Terms Used In Texas Government Code > Title 4 > Subtitle G
- Judgement that a criminal defendant has not been proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
- A verdict of "not guilty."
- 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
- Allegation: something that someone says happened.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- Authorized corporate surety: means a domestic or foreign corporation authorized to engage in business in this state for the purpose of issuing surety, guaranty, or indemnity bonds that guarantee the fidelity of an executor or administrator. See Texas Estates Code 22.002
- 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.
- 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.
- Case law: The law as laid down in cases that have been decided in the decisions of the courts.
- Chambers: A judge's office.
- Charity: An agency, institution, or organization in existence and operating for the benefit of an indefinite number of persons and conducted for educational, religious, scientific, medical, or other beneficent purposes.
- Child: includes an adopted child, regardless of whether the adoption occurred through:
(1) an existing or former statutory procedure; or
(2) an equitable adoption or acts of estoppel. See Texas Estates Code 22.004
- Claims: includes :
(1) liabilities of a decedent that survive the decedent's death, including taxes, regardless of whether the liabilities arise in contract or tort or otherwise;
(2) funeral expenses;
(3) the expense of a tombstone;
(4) expenses of administration;
(5) estate and inheritance taxes; and
(6) debts due such estates. See Texas Estates Code 22.005
- Codicil: An addition, change, or supplement to a will executed with the same formalities required for the will itself.
- Commissioner: means the commissioner of agriculture. See Texas Agriculture Code 1.003
- 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.
- Common disaster: A sudden and extraordinary misfortune that brings about the simultaneous or near-simultaneous deaths of two or more associated persons, such as husband and wife.
- Comptroller: means the state comptroller of public accounts. See Texas Government Code 312.011
- Continuance: Putting off of a hearing ot trial until a later time.
- 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.
- Court: means and includes:
(1) a county court in the exercise of its probate jurisdiction;
(2) a court created by statute and authorized to exercise original probate jurisdiction; and
(3) a district court exercising original probate jurisdiction in a contested matter. See Texas Estates Code 22.007
- Credit report: A detailed report of an individual's credit history prepared by a credit bureau and used by a lender in determining a loan applicant's creditworthiness. Source: OCC
- Damages: Money paid by defendants to successful plaintiffs in civil cases to compensate the plaintiffs for their injuries.
- Decedent: A deceased person.
- Defendant: In a civil suit, the person complained against; in a criminal case, the person accused of the crime.
- Department: means the Department of Agriculture. See Texas Agriculture Code 1.003
- 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.
- Devisee: includes a legatee. See Texas Estates Code 22.009
- 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:
- Distributee: means a person who is entitled to a part of the estate of a decedent under a lawful will or the statutes of descent and distribution. See Texas Estates Code 22.010
- Docket: means the probate docket. See Texas Estates Code 22.011
- Donor: The person who makes a gift.
- 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.
- Estate: means a decedent's property, as that property:
(1) exists originally and as the property changes in form by sale, reinvestment, or otherwise;
(2) is augmented by any accretions and other additions to the property, including any property to be distributed to the decedent's representative by the trustee of a trust that terminates on the decedent's death, and substitutions for the property; and
(3) is diminished by any decreases in or distributions from the property. See Texas Estates Code 22.012
- Ex officio: Literally, by virtue of one's office.
- Executor: A male person named in a will to carry out the decedent
- Exempt property: means the property in a decedent's estate that is exempt from execution or forced sale by the constitution or laws of this state, and any allowance paid instead of that property. See Texas Estates Code 22.013
- Extradition: The formal process of delivering an accused or convicted person from authorities in one state to authorities in another state.
- 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.
- Federal Reserve System: The central bank of the United States. The Fed, as it is commonly called, regulates the U.S. monetary and financial system. The Federal Reserve System is composed of a central governmental agency in Washington, D.C. (the Board of Governors) and twelve regional Federal Reserve Banks in major cities throughout the United States. Source: OCC
- 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.
- 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.
- Garnishment: Generally, garnishment is a court proceeding in which a creditor asks a court to order a third party who owes money to the debtor or otherwise holds assets belonging to the debtor to turn over to the creditor any of the debtor
- Gift: A voluntary transfer or conveyance of property without consideration, or for less than full and adequate consideration based on fair market value.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Heir: means a person who is entitled under the statutes of descent and distribution to a part of the estate of a decedent who dies intestate. See Texas Estates Code 22.015
- 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
- Independent executor: means the personal representative of an estate under independent administration as provided by Chapter Texas Estates Code 22.017
- 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.
- Inter vivos: Transfer of property from one living person to another living person.
- 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
- Intestate: Dying without leaving a will.
- Judge: means the presiding judge of any court having original jurisdiction over probate proceedings, regardless of whether the court is:
(1) a county court in the exercise of its probate jurisdiction;
(2) a court created by statute and authorized to exercise probate jurisdiction; or
(3) a district court exercising probate jurisdiction in a contested matter. See Texas Estates Code 22.019
- Justice: when applied to a magistrate, means justice of the peace. See Texas Government Code 312.011
- Land commissioner: means the Commissioner of the General Land Office. See Texas Government Code 312.011
- 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.
- 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.
- lien: include :
(1) a deed of trust;
(2) a vendor's lien, a mechanic's, materialman's, or laborer's lien, an attachment or garnishment lien, and a federal or state tax lien;
(3) a chattel mortgage;
(4) a judgment; and
(5) a pledge by hypothecation. See Texas Estates Code 22.024
- Life estate: A property interest limited in duration to the life of the individual holding the interest (life tenant).
- Litigation: A case, controversy, or lawsuit. Participants (plaintiffs and defendants) in lawsuits are called litigants.
- Livestock: means cattle, horses, mules, asses, sheep, goats, llamas, alpacas, exotic livestock, including elk and elk hybrids, and hogs, unless otherwise defined. See Texas Agriculture Code 1.003
- Minor: means a person younger than 18 years of age who:
(1) has never been married; and
(2) has not had the disabilities of minority removed for general purposes. See Texas Estates Code 22.022
- 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 Texas Government Code 312.011
- Mortgage loan: A loan made by a lender to a borrower for the financing of real property. Source: OCC
- Mortgagee: The person to whom property is mortgaged and who has loaned the money.
- 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
- Next of kin: includes :
(1) an adopted child or the adopted child's descendants; and
(2) the adoptive parent of the adopted child. See Texas Estates Code 22.026
- 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: includes affirmation. See Texas Government Code 311.005
- 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.
- Person: includes a natural person and a corporation. See Texas Estates Code 22.027
- person interested: means :
(1) an heir, devisee, spouse, creditor, or any other having a property right in or claim against an estate being administered; and
(2) anyone interested in the welfare of an incapacitated person, including a minor. See Texas Estates Code 22.018
- Personal property: includes an interest in:
(3) a chose in action;
(4) an evidence of debt; and
(5) a real chattel. See Texas Estates Code 22.028
- Personal property: All property that is not real property.
- personal representative: include :
(1) an executor and independent executor;
(2) an administrator, independent administrator, and temporary administrator; and
(3) a successor to an executor or administrator listed in Subdivision (1) or (2). See Texas Estates Code 22.031
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- President pro tempore: A constitutionally recognized officer of the Senate who presides over the chamber in the absence of the Vice President. The President Pro Tempore (or, "president for a time") is elected by the Senate and is, by custom, the Senator of the majority party with the longest record of continuous service.
- 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.
- 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
- Prosecute: To charge someone with a crime. A prosecutor tries a criminal case on behalf of the government.
- 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.
- Real property: includes estates and interests in land, whether corporeal or incorporeal or legal or equitable. See Texas Estates Code 22.030
- Recess: A temporary interruption of the legislative business.
- 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.
- Remainderman: One entitled to the remainder of an estate after a particular reserved right or interest, such as a life tenancy, has expired.
- 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.
- 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.
- Right of survivorship: The ownership rights that result in the acquisition of title to property by reason of having survived other co-owners.
- Rule: includes regulation. See Texas Government Code 311.005
- 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.
- 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
- Statutory probate court: means a court created by statute and designated as a statutory probate court under Chapter Texas Estates Code 22.007
- Subpoena: A command to a witness to appear and give testimony.
- Succeeding: means immediately following. See Texas Government Code 312.011
- Summons: Another word for subpoena used by the criminal justice system.
- Surety: includes a personal surety and a corporate surety. See Texas Estates Code 22.032
- 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.
- Testate: To die leaving a will.
- Testator: A male person who leaves a will at death.
- Testify: Answer questions in court.
- Testimony: Evidence presented orally by witnesses during trials or before grand juries.
- 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
- 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
- United States: includes a department, bureau, or other agency of the United States of America. See Texas Government Code 311.005
- Venue: The geographical location in which a case is tried.
- Verdict: The decision of a petit jury or a judge.
- Victim Impact Statement: A written or spoken statement by the victim or his or her representative about the physical, emotional, and financial impact of a crime on the victim. The statement is given to the court before sentencing.
- Ward: means a person for whom a guardian has been appointed. See Texas Estates Code 22.033
- Writ: A formal written command, issued from the court, requiring the performance of a specific act.