Standard of proof commonly used in civil lawsuits and in regulatory agency cases. It governs the amount of proof that must be offered in order for the plaintiff to win the case.
Act of grace or mercy by the President or a governor to ease the consequences of a criminal act, accusation, or conviction. It may take the form of commutation or pardon.
The closing statement, by counsel, to the trier of facts after all parties have concluded their presentation of evidence.
An amendment to a will.
To send a person to prison, asylum, or reformatory by a court order.
Placement of a youth in the care of the city (specifically, the Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services, or DYRS) rather than putting him on probation, after a finding of, or plea to, involvement in a crime.
A body of laws that is based on judicial decisions rather than legislative action.
The reduction of a prison sentence, as from death to life imprisonment.
A legal doctrine by which acts of the opposing parties are compared to determine the percentage of liability of each party, resulting in the reduction of the plaintiff’s recovery proportionally to the plaintiff’s degree of fault. See also contributory negligence.
The party who complains or sues; one who applies to the court for legal redress. Also called the plaintiff.
The legal document that usually begins a civil lawsuit. It states the facts and identifies the action the court is asked to take. 2. Formal written charge that a person has committed a criminal offense.
A form of alternative dispute resolution in which the parties bring their dispute to a neutral third party, who helps lower tensions, improve communications, and explore possible solutions. Conciliation is similar to mediation, but it may be less formal.
Sentences for more than one crime that are to be served at the same time, rather than one after the other. See also cumulative sentences.
The legal process by which the government takes private land for public use, paying the owners a fair price.
Terms by which someone must abide in order to be in the community, rather than secure detention.
Successive sentences, one beginning at the expiration of another, imposed against a person convicted of two or more violations.
An agreement that a youth shall be on probation before a plea or finding of involvement in a crime. The decree is usually six months in length and does not require further hearings, unless requested because the youth is not complying with conditions of release.
Legal right given to a person to manage the property and financial affairs of a person deemed incapable of doing so for himself or herself. (See also guardianship. Conservators have somewhat less responsibility than guardians.)
Willful disobedience of a judge's command or of an official court order.
Postponement of a legal proceeding to a later date.
A legally enforceable agreement between two or more competent parties made either orally or in writing.
A legal doctrine that says if the plaintiff in a civil action for negligence also was negligent, he or she cannot recover damages from the defendant for the defendant’s negligence. Most jurisdictions have abandoned the doctrine of contributory negligence in favor of comparative negligence.
A judgment of guilt against a criminal defendant.
Body of the crime. The objective proof that a crime has been committed. It sometimes refers to the body of the victim of a homicide or to the charred shell of a burned house, but the term has a broader meaning. For the state to introduce a confession or to convict the accused, it must prove a corpus delicti, that is, the occurrence of a specific injury or loss and a criminal act as the source of that particular injury or loss.
Supplementary evidence that tends to strengthen or confirm the initial evidence.
Legal adviser; a term used to refer to lawyers in a case.
A claim made by the defendant in a civil lawsuit against the plaintiff.
An officer appointed by the court or elected to oversee the administrative, non-judicial activities of the court.
The expenses of prosecuting or defending a lawsuit, other than the attorneys' fees, which may be awarded to the successful party (from the losing party).
A person who makes a word-for-word record of what is said in court and produces a transcript of the proceedings upon request.
The adult probation agency for the District of Columbia.
A claim by codefendants or co-plaintiffs against each other and not against persons on the opposite side of the lawsuit.
The questioning of a witness produced by the other side.
Sentences for two or more crimes to run consecutively, rather than concurrently.
Detaining of a person by lawful process or authority to assure his or her appearance at any hearing; the jailing or imprisonment of a person convicted of a crime
An order, signed by a judge, which authorizes officers to bring a youth into custody (i.e., bring him or her to court)