Definitions
District Summons, Small Claims & Garnishments
Protection Orders
Evictions
  HomeDivisionsCivil Division > Definitions

For your convenience we have listed several terms that are most commonly used in the civil process.

1. Civil Action: Action brought to enforce, redress, or protect private rights.  In general, all types of actions other than criminal proceedings.

2. Plaintiff:  The person bringing the action; the party who complains or sues in a civl action.

3.  Defendant:  The party against whom relief or recovery is sought in an action or suit.

4.  Service of Process:  The service of writs, summonses, etc..., signifies the delivering to or leaving them with the party to whom or with whom they ought to be delivered or left; and when they are so delivered, they are then said to have been served.

5.  Return of Service:  The act of a sheriff in delivering back to the court a writ, notice, process or other paper, which he was required to serve or execute, with a brief account of his failure to accomplish it, as the case may be.

6.  Execution:  An execution is process issuing from a court in a civil action authorizing the Sheriff or other competent officer to carry out the court's decision in favor of the prevailing party and commanding the officer to take the property of the defendant in satisfaction of the debt.

7.  Indemnity Bond:  This bond is for twice the amount of the execution and shifts the liability from the Sheriff's Office to the plaintiff if the property on the execution turns out to be owned by someone other than the defendant.

8.  Evictions:  An Eviction is the act of removing a tenant from possession, either by re-entry or legal proceedings, such as an action of ejectment.

9.  Unlawful Detainers:  The Unlawful Detainer is the unjustifiable retention of the possession of lands by one whose right to the possession has terminated and who refuses to leave.

10.  Writ of Possession:  A Writ of Possession is employed to enforce a judgement to recover the possession of land.  It commands the Sheriff to enter the land and give possession of it to the person entitled under the judgement.

11.  Counter Affidavit:  An affidavit made and presented in contradiction or opposition to an affidavit which is made the basis or support of a motion or application.