Legal Glossary

Act of Congress

Certification that transfers a judgment to another state.

Agreed Judgment

A judgment 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.

Civil Docket Sheet

Master court calendar of proceedings in court.

Default Judgment

When a defendant has been served a civil summons then does not reply in writing within 20 days, a motion for a default judgment can be filed against the person and the judgment can be entered.


Person being sued.

Discharge of Debtor

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


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

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 who fails to show up in court for a discovery hearing after being served a subpoena.


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

Copy of all the cases that were on the docket for a specific day that displays what occurred in each case for that day.

Notice of Appeal

An appeal filed that requests 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.


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.


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


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.