Legal Term Glossary

General Legal Terms

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Term Main definition
Calendar Days

Calendar days include weekends and holidays


Lawsuit, suit, or action being resolved through the court system.

Case Law

Law composed of previously written decisions of appellate courts.


Private office of a judge or justice.

Chief Justice

Presiding justice of the Arizona Supreme Court.


The identity of an individuals national origin.  It defines his/her rights and responsibilities to that country.

Civil Complaint

Document filed by the plaintiff in a civil case that outlines the claim of the plaintiff against the defendant.

Civil Law

Area of law that deals with disputes between individuals not involving crimes.

Clerk of the Court

An appointed or elected person who is in charge of keeping records, accounts and managing regular activities for a court.


An elected official whose primary duty is to deliver and return legal notices and documents as directed by a justice court.

Contested Case

An action in which the defendant opposes the relief sought by the plaintiff.

Synonyms - Contest

A decision by the judge or a verdict by the jury determining that a person charged with a criminal offense is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.


A claim filed by a defendant in a civil case against the complaint of the plaintiff. For this claim, the defendant is a plaintiff.

County Attorney

Attorney elected in each county to prosecute criminal cases on behalf of the public and to represent the county in civil matters.

Court Administrator

Person who assists the presiding judge in managing the court.

Court Commissioner

Person with authority to do the job of a judge in limited cases.

Court of Record

Courts in which all proceedings are permanently recorded according to law. Justice and municipal courts are not courts of record, but they sometimes do keep records of court proceedings.

Court Reporter

A person who records all formal court proceedings in order to be able to produce a transcript of the proceeding.

Courtroom Clerk

The clerk is the person responsible for filing papers and keeping records of what happens in the courthouse.


An act forbidden by law and punishable by fine, probation, imprisonment or death.

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