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A court order is an official proclamation by a judge (or panel of judges) that defines the legal relationships between the parties to a hearing, a trial, an appeal or other court proceedings. Such ruling requires or authorizes the carrying out of certain steps by one or more parties to a case. A court order must be signed by a judge; some jurisdictions may also require it to be notarized.
The content and provisions of a court order depend on the type of proceeding, the phase of the proceedings in which they are issued, and the proceduraland evidentiary rules that govern the proceedings.
An order can be as simple as setting a date for trial or as complex as restructuring contractual relationships by and between many corporations in a multi-jurisdictional dispute. It may be a final order (one that concludes the court action), or an interim order (one during the action). Most orders are written, and are signed by the judge. Some orders, however, are spoken orally by the judge in open court, and are only reduced to writing in the transcript of the proceedings.
The following represents a small sampling of matters that are commonly dictated by the terms of a court order:
One kind of interim court order is a temporary restraining order (TRO), to preserve the status quo. Such an order may later be overturned or vacated during the litigation; or it may become a final order and judgment, subject then to appeal.
In the area of domestic violence, U.S. courts will routinely issue a temporary order of protection (TOP) (or temporary protective order, TPO) to prevent any further violence or threat of violence.
In family law, temporary orders can also be called pendente lite relief and may include grants of temporary alimony, child custody, and/or visitation.
United States appellate procedure involves the rules and regulations for filing appeals in state courts and federal courts. The nature of an appeal can vary greatly depending on the type of case and the rules of the court in the jurisdiction where the case was prosecuted. There are many types of standard of review for appeals, such as de novo and abuse of discretion. However, most appeals begin when a party files a petition for review to a higher court for the purpose of overturning the lower court's decision.
An injunction is a legal and equitable remedy in the form of a special court order that compels a party to do or refrain from specific acts. "When a court employs the extraordinary remedy of injunction, it directs the conduct of a party, and does so with the backing of its full coercive powers." A party that fails to comply with an injunction faces criminal or civil penalties, including possible monetary sanctions and even imprisonment. They can also be charged with contempt of court. Counterinjunctions are injunctions that stop or reverse the enforcement of another injunction.
In the United States, a state court has jurisdiction over disputes with some connection to a U.S. state. State courts handle the vast majority of civil and criminal cases in the United States; the United States federal courts are far smaller in terms of both personnel and caseload, and handle different types of cases.
Civil procedure is the body of law that sets out the rules and standards that courts follow when adjudicating civil lawsuits. These rules govern how a lawsuit or case may be commenced; what kind of service of process is required; the types of pleadings or statements of case, motions or applications, and orders allowed in civil cases; the timing and manner of depositions and discovery or disclosure; the conduct of trials; the process for judgment; the process for post-trial procedures; various available remedies; and how the courts and clerks must function.
- A lawsuit is a proceeding by a party or parties against another in the civil court of law. The archaic term "suit in law" is found in only a small number of laws still in effect today. The term "lawsuit" is used in reference to a civil action brought by a plaintiff requests a legal remedy or equitable remedy from a court. The defendant is required to respond to the plaintiff's complaint. If the plaintiff is successful, judgment is in the plaintiff's favor, and a variety of court orders may be issued to enforce a right, award damages, or impose a temporary or permanent injunction to prevent an act or compel an act. A declaratory judgment may be issued to prevent future legal disputes.
The Domestic Violence Offender Gun Ban, often called the "Lautenberg Amendment", is an amendment to the Omnibus Consolidated Appropriations Act of 1997, enacted by the 104th United States Congress in 1996, which bans access to firearms by people convicted of crimes of domestic violence. The act is often referred to as "the Lautenberg Amendment" after its sponsor, Senator Frank Lautenberg. Lautenberg proposed the amendment after a decision from the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, involving underenforcement of domestic violence laws brought under the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. President Bill Clinton signed the law as part of the Omnibus Appropriations Act of 1997.
A restraining order or protective order, is an order used by a court to protect a person in a situation involving alleged domestic violence, child abuse, assault, harassment, stalking, or sexual assault.
In common law jurisdictions, an acquittal certifies that the accused is free from the charge of an offense, as far as criminal law is concerned. The finality of an acquittal is dependent on the jurisdiction. In some countries, such as the United States, an acquittal operates to bar the retrial of the accused for the same offense, even if new evidence surfaces that further implicates the accused. The effect of an acquittal on criminal proceedings is the same whether it results from a jury verdict or results from the operation of some other rule that discharges the accused. In other countries, the prosecuting authority may appeal an acquittal similar to how a defendant may appeal a conviction.
In United States law, a motion is a procedural device to bring a limited, contested issue before a court for decision. It is a request to the judge to make a decision about the case. Motions may be made at any point in administrative, criminal or civil proceedings, although that right is regulated by court rules which vary from place to place. The party requesting the motion may be called the moving party, or may simply be the movant. The party opposing the motion is the nonmoving party or nonmovant.
In law, ex parte is a Latin term meaning literally "from/out of the party/faction of", thus signifying "on behalf of (name)". An ex parte decision is one decided by a judge without requiring all of the parties to the dispute to be present. In English law and its derivatives, namely Australian, New Zealand, Canadian, South African, Indian, and U.S. legal doctrines, ex parte means a legal proceeding brought by one party in the absence of and without representation of or notification to the other party.
James David Whittemore is a Senior United States District Judge presently serving in the Tampa division of the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida. He was previously a Florida state trial court judge, a federal public defender, and an attorney in private practice who won a criminal case before the United States Supreme Court. As a federal judge, Whittemore presided over a number of high-profile cases, including a lawsuit against Major League Baseball to challenge its draft procedure, and the Terri Schiavo case, after the United States Congress had specifically given the Middle District of Florida jurisdiction to hear the seven-year-long fight over whether the brain-damaged Schiavo should be taken off life support.
In England and Wales, a magistrates' court is a lower court which hears matters relating to summary offences and some triable either-way matters. Some civil law issues are also decided here, notably family proceedings. In 2015, there were roughly 330 magistrates' courts in England and Wales, though the government was considering closing up to 57 of these. The jurisdiction of magistrates' courts and rules governing them are set out in the Magistrates' Courts Act 1980.
An interlocutory appeal, in the law of civil procedure in the United States, occurs when a ruling by a trial court is appealed while other aspects of the case are still proceeding. Interlocutory appeals are allowed only under specific circumstances, which are laid down by the federal and the separate state courts.
The Superior Court of the District of Columbia, commonly referred to as DC Superior Court, is the trial court for the District of Columbia, in the United States. It hears cases involving criminal and civil law, as well as family court, landlord and tenant, probate, tax and driving violations. All appeals of Superior Court decisions go to the District of Columbia Court of Appeals.
In family law, contact, visitation and access are synonym terms that denotes the time that a child spends with the noncustodial parent, according to an agreed or court specified parenting schedule. The visitation term is not used in a shared parenting arrangement where the mother and father have joint physical custody.
The Superior Court is the state court in the U.S. state of New Jersey, with statewide trial and appellate jurisdiction. The New Jersey Constitution of 1947 establishes the power of the New Jersey courts. Under the State Constitution, "'judicial power shall be vested in a Supreme Court, a Superior Court, County Courts and inferior courts of limited jurisdiction.'" The Superior Court has three divisions: the Appellate Division is essentially an intermediate appellate court while the Law and Chancery Divisions function as trial courts. The State Constitution renders the New Jersey Superior Court, Appellate Division the intermediate appellate court, and "[a]ppeals may be taken to the Appellate Division of the Superior Court from the law and chancery divisions of the Superior Court and in such other causes as may be provided by law." Each division is in turn divided into various parts. "The trial divisions of the Superior Court are the principal trial courts of New Jersey. They are located within the State's various judicial geographic units, called 'vicinages,' R. 1:33-2(a), and are organized into two basic divisions: the Chancery Division and the Law Division".
The Circuit Court of Cook County is the largest of the 24 judicial circuits in Illinois as well as one of the largest unified court systems in the United States — second only in size to the Superior Court of Los Angeles County since that court merged with other courts in 1998.
Bail in Canada refers to the release of a person charged with a criminal offence prior to being tried in court or sentenced. The Canadian Bill of Rights and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantee the right not to be denied reasonable bail without just cause. That right is implemented by the Criminal Code, which provides several ways for a person to be released prior to a court appearance. A person may be released by a peace officer or by the courts. A release by the courts is officially known as a judicial interim release. There are also a number of ways to compel a person's appearance in court without the need for an arrest and release.
The Judiciary of New Jersey comprises the New Jersey Supreme Court as the state supreme court and many lower courts.
The Judiciary of Virginia is defined under the Constitution and law of Virginia and is composed of the Supreme Court of Virginia and subordinate courts, including the Court of Appeals, the Circuit Courts, and the General District Courts. Its administration is headed by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, the Judicial Council, the Committee on District Courts, the Judicial Conferences, the Judicial Inquiry and Review Commission, and various other offices and officers.