Sections
Chapter 551 Open Meetings 551.001 – 551.146
Chapter 552 Public Information 552.001 – 552.376
Chapter 553 Public Disclosure 553.001 – 553.023
Chapter 554 Protection for Reporting Violations of Law 554.001 – 554.010
Chapter 555 State Agency Records Relating to License Holders or Other Regulated Persons 555.001 – 555.051
Chapter 556 Political Activities by Certain Public Entities and Individuals 556.001 – 556.009
Chapter 557 Sedition, Sabotage, and Communism 557.001 – 557.023
Chapter 558 Interpreters for Deaf or Hearing Impaired Persons 558.001 – 558.003
Chapter 559 State Government Privacy Policies 559.001 – 559.005
Chapter 560 Biometric Identifier 560.001 – 560.003

Terms Used In Texas Government Code > Title 5 > Subtitle A - Open Government

  • 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
  • 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.
  • Affirmed: In the practice of the appellate courts, the decree or order is declared valid and will stand as rendered in the lower court.
  • Allegation: something that someone says happened.
  • 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
  • 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.
  • Appellate: About appeals; an appellate court has the power to review the judgement of another lower court or tribunal.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Community Reinvestment Act: The Act is intended to encourage depository institutions to help meet the credit needs of the communities in which they operate, including low- and moderate-income neighborhoods. It was enacted by the Congress in 1977. Source: OCC
  • Concurrent resolution: A legislative measure, designated "S. Con. Res." and numbered consecutively upon introduction, generally employed to address the sentiments of both chambers, to deal with issues or matters affecting both houses, such as a concurrent budget resolution, or to create a temporary joint committee. Concurrent resolutions are not submitted to the President/Governor and thus do not have the force of law.
  • Conviction: A judgement of guilt against a criminal defendant.
  • Counterclaim: A claim that a defendant makes against a plaintiff.
  • Credit bureau: An agency that collects individual credit information and sells it for a fee to creditors so they can make a decision on granting loans. Typical clients include banks, mortgage lenders, credit card companies, and other financing companies. (Also commonly referred to as consumer-reporting agency or credit-reporting agency.) Source: OCC
  • 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
  • Credit Score: A number, roughly between 300 and 800, that measures an individual's credit worthiness. The most well-known type of credit score is the FICO score. This score represents the answer from a mathematical formula that assigns numerical values to various pieces of information in your credit report. Source: OCC
  • Decedent: A deceased person.
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Ex officio: Literally, by virtue of one's office.
  • Executor: A male person named in a will to carry out the decedent
  • 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 Debt Collection Practices Act: The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act is a set of United States statutes added as Title VIII of the Consumer Credit Protection Act. Its purpose is to ensure ethical practices in the collection of consumer debts and to provide consumers with an avenue for disputing and obtaining validation of debt information in order to ensure the information's accuracy. It is often used in conjunction with the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Source: OCC
  • Federal public defender: An attorney employed by the federal courts on a full-time basis to provide legal defense to defendants who are unable to afford counsel. The judiciary administers the federal defender program pursuant to the Criminal Justice Act. Source: U.S. Courts
  • 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
  • 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
  • Forbearance: A means of handling a delinquent loan. A
  • 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.
  • 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
  • Grantor: The person who establishes a trust and places property into it.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Land commissioner: means the Commissioner of the General Land Office. See Texas Government Code 312.011
  • Law clerk: Assist judges with research and drafting of opinions.
  • 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.
  • Legal tender: coins, dollar bills, or other currency issued by a government as official money. Source: U.S. Mint
  • Litigation: A case, controversy, or lawsuit. Participants (plaintiffs and defendants) in lawsuits are called litigants.
  • 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
  • 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
  • Oath: includes affirmation. See Texas Government Code 311.005
  • Oath: A promise to tell the truth.
  • Oversight: Committee review of the activities of a Federal agency or program.
  • Personal property: All property that is not real property.
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Restitution: The court-ordered payment of money by the defendant to the victim for damages caused by the criminal action.
  • 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
  • Signed: includes any symbol executed or adopted by a person with present intention to authenticate a writing. See Texas Government Code 311.005
  • 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.
  • Subpoena duces tecum: A command to a witness to produce documents.
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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
  • Venue: The geographical location in which a case is tried.
  • 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.
  • 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.