Legal Term Glossary

General Legal Terms

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Term Definition

To render a decision.


Failure of the defendant to file an answer or appear in a civil case within the allowed period of time. The plaintiff may then ask for a judgment against the defendant granting everything requested in the complaint.


The person or entity sued in a civil case or accused in a criminal case.

Delinquent Act

An act committed by a juvenile that if committed by an adult would be a crime.


A relationship in which one depends on another for support in whole or in part.


The formal removal of a person from the United States when they have been found to have violated immigration laws.


A deposition is the testimony of a witness or party to a suit, given before trial, under oath, and recorded, just as if it were given in court.

Author: Cathleen Cole
Directed Verdict

After evidence has been presented and if no issue of fact remains for the jury to determine, the judge must direct a verdict for the party entitled to prevail.

Author: Cathleen Cole

The pretrial process by which one entity becomes aware of the evidence gathered by the other entity.


An agreement to terminate all or part of a lawsuit.

Author: Cathleen Cole

The ending of a marriage by court order.

Domestic Relations

Area of law dealing primarily with family issues such as divorce, child support, custody and visitation.

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This website has been prepared for general information purposes only. The information on this website is not legal advice. Legal advice is dependent upon the specific circumstances of each situation. Also, the law may vary from state-to-state or county-to-county, so that some information in this website may not be correct for your situation. Finally, the information contained on this website is not guaranteed to be up to date. Therefore, the information contained in this website cannot replace the advice of competent legal counsel licensed in your jurisdiction.