Common Legal Terminology

Sanction -
A penalty or other type of enforcement used to bring about compliance with the law or with rules and regulations.
Schedules -
Lists submitted by the debtor along with the petition (or shortly thereafter) showing the debtor’s assets, liabilities, and other financial information. (There are official forms a debtor must use.)
Secured creditor -
A secured creditor is an individual or business that holds a claim against the debtor that is secured by a lien on property of the estate. The property subject to the lien is the secured creditor’s collateral.
Secured debt -
Debt backed by a mortgage, pledge of collateral, or other lien; debt for which the creditor has the right to pursue specific pledged property upon default. Examples include home mortgages, auto loans and tax liens.
Senior judge -
A federal judge who, after attaining the requisite age and length of judicial experience, takes senior status, thus creating a vacancy among a court’s active judges. A senior judge retains the judicial office and may cut back his or her workload by as much as 75 percent, but many opt to keep a larger caseload.
Sentence -
The punishment ordered by a court for a defendant convicted of a crime.
Sentencing guidelines -
A set of rules and principles established by the United States Sentencing Commission that trial judges use to determine the sentence for a convicted defendant.
Sequester -
To separate. Sometimes juries are sequestered from outside influences during their deliberations.
Service of process -
The delivery of writs or summonses to the appropriate party.
Settlement -
Parties to a lawsuit resolve their dispute without having a trial. Settlements often involve the payment of compensation by one party in at least partial satisfaction of the other party’s claims, but usually do not include the admission of fault.
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All terms and definitions on this page are from (April 13, 2020)