Glossary of Legal Terms

Home confinement may include the use of electronic monitoring equipment – a transmitter attached to the wrist or the ankle – to help ensure that the person stays at home as required. Fraudulent transfer A transfer of a debtor’s property made with intent to defraud or for which the debtor receives less than the transferred property’s value. Federal question jurisdiction Jurisdiction given to federal courts in cases involving the interpretation and application of the U.S. Constitution, acts of Congress, and treaties.

Bankruptcy judge A judicial officer of the United States district court who is the court official with decision-making power over federal bankruptcy cases. For the Tax Court, though, this was all about who paid the premiums for the insurance coverage. His employer paid them, and the premium payments were not deducted from his pay. In essence, then, this was extra money, not something he had paid for. He even tried arguing that the pay was really in the nature of physical injury or sickness payments, so could be excluded as that type of damages. However, what if you paid for your disability insurance yourself, with after-tax dollars?

This bestselling dictionary is an authoritative and comprehensive source of jargon-free legal information. Its entries clearly define the major terms, concepts, processes, and organization of the English legal system. Warrant Court authorization, most often for law enforcement officers, to conduct a search or make an arrest. Typing service A business not authorized to practice law that prepares bankruptcy petitions.

Priority claim An unsecured claim that is entitled to be paid ahead of other unsecured claims that are not entitled to priority status. Priority refers to the order in which these unsecured claims are to be paid. Postpetition transfer A transfer of the debtor’s property made after the commencement of the case. Plea In a criminal case, the defendant’s statement pleading “guilty” or “not guilty” in answer to the charges. Plaintiff A person or business that files a formal complaint with the court. Per curiam Latin, meaning “for the court.” In appellate courts, often refers to an unsigned opinion.

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The law of the land the established law of a country. Be a law unto oneself to be inclined not to obey rules or follow the usual customs and conventions. The state or practice of settling in vacant or abandoned property, either for shelter or in an attempt to establish ownership. An expert on the codification and revision of Roman laws ordered by the 6th-century Byzantine emperor Justinian. An act or action having the character of a crime. A person who puts a particular interpretation on provisions of the U.S. Constitution, especially those provisions dealing with the rights of individuals and states.

Legal Dictionary of Law Terminology

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. Disposable income Income not reasonably necessary for the maintenance or support of the debtor or dependents. If the debtor operates a business, disposable income is defined as those amounts over and above what is necessary for the payment of ordinary operating expenses. Defendant In a civil case, the person or organization against whom the plaintiff brings suit; in a criminal case, the person accused of the crime.

Assets Property of all kinds, including real and personal, tangible and intangible. Arraignment A proceeding in which a criminal defendant is brought into court, told of the charges in an indictment or information, and asked to plead guilty or not guilty. Appellee The party who opposes an appellant’s appeal, and who seeks to persuade the appeals court to affirm the district court’s decision. Appellant The party who appeals a district court’s decision, usually seeking reversal of that decision. Affirmed In the practice of the court of appeals, it means that the court of appeals has concluded that the lower court decision is correct and will stand as rendered by the lower court.

Judge An official of the Judicial branch with authority to decide lawsuits brought before courts. Read more about understanding the law here. Used generically, the term judge may also refer to all judicial officers, including Supreme Court justices.