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Lawsuits

  • paternity suit

    A lawsuit to decide who the father of a child is if the parents were not married when the child was born. Also called "establishment of parental relationship."...

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  • payee

    Person or organization in whose name child support or other money is paid....

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  • payor

    Person that makes a payment....

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  • penalty

    Punishment for breaking a law....

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  • penalty assessment

    An amount of money added to a fine....

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  • pendente lite

    Describes orders made during the actual progress of the lawsuit prior to final disposition; from the Latin for "during the suit."...

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  • pending

    The status of a case that is not yet resolved by the court. (See also active status.)...

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  • peremptory challenge

    A challenge to a potential juror in a case, by either the defense attorney or the prosecuting attorney, that usually results in that person's disqualification from service on the jury and does not req...

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  • periodic rental agreement

    An oral or written rental agreement that states how often the rent is due, like every week or every month, but does not specify the total number of weeks or months that the agreement will last....

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  • perjury

    A false statement made on purpose while under oath in a court proceeding....

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  • Permanency Planning

    A court action that gives a dependent child a permanent place to live, like an adoption or a guardianship....

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  • Permanency Planning Hearing

    A hearing to give a dependent child a permanent place to live. The hearing generally happens up to 18 months after the child is taken away from the parents....

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  • personal injury

    A kind of civil case that asks for damages for physical injury to people and/or property, or for wrongful death....

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  • personal jurisdiction

    The power of a court over the person of a defendant. In contrast to the jurisdiction of a court over a defendant's property....

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  • personal service

    Refers to when court forms are personally served (delivered). The person who serves the forms must tell the other person that these are legal papers, then leave the papers near the person (at their fe...

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