Glossary beginning with A

Click one of the letters above to go to the page of all terms beginning with that letter.

To be found not guilty of a crime by a judge or jury

Synonyms: exonerate


Enough evidence to file a lawsuit

Actual damages

Money awarded to replace damages the plaintiff suffered

Administrative hearing

Similar to trial but held in front of a judge who works for a government agency

Administrative order

A decision made by a government agency


When an adult becomes a child's legal parent


Any person 18 years old or over


Sexual relations between a married person and someone who is not their spouse


A notarized written statement signed by a person under oath

Affidavit of service

A written statement signed under oath which describes where, when, and how a person received court documents

Affirmative defense

The introduction of new facts in a case to defend against a lawsuit instead of just denying what the other person says

Agreed order

An agreement between two sides in a lawsuit that says what both sides will do


A name, such as a nickname, that is used by someone but is not their legal name


A claim that has not been proven or disproved

Allocation of parental responsibilities

When a court splits up parenting time, decision-making responsibility, and child support between parents (formerly called "custody")


To divide property between everyone who is entitled to it

Synonyms: allocate

Amended complaint

Changes made by the plaintiff to the original complaint to correct facts, add new claims, or make other modifications


A legal action that says a marriage was never legally valid


(noun) A request to review an official decision or change a final ruling
(verb) To request a review of an official decision or a change of a final ruling


A form that lets the plaintiff and the court know the defendant is participating in the case


Someone who wants to change a previous court decision


An expert's opinion of what something is worth


When parties present their case to a third person instead of going to court

Synonyms: mediation adjudication

Arresting authority

The law enforcement agency that arrested someone, like the police or FBI


Anything a person owns that has monetary value

At-will employment

A kind of employment in which an empoloyee can quit or be fired at any time, except for certain legally protected reasons

Attorney's fees

Money paid to a lawyer for their work


When records are looked over to make sure they are correct