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Civil Law Key Terms

Match Vocabulary with definition

TermDefinition
Alternative Service A method of delivering to an uncooperative defendant
Answer A defendant’s written reply to a plaintiff’s petition
Applicant A party making application to the court or petitioning for some action
Attachment A procedure or writ which may be used to bring a person or property into the custody of the court
Citation An official notice from a court of competent jurisdiction, issued to a defendant after a plaintiff’s petition is filed; the citation commands the defendant to answer and appear in court at a specific time
Civil Law A portion of the law which defines the personal and property rights of individuals, the rights of an individual to seek redress or to prevent a wrong, and any action other than criminal proceedings
Civil subpoena A command to appear at a certain time and place to give testimony upon a certain matter
Contempt Proceedings held to determine whether a person has violated a lawful court order and to set punishment if a violation is found
Ex Parte Any proceeding which is held for the benefit of, or on application of only one party; in the absence of one party
Garnishment A writ and process directed to one who has money or property in his possession belonging to the defendant, ordering the third person not to deliver or pay it to the defendant, but to deliver or hold it for the plaintiff or as directed by the court
Injunction A writ issued by a court that demands or prohibits specified actions
Orders The directions of a court or judge; a mandate or command
Petition A document filed by the plaintiff with the clerk of the court which outlines the basis of the complaint against the defendant and the relief being sought from the court
Plaintiff A party in a civil suit; mainly the one who initiates the suit by filing a petition
Respondent Defendant in a civil suit
Sequestration An order directing the sheriff or constable to take into his possession certain property of which another person has possession until the suit can be decided or as the court directs
Show cause A notice to the defendant to either appear in court or prepare a written answer to show cause for failing to respond to a previous order of the court (a.k.a. Notice)
Subpoena Duces Tecum The process by which a court, at the direction of a party, commands a witness who has in his possession or control some document or paper that is pertinent to the issues of a pending controversy, to produce it at the trial
Tort Any one of various legally recognized private injuries or wrongs; a civil action
Writ A legal order issued by the court, in the name of the state, to compel a person to do something specifically ordered
Possession a writ employed to enforce a judgment to recover possession of real or personal property (used in eviction process)
Restraining Order an order to the defendant prohibiting him or her from performing an act prohibited in the order until a formal hearing can be conducted
Style or format the prescribed structure for the clerks of the court to use in developing the process
Return the endorsement made by a constable or sheriff upon process; writ or notice stating what has been accomplished, and the time and mode of service
Service the delivery of a writ, notice or injunction, etc. by an authorized 2 person, to a person who is thereby officially notified of some proceeding concerning him or her
Jurisdiction the power of a court to lawfully act with regard to persons and property
Habeas Corpus a writ which orders that a person be brought before the court in order to test the legality of his detention by the person to whom the writ is directed
Execution of judgment most common writ, issued to seize property to satisfy a judgment
Diligent effort persistent activity, prudence or care; what is properly expected from a reasonable and prudent person under the particular circumstances
Instanter immediate; now or instantly