Glossary Results - D
This is a Legal Dictionary for visitor reference. Please click on the letter below to search by alphabet or use the search form to find the term you are looking for.
damages - Money awarded to one party in a lawsuit to compensate for injury or loss caused by the other.
death taxes - Federal estate taxes and state inheritance taxes, assessed at death, which are levied on the property of the deceased.
debenture - A type of bond, the repayment of which is guaranteed by the general credit of the issuer and is not secured by property.
debt collector - Someone who is employed in the collections department of a creditor or a collection agency to locate debtors and obtain payment from them.
debtor - A person or entity who is obligated to repay money to a creditor.
decedent - A person who has died.
decision - The result of a proceeding before a legal tribunal.
declaration under penalty of perjury - A statement, the truth of which is sworn to by the signer, where the signer would be guilty of the crime of perjury if the statement were shown to be false.
declaratory judgment - A civil court decision that informs the parties of their rights and responsibilities without ordering them to do anything.
Decree - An order of the court. A final decree is one that fully and finally disposes of the litigation. (See interlocutory.)
deductible - Something that is allowed to be subtracted.
deduction - In tax law, an amount that can subtracted from the amount prior to the calculation of tax due.
deed - A document that transfers the legal title of real estate from one owner to another.
deed in lieu of foreclosure - In circumstances where a homeowner is unable to make the mortgage payments or to find a buyer for the house, some mortgage lenders may accept ownership of the property instead of the money owed on the mortgage
defamation - A false, public statement about a person that damages his reputation and exposes him to public scorn or condemnation.
default - A failure to something which is required by law.
default judgment - A trial decision in favor of the plaintiff, which is due to the defendant's failure to contest the case.
defendant - A person against whom a lawsuit is filed.
Defense of property - Affirmative defense in criminal law or tort law where force was used to protect one's property.
Deficient - Incomplete; defective; not sufficient in quantity or force.
defined benefit plan - A pension plan where the benefit payment is a definite, preset amount which may be based on length of service or calculated as a percentage of salary over the years.
defined contribution plan - A pension plan where a preset amount is contributed by the employer. The amount of the benefit payment is dependent upon the amount that is in the employee's fund at retirement.
Defunct - A corporation no longer operative; having ceased to exist.
Demurrer - A pleading filed by the defendant that the complaint as filed is not sufficient to require an answer.
dependents benefits - A certain Social Security benefit which may be available to the spouse and minor or disabled children of retired or disabled workers who qualify for retirement or disability benefits.
deponent - The person who provides evidence in a deposition.
deposition - Testimony that is taken before trial. It is given under oath and recorded by a court reporter.
devise - The act of leaving property by a will or the property which is left by will.
devisee - The person who receives property under the terms of a will.
dictum - An expression by a judge that is on a point other than the exact issue in the case. It is not binding precedent, although it may be cited in legal argument.