust account: A general term that covers all types of accounts in a trust department, such as estates, guardianships, and agencies. Source: OCC
  • Trustor: The person who makes or creates a trust. Also known as the grantor or settlor.
  • United States: includes a department, bureau, or other agency of the United States of America. See Texas Government Code 311.005
  • Uphold: The decision of an appellate court not to reverse a lower court decision.
  • Venue: The geographical location in which a case is tried.
  • Voting station: means the voting booth or other place where voters mark their ballots or otherwise indicate their votes at a polling place. See Texas Election Code 1.005
  • Week: means seven consecutive days. See Texas Government Code 311.005
  • Writ: A formal written command, issued from the court, requiring the performance of a specific act.