|- A -
- B -
- C -
have provided an easy to understand glossary for Superior
OTHER LANGUAGES: Sacramento County Superior Court has provided online access to Legal Glossaries in several different languages, please follow this link to view those legal glossaries.
Glossary: Aa through Cc
- - A -
- Otherwise called; another name.
- An unproved or as yet unknown statement
- To state, assert, or charge that
something is fact, although it has yet been proven so.
- To add to or alter a charge which
has been filed.
- A written statement made by the
defendant in a civil case in response to the charges
or complaints filed.
- AMICUS CURIAE:
- Friend of the court.
- The procedure by which a person
found guilty in a lower court can request that a higher
court review the case for possible errors or injustices
made during the original trial. A request for re-examination
of the case.
- Appearing before a judge.
- A person who appeals a judgment
of the court.
- The initial hearing after an arrest
which marks the beginning of the judicial process. The
accused is given a copy of the complaint, informed of
the charges filed, and advised of constitutional rights.
Bail is set at this hearing. The accused can, but does
not have to, enter a plea at this time.
- The legal apprehension of a person
charged with a crime.
- AD LITEM:
- For the suit; for the purpose of
- The procedure by which a person's
property is restrained by the court to secure payment
to the plaintiff on a judgment.
- An official examination of a account
- To grant, concede, or adjudge to.
To give or assign by sentence or judicial determination.
Thus, a jury awards damages; the court awards an injunction.
- B -
- A sum of money or other form of
security demanded by the court (1) in exchange for the
release of the accused from custody, and (2) to guarantee
his/her later appearance in court.
- BAIL BOND:
- A document purchased from a bondsman
which is given to the court instead of money for bail.
Once signed by the defendant, he/she is released from
custody on the condition that the amount will be forfeited
should the defendant not appear in court at the required
- BOOK (BOOKING):
- A process done by police at the
time of arrest which involves fingerprinting, photographing,
and writing down personal data.
- BREATH TEST:
- A chemical analysis of one's breath
to determine the percentage of alcohol fumes.
- A written or printed document,
prepared by counsel to serve as the basis for an argument
upon a cause in an appellate court, and usually filed
for the information of the court. It embodies the point
of law which the counsel desires to establish, together
with the arguments and authorities upon which he rests
- The breaking and entering the house
of another, with intent to commit felony therein, whether
the felony be actually committed or not.
- C -
- An alphabetical, categorized list
of each case to be heard in each courtroom every day.
To calendar something means to assign a day, time and
courtroom to a case.
- CAL JIC:
- California Jury Instructions, Criminal.
- CAPITAL PUNISHMENT:
- The taking of a person's life by
the state as the legal penalty for criminal offense.
- A lawsuit or term used to describe
any complaint filed in the criminal, traffic, civil
or small claims division in a court.
- CASE LAW:
- The aggregate of reported cases
as forming a body of jurisprudence, or the law of particular
subject as evidenced or formed by the adjudged cases,
in distinction to statutes and other sources of law.
- CASH BAIL:
- The full amount of bail set and
paid to the court in cash.
- CAUSE OF ACTION:
- The facts which make the basis
for case or lawsuit.
- CAVEAT EMPTOR:
- Let the buyer beware (or take care).
- A written order by a judge which
transfers a criminal case to another in a different
- CERTIFIED COPY:
- A copy of a document or record,
signed and certified as a true copy by the officer to
whose custody the original is entrusted.
- The right of a party to object
to or dispute something.
- CHALLENGE FOR CAUSE:
- Reasons given by an attorney for
objections to a potential juror and the request that
the judge disqualify and remove the person from the
- COMPARATIVE NEGLIGENCE:
- That doctrine in the law of negligence
by which the negligence of the parties is compared,
in the degrees of "slight", "ordinary",
and "gross" negligence, and a recovery permitted,
notwithstanding the contributory negligence of the plaintiff.
- COMPENSATORY DAMAGES:
- The amount of money to be paid
by one person to another which covers only the actual
cost or equivalent cost of the wrong or injury caused.
- A document submitted by the plaintiff,
usually prepared by an attorney, which lists and describes
(1) alleged offenses committed by the defendant; (2)
ramifications, and (3) the desired conditions for correction
of such offenses.
- CONCLUSION OF FACT:
- An inference drawn from the subordinate
or evidentiary facts.
- CONCLUSION OF LAW:
- Within the rule that pleadings
should contain only facts and no conclusions of law,
meaning a proposition not arrived at by any process
of natural reasoning from a fact or combination of facts
stated, but by the application of the artificial rules
of law to the facts pleaded.
- Sentences which are carried out
at the same time, e.g. concurrent sentences of 10 years
and 5 years equal a total of 10 years served.
- CONFESSION OF JUDGMENT:
- An entry of judgment upon the admission
or confession of the debtor without the formality involved
in an ordinary proceeding.
- CONFIDENTIAL RECORD:
- Any information introduced into
a court proceeding that is not available to the general
- CONFORM COPIES:
- To make copies identical to an
original, e.g. copies with duplicate signatures, duplicate
- CONSECUTIVE SENTENCES:
- Two or more sentences served continuously,
one right after another, e.g., consecutive sentences
of 10 years and 5 years equal a total of 15 years served.
- The inducement to a contract. The
cause, motive, price, or impelling influence which induces
a contracting party to enter into a contract. The reason
or material cause of a contract.
- CONSOLIDATION OF ACTIONS:
- The assignment of two or more lawsuits
against one person to the same courtroom, i.e., when
a defendant is charged with a felony and a misdemeanor,
one trial is held, rather than one trial in municipal
court and another in superior court.
- A willful disregard or disobedience
of a public authority.
- COURTESY NOTICE:
- A computer-printed notice sent
to a defendant stating appearance date, bail information,
- An act which violates the law (see
- One who has committed a criminal
offense; one who has been legally convicted of a crime;
one adjudged guilty of a crime.
- A document usually submitted by
the defendant which lists and describes offenses, ramifications
and/or damages alleged against the plaintiff or a third
- The person named in a cross claim
as the defendant.
- The examination and question of
testimony given by a witness that represents the other
side of controversy at a trial, hearing or deposition.
- The legal right given to a person
of official authority to exercise complete and immediate
control over a person to insure appearance in court.
Custody also refers to the actual imprisonment of the
accused after a criminal conviction.
- CUSTODY LIST:
- A daily list provided by the county
jail through the marshal's office giving the court the
names of people in custody in various detention facilities
who will be brought to court for hearings during the