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commutation Change of punishment from a greater to a lesser degree, such as from death to life imprisonment or ending a sentence that has been partially served. (criminal) Formal written charge that a person has committed a criminal offense. (civil) Initial document entered by the plaintiff which states the claims against the defendant.
comparative negligence Negligence of a plaintiff in a civil suit which decreases the recovery of damages by his or her percentage of negligence compared to a defendant's negligence. condemnation The legal process by which real estate of a private owner is taken for public use without consent but upon the award and payment of just compensation.
appellate court A court having jurisdiction over appeal and review.
appellee The hearing and settlement of a dispute between opposing parties by a third party whose decision the parties have agreed to accept.
The obligation of a party to prove facts at issue in the trial of a case.
common law The system of jurisprudence which is based on judicial precedent, rather than legislatively enacted statutes of law.
Also called “case law.” community service A sentencing alternative usually used in lieu of a monetary penalty or fine.
alleged Stated; recited; claimed; asserted; charged. answer A formal response to a claim, admitting or denying the allegations in the claim. appeal on the record Refers to a review by a superior court of a district or municipal court decision, through an examination of the lower court's transcript, tape recording or other official documentation of the proceeding. The formal proceeding by which a defendant submits to the jurisdiction of the court. A written notification to the plaintiff by an attorney stating that he or she is representing the defendant.
appellant Party appealing a decision or judgment to a higher court.chief judge Presiding or administrative judge in a court. Reference to authorities in support of a legal argument. Usually pertains to the settlement of disputes between individuals, organizations or groups and having to do with the establishment, recovery or redress of private and civil rights.