Terms Used In Texas Special District Local Laws Code > Title 4 > Subtitle C - Development, Improvement, and Management
- Accident and health insurance: means contracts that incorporate morbidity risk and provide protection against economic loss resulting from accident, sickness, or medical conditions and as may be specified in the valuation manual. See Texas Insurance Code 425.052
- 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
- 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.
- Amortization: Paying off a loan by regular installments.
- 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.
- Appellate: About appeals; an appellate court has the power to review the judgement of another lower court or tribunal.
- Appointed actuary: means a qualified actuary who is appointed in accordance with the valuation manual to prepare the actuarial opinion required by § 425. See Texas Insurance Code 425.052
- 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
- Asset forfeiture: A procedure by which a person's property is seized to pay judgments levied by the court.
- Attachment: A procedure by which a person's property is seized to pay judgments levied by the court.
- Attorney-in-fact: A person who, acting as an agent, is given written authorization by another person to transact business for him (her) out of 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.
- Bailiff: a court officer who enforces the rules of behavior in courtrooms.
- 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
- Codicil: An addition, change, or supplement to a will executed with the same formalities required for the will itself.
- 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 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.
- Company: means an entity that:
(A) has written, issued, or reinsured life insurance contracts, accident and health insurance contracts, or deposit-type contracts in this state and has at least one such policy in force or on claim; or
(B) has written, issued, or reinsured life insurance contracts, accident and health insurance contracts, or deposit-type contracts in any state and is required to hold a certificate of authority to write life insurance, accident and health insurance, or deposit-type contracts in this state. See Texas Insurance Code 425.052
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- County election precinct: means an election precinct established under § 42. See Texas Election Code 1.005
- County office: means an office of the county government that is voted on countywide. See Texas Election Code 1.005
- Court reporter: A person who makes a word-for-word record of what is said in court and produces a transcript of the proceedings upon request.
- Decedent: A deceased person.
- Deed: The legal instrument used to transfer title in real property from one person to another.
- 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.
- 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:
- District office: means an office of the federal or state government that is not voted on statewide. See Texas Election Code 1.005
- Docket: A log containing brief entries of court proceedings.
- Donor: The person who makes a gift.
- Effects: includes all personal property and all interest in that property. See Texas Government Code 312.011
- Election official: means :
(A) a county clerk;
(B) a permanent or temporary deputy county clerk;
(C) an elections administrator;
(D) a permanent or temporary employee of an elections administrator;
(E) an election judge;
(F) an alternate election judge;
(G) an early voting clerk;
(H) a deputy early voting clerk;
(I) an election clerk;
(J) the presiding judge of an early voting ballot board;
(K) the alternate presiding judge of an early voting ballot board;
(L) a member of an early voting ballot board;
(M) the chair of a signature verification committee;
(N) the vice chair of a signature verification committee;
(O) a member of a signature verification committee;
(P) the presiding judge of a central counting station;
(Q) the alternate presiding judge of a central counting station;
(R) a central counting station manager;
(S) a central counting station clerk;
(T) a tabulation supervisor;
(U) an assistant to a tabulation supervisor; and
(V) a chair of a county political party holding a primary election or a runoff primary election. See Texas Election Code 1.005
- 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
- Escheat: Reversion of real or personal property to the state when 1) a person dies without leaving a will and has no heirs, or 2) when the property (such as a bank account) has been inactive for a certain period of time. Source: OCC
- 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.
- Executive session: A portion of the Senate's daily session in which it considers executive business.
- 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
- Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation: A government corporation that insures the deposits of all national and state banks that are members of the Federal Reserve System. Source: OCC
- 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.
- Final canvass: means the canvass from which the official result of an election is determined. See Texas Election Code 1.005
- 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.
- 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
- 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
- Germane: On the subject of the pending bill or other business; a strict standard of relevance.
- 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,
- 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
- Gubernatorial general election: means the general election held every four years to elect a governor for a full term. See Texas Election Code 1.005
- 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
- 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 candidate: means a candidate in a nonpartisan election or a candidate in a partisan election who is not the nominee of a political party. See Texas Election Code 1.005
- 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.
- Intangible property: Property that has no intrinsic value, but is merely the evidence of value such as stock certificates, bonds, and promissory notes.
- 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.
- Joint committee: Committees including membership from both houses of teh legislature. Joint committees are usually established with narrow jurisdictions and normally lack authority to report legislation.
- Joint tenancy: A form of property ownership in which two or more parties hold an undivided interest in the same property that was conveyed under the same instrument at the same time. A joint tenant can sell his (her) interest but not dispose of it by will. Upon the death of a joint tenant, his (her) undivided interest is distributed among the surviving joint tenants.
- Jurisprudence: The study of law and the structure of the legal system.
- Juror: A person who is on the jury.
- 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).
- Life insurance: means contracts that incorporate mortality risk, including annuity and pure endowment contracts, and as may be specified in the valuation manual. See Texas Insurance Code 425.052
- 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
- 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
- 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.
- most recent federal census: means the United States decennial census immediately preceding the action in question. 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
- 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
- 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.
- Oral argument: An opportunity for lawyers to summarize their position before the court and also to answer the judges' questions.
- 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 corporation, organization, government or governmental subdivision or agency, business trust, estate, trust, partnership, association, and any other legal entity. See Texas Government Code 311.005
- Personal property: All property that is not real property.
- 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
- 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.
- Policyholder behavior: means any action a policyholder, a contract holder, or any other person with the right to elect options, such as a certificate holder, may take under a policy or contract subject to this subchapter, including lapse, withdrawal, transfer, deposit, premium payment, loan, annuitization, or benefit elections prescribed by the policy or contract but excluding events of mortality or morbidity that result in benefits prescribed in their essential aspects by the terms of the policy or contract. See Texas Insurance Code 425.052
- 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
- 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.
- Presidential primary election: means an election held under Subchapter Texas Election Code 1.005
- 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 172 to select its nominees for public office, and, unless the context indicates otherwise, the term includes a presidential primary election. See Texas Election Code 1.005
- Principle-based valuation: means the valuation described by § 425. See Texas Insurance Code 425.052
- 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.
- 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.
- Qualified actuary: means an individual who is qualified to sign the applicable statement of actuarial opinion in accordance with the American Academy of Actuaries' qualification standards for actuaries signing such statements and who meets the requirements specified in the valuation manual. See Texas Insurance Code 425.052
- Real property: includes estates and interests in land, whether corporeal or incorporeal or legal or equitable. See Texas Estates Code 22.030
- Recourse: An arrangement in which a bank retains, in form or in substance, any credit risk directly or indirectly associated with an asset it has sold (in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles) that exceeds a pro rata share of the bank's claim on the asset. If a bank has no claim on an asset it has sold, then the retention of any credit risk is recourse. Source: FDIC
- 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.
- 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).
- Reserves: means reserve liabilities. See Texas Insurance Code 425.052
- 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.
- Revolving credit: A credit agreement (typically a credit card) that allows a customer to borrow against a preapproved credit line when purchasing goods and services. The borrower is only billed for the amount that is actually borrowed plus any interest due. (Also called a charge account or open-end credit.) Source: OCC
- 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
- Special election: means an election that is not a general election or a primary election. See Texas Election Code 1.005
- 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.
- Statutory probate court: means a court created by statute and designated as a statutory probate court under Chapter 25, Government Code. See 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
- Swear: includes affirm. See Texas Government Code 311.005
- sworn: includes affirm or affirmed. See Texas Government Code 312.011
- Tail risk: means a risk that occurs either where the frequency of low probability events is higher than expected under a normal probability distribution or where there are observed events of very significant size or magnitude. See Texas Insurance Code 425.052
- 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.
- Tort: A civil wrong or breach of a duty to another person, as outlined by law. A very common tort is negligent operation of a motor vehicle that results in property damage and personal injury in an automobile accident.
- 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
- Uniform election date: means an election date prescribed by § 41. See Texas Election Code 1.005
- Uphold: The decision of an appellate court not to reverse a lower court decision.
- User fees: Fees charged to users of goods or services provided by the government. In levying or authorizing these fees, the legislature determines whether the revenue should go into the treasury or should be available to the agency providing the goods or services.
- Usury: Charging an illegally high interest rate on a loan. Source: OCC
- Valuation manual: means the manual of valuation instructions adopted by the commissioner by rule. See Texas Insurance Code 425.052
- Variable Rate: Having a "variable" rate means that the APR changes from time to time based on fluctuations in an external rate, normally the Prime Rate. This external rate is known as the "index." If the index changes, the variable rate normally changes. Also see Fixed Rate.
- Venue: The geographical location in which a case is tried.
- Verdict: The decision of a petit jury or a judge.
- Victim advocate: work with prosecutors and assist the victims of a crime.
- 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.
- Voir dire: The process by which judges and lawyers select a petit jury from among those eligible to serve, by questioning them to determine knowledge of the facts of the case and a willingness to decide the case only on the evidence presented in court. "Voir dire" is a phrase meaning "to speak the truth."
- 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
- Voting year: means the 12-month period beginning January 1 of each year. 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.