Terms Used In Texas Local Government Code > Title 5 > Subtitle B - County Officers and Employees
- Judgement that a criminal defendant has not been proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
- A verdict of "not guilty."
- 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
- 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.
- Allegation: something that someone says happened.
- Amendment: A proposal to alter the text of a pending bill or other measure by striking out some of it, by inserting new language, or both. Before an amendment becomes part of the measure, thelegislature must agree to it.
- 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.
- Appraised value: means the value determined as provided by Chapter 23 of this code. See Texas Tax Code 1.04
- Arrest: Taking physical custody of a person by lawful authority.
- Assessed value: means , for the purposes of assessment of property for taxation, the amount determined by multiplying the appraised value by the applicable assessment ratio, but, for the purposes of determining the debt limitation imposed by Article III, Section Texas Tax Code 1.04
- Assessor: means the officer or employee responsible for assessing property taxes as provided by Chapter 26 of this code for a taxing unit by whatever title he is designated. See Texas Tax Code 1.04
- 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.
- 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
- Chambers: A judge's office.
- Collector: means the officer or employee responsible for collecting property taxes for a taxing unit by whatever title he is designated. See Texas Tax Code 1.04
- 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.
- Complaint: A written statement by the plaintiff stating the wrongs allegedly committed by the defendant.
- Comptroller: means the Comptroller of Public Accounts of the State of Texas. See Texas Tax Code 1.04
- 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.
- 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.
- Defense attorney: Represent defendants in criminal matters.
- Department of Public Safety: means the Department of Public Safety of the State of Texas. See Texas Transportation Code 1.004
- Dependent: A person dependent for support upon another.
- 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.
- 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:
- 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
- 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 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.
- 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
- 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,
- 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.
- Heir property: means real property:
(A) owned by one or more individuals, at least one of whom claims the property as the individual's residence homestead; and
(B) acquired by the owner or owners by will, transfer on death deed, or intestacy, regardless of whether the interests of the owners are recorded in the real property records of the county in which the property is located. See Texas Tax Code 1.04
- 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.
- Improvement: means :
(A) a building, structure, fixture, or fence erected on or affixed to land;
(B) a transportable structure that is designed to be occupied for residential or business purposes, whether or not it is affixed to land, if the owner of the structure owns the land on which it is located, unless the structure is unoccupied and held for sale or normally is located at a particular place only temporarily; or
(C) for purposes of an entity created under Section Texas Tax Code 1.04
- in writing: includes any representation of words, letters, or figures, whether by writing, printing, or other means. See Texas Government Code 312.011
- 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.
- Juror: A person who is on the jury.
- Liabilities: The aggregate of all debts and other legal obligations of a particular person or legal entity.
- 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.
- Market value: means the price at which a property would transfer for cash or its equivalent under prevailing market conditions if:
(A) exposed for sale in the open market with a reasonable time for the seller to find a purchaser;
(B) both the seller and the purchaser know of all the uses and purposes to which the property is adapted and for which it is capable of being used and of the enforceable restrictions on its use; and
(C) both the seller and purchaser seek to maximize their gains and neither is in a position to take advantage of the exigencies of the other. See Texas Tax Code 1.04
- 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.
- Municipality: means a general-law municipality, home-rule municipality, or special-law municipality. See Texas Local Government Code 1.005
- 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 Texas Government Code 311.005
- 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.
- Oversight: Committee review of the activities of a Federal agency or program.
- Partial exemption: means an exemption of part of the value of taxable property. See Texas Tax Code 1.04
- 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.
- Plaintiff: The person who files the complaint in a civil lawsuit.
- 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.
- Probation officers: Screen applicants for pretrial release and monitor convicted offenders released under court supervision.
- 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: means :
(B) an improvement;
(C) a mine or quarry;
(D) a mineral in place;
(E) standing timber; or
(F) an estate or interest, other than a mortgage or deed of trust creating a lien on property or an interest securing payment or performance of an obligation, in a property enumerated in Paragraphs (A) through (E) of this subdivision. See Texas Tax Code 1.04
- Remand: When an appellate court sends a case back to a lower court for further proceedings.
- Reporter: Makes a record of court proceedings and prepares a transcript, and also publishes the court's opinions or decisions (in the courts of appeals).
- 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
- 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
- Tax year: means the calendar year. See Texas Tax Code 1.04
- Taxable value: means the amount determined by deducting from assessed value the amount of any applicable partial exemption. See Texas Tax Code 1.04
- Taxing unit: means a county, an incorporated city or town (including a home-rule city), a school district, a special district or authority (including a junior college district, a hospital district, a district created by or pursuant to the Water Code, a mosquito control district, a fire prevention district, or a noxious weed control district), or any other political unit of this state, whether created by or pursuant to the constitution or a local, special, or general law, that is authorized to impose and is imposing ad valorem taxes on property even if the governing body of another political unit determines the tax rate for the unit or otherwise governs its affairs. See Texas Tax Code 1.04
- 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.
- Trust account: A general term that covers all types of accounts in a trust department, such as estates, guardianships, and agencies. Source: OCC
- Trustee: A person or institution holding and administering property in trust.
- Uphold: The decision of an appellate court not to reverse a lower court decision.
- Venue: The geographical location in which a case is tried.
- 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.
- Written: includes any representation of words, letters, symbols, or figures. See Texas Government Code 311.005