Legal Glossary 

Agreed judgment

An agreed judgment is filed in court by both parties then signed by the judge for judgment in the case.

Bailiff affidavit

Special bailiffs are used to serve papers.

Defendant

Person being sued.

Discharge of debtor

An order from a bankruptcy judge that forgives remaining debts that cannot be paid.

Discovery

Getting the information needed to collect one’s judgment usually completed by a subpoena.

Execution

Process to execute on one’s possessions after a judgment.

Foreign judgment

Form used to transfer judgments into our state.

Forthwith order of arrest

An order signed by a judge to have the sheriff arrest a defendant for failure to show up in court for a discovery hearing after being served a subpoena.

Garnishment

Process of petitioning for and getting a court order directing a person or an entity to hold funds owed to someone who allegedly is in debt to another person after a judgment has been rendered.

Garnishment challenge

Form used to challenge a wage garnishment on an individual’s paycheck.

Judgment

Final decision of the court.

Judgment lien

Claim or charge against properties or funds for payment of a debt or an amount for services rendered.

Master calendar

Displays all cases on the docket for a specific day and what occurred in each case that day.

Notice of appeal

An appeal filed requesting a case to be heard by a higher court.

Notice motion order

Form used to put a case back on the judge’s docket when there is a dispute.

Plaintiff

Person filing the complaint.

Process Agent

Process agents are listed with the Secretary of State’s Office. When suing a corporation, you must find out from the Secretary of State’s Office who the agent is so that he or she can serve as the agent for the company.

Return of Service

A certified-mail receipt or service of summons from the sheriff that confirms a defendant has been served.

Small Claims Complaint

Form to be completed when filing a small claims suit.

Special Bailiff

A person to whom some authority or jurisdiction is given to serve a summons on a small claims case when service has not been rendered by certified mail or a sheriff.

Subpoena

A writ issued under authority of a court to compel the appearance of a witness or a defendant.

Summons

Requires the appearance of said defendant in an action. The purpose of a summons is to notify the defendant that he or she has been sued.

Warrants of Possession

Form completed by the plaintiff on the eighth day after obtaining a judgment in an eviction court.