courts

Allegation

A claim of fact not yet proven to be true. In a lawsuit, a party puts forth their allegations in a complaint, indictment or affirmative defense, and then uses evidence at trial to attempt to prove their truth.

Allege

To allege means to claim or assert something as true; to make an allegation.

[Last updated in June of 2021 by the Wex Definitions Team]

Allen Charge

Allen charges (also referred to as dynamite, nitroglycerin, shotgun, or third-degree charges) refer to jury instructions given to a hung jury urging them to agree on a verdict. Allen charges are controversial as some claim they overly...

Alternative Writ of Mandate (Mandamus)

Also called an alternative mandamus.

An alternative writ of mandate is a court order that 1) states the allegations of a complaint against a governmental agency, corporation, court, official, or other public authority and 2...

American Civil Liberties Union

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is an organization founded in 1920, with the mission of defending and preserving the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to all people in the U.S. Constitution. The ACLU currently has more than...

Amicus

Amicus typically relates to the phrase amicus curiae (plural: amici curiae) which means “friend of the court.” Amicus is an individual or organization that is not a party to an action but who volunteers or is court-invited to advise on a matter...

Amicus Curiae

Latin for "friend of the court." Plural is "amici curiae." Frequently, a person or group who is not a party to an action, but has a strong interest in the matter, will petition the court for permission to submit a brief in the action with the intent of...

Ancillary Jurisdiction

Ancillary jurisdiction allows a federal court to hear a claim that would normally be outside of its subject-matter jurisdiction if it is substantially related to a second claim that is within the court's jurisdiction. A claim comes within a federal...

Answer

Definition

A defendant's first pleading in a case, which addresses the dispute on the merits and presents any defenses and counterclaims. A typical answer denies most of the plaintiff's allegations and claims complete defenses to allegations that are...

Anticipatory Warrant

An anticipatory search warrant is a warrant that is based on an affidavit that shows probable cause that evidence of a particular crime (such as forged checks) will be at a specified location at some time in the future.

See Search Warrants,...

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