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Law Terms

Law Term(s) Description Reference

n. 1) any written document in which the signer swears under oath before a notary
      public or someone authorized to take oaths (like a County Clerk), that the statements
      in the document are true.
   2) in many states a declaration under penalty of perjury, which does not require the
      oath-taking before a notary, is the equivalent of an affidavit.

n. the hearing in which a person charged with a crime is arraigned in his or
   her first appearance before a judge. This is the initial appearance of a criminal
   defendant (unless continued from an earlier time) in which all the preliminaries
   are taken care of.

1) n. the money or bond put up to secure the release of a person who has been
      charged with a crime. For minor crimes bail is usually set by a schedule
      which will show the amount to be paid before any court appearance (arraignment).
      For more serious crimes the amount of bail is set by the judge at the suspect's
      first court appearance. The theory is that bail guarantees the appearance of
      the defendant in court when required. While the Constitution guarantees the right
      to reasonable bail, a court may deny bail in cases charging murder or treason,
      or when there is a danger that the defendant will flee or commit mayhem. In some
      traffic matters the defendant may forfeit the bail by non-appearance since the
      bail is equivalent to the fine.

2) v. to post money or bond to secure an accused defendant's release. This is generally
      called "bailing out" a prisoner.

The postponement of a hearing, trial or other scheduled court proceeding,
at the request of one or both parties, or by the judge without consulting them.
Unhappiness with long trial court delays has resulted in the adoption by most
states of "fast track" rules that sharply limit the ability of judges to grant

Note: This action waives your right for "speedy trial".
county seat

"Each county has a county seat, usually the biggest town, where the county offices are."
It is possible to have more than one county seat per county.

n. a written response to a complaint filed in a lawsuit which, in effect, 
   pleads for dismissal on the point that even if the facts alleged in the complaint were true, 
   there is no legal basis for a lawsuit. A hearing before a judge (on the law and motion calendar) 
   will then be held to determine the validity of the demurrer. Some causes of action may be 
   defeated by a demurrer while others may survive. Some demurrers contend that the complaint is 
   unclear or omits an essential element of fact. If the judge finds these errors, he/she will 
   usually sustain the demurrer (state it is valid), but "with leave to amend" in order to allow 
   changes to make the original complaint good. An amendment to the complaint cannot always overcome 
   a demurrer, as in a case filed after the time allowed by law to bring a suit. If after amendment 
   the complaint is still not legally good, a demurrer will be granted sustained. In rare occasions, 
   a demurrer can be used to attack an answer to a complaint. Some states have substituted a motion 
   to dismiss for failure to state a cause of action for the demurrer.

n. the entire efforts of a party to a lawsuit and his/her/its attorneys to
   obtain information before trial through demands for production of documents,
   depositions of parties and potential witnesses, written interrogatories
   (questions and answers written under oath), written requests for admissions
   of fact, examination of the scene and the petitions and motions employed to
   enforce discovery rights. The theory of broad rights of discovery is that all
   parties will go to trial with as much knowledge as possible and that neither
   party should be able to keep secrets from the other (except for constitutional
   protection against self-incrimination). Often much of the fight between the
   two sides in a suit takes place during the discovery period.

"typically (could) include errors of law, fact, or procedure"

n. a formal request made to a judge for an order or judgment. Motions are made in 
   court all the time for many purposes: to continue (postpone) a trial to a later date,
   to get a modification of an order, for temporary child support, for a judgment, for
   dismissal of the opposing party's case, for a rehearing, for sanctions (payment of
   the moving party's costs or attorney's fees), or for dozens of other purposes. Most
   motions require a written petition, a written brief of legal reasons for granting
   the motion (often called "points and authorities"), written notice to the attorney
   for the opposing party and a hearing before a judge. However, during a trial or a
   hearing, an oral motion may be permitted.
pro per

adj. short for "propria persona," which is Latin for "for oneself," usually applied
     to a person who represents himself/herself in a lawsuit rather than have
     an attorney.
pro tem

adj. short for the Latin pro tempore, temporarily or for the time being.
     In law, judge pro tem normally refers to a judge who is sitting temporarily
     for another judge or to an attorney who has been appointed to serve as a judge
     as a substitute for a regular judge. When an appeals justice is not available
     or there is a vacancy, a lower court judge is appointed Justice Pro Tem until
     a new Justice is appointed. Small claims cases are often heard by an attorney
     serving as Judge Pro Tem.
"post bail"

Paying the fine of the citation, and an agreement with the court that after Defendant posted bail,
he or she has promised to appeal for a court trial.


"serving" is when someone not you or anyone else listed in this case gives a copy
of your court papers to the person, business, or public entity you are suing.
Service lets the other party know:
* What you are asking for, 
* When and where the trial will be, and 
* What they can do.
speedy trial

n. in criminal prosecutions, the right of a defendant to demand a trial within a short time
   since to be held in jail without trial is a violation of the "due process" provision of the
   5th Amendment (applied to the states by the 14th Amendment). Each state has a statute or
   constitutional provision limiting the time an accused person may be held before trial (e.g. 45 days).
   Charges must be dismissed and the defendant released if the period expires without trial.
   However, defendants often waive the right to a speedy trial in order to prepare a stronger defense,
   and if the accused is free on bail he/she will not be hurt by the waiver.

adj. within the time required by statute, court rules or contract.
trial de novo

n. a form of appeal in which the appeals court holds a trial as if
   no prior trial had been held. A trial de novo is common on appeals
   from small claims court judgments.

adj. passed the time required by statute, court rules or contract.

"waive time"

To "waive time" is to give up the defendant's right to have the trial or
other statutory proceedings occur within specified periods of time.

Note: This action waives your right for "speedy trial".