Adjourn: A motion to adjourn a legislative chamber or a committee, if passed, ends that day's session.
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.
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.
Amortization: Paying off a loan by regular installments.
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.
Complaint: A written statement by the plaintiff stating the wrongs allegedly committed by the defendant.
Contract: A legal written agreement that becomes binding when signed.
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.
Cross examine: Questioning of a witness by the attorney for the other side.
Damages: Money paid by defendants to successful plaintiffs in civil cases to compensate the plaintiffs for their injuries.
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.
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
Evidence: Information presented in testimony or in documents that is used to persuade the fact finder (judge or jury) to decide the case for one side or the other.
Ex officio: Literally, by virtue of one's office.
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.
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.
Grantor: The person who establishes a trust and places property into it.
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.
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.
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
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.
Misdemeanor: Usually a petty offense, a less serious crime than a felony, punishable by less than a year of confinement.
Mortgage: The written agreement pledging property to a creditor as collateral for a loan.
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.
person: may be construed to include the United States, this state, or any state or territory, or any public or private corporation or limited liability company, as well as an individual. See Washington Code 1.16.080
Personal property: All property that is not real property.
Plaintiff: The person who files the complaint in a civil lawsuit.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Statute: A law passed by a legislature.
Summons: Another word for subpoena used by the criminal justice system.
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.
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.