Terms Used In Texas Government Code Chapter 508
- 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.
- 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.
- Answer: The formal written statement by a defendant responding to a civil complaint and setting forth the grounds for defense.
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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.
- Complaint: A written statement by the plaintiff stating the wrongs allegedly committed by the defendant.
- Continuance: Putting off of a hearing ot trial until a later time.
- Conviction: A judgement of guilt against a criminal defendant.
- 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
- 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.
- Dependent: A person dependent for support upon another.
- Discovery: Lawyers' examination, before trial, of facts and documents in possession of the opponents to help the lawyers prepare for trial.
- 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
- 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
- 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
- Executor: A male person named in a will to carry out the decedent
- Extradition: The formal process of delivering an accused or convicted person from authorities in one state to authorities in another state.
- 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.
- Fraud: Intentional deception resulting in injury to another.
- 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.
- 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.
- in writing: includes any representation of words, letters, or figures, whether by writing, printing, or other means. See Texas Government Code 312.011
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- Justice: when applied to a magistrate, means justice of the peace. See Texas Government Code 312.011
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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 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
- 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
- Preliminary hearing: A hearing where the judge decides whether there is enough evidence to make the defendant have a trial.
- 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.
- 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.
- Quorum: The number of legislators that must be present to do 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.
- 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: A law passed by a legislature.
- 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
- Testate: To die leaving a will.
- Testator: A male person who leaves a will at death.
- 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.
- Trustee: A person or institution holding and administering property in trust.
- United States: includes a department, bureau, or other agency of the United States of America. See Texas Government Code 311.005
- 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
- Year: means 12 consecutive months. See Texas Government Code 311.005