Texas Government- Chapter 10/ Practicing Texas Politics Flashcards

Terms Definitions
civil law
the body of law concerning noncriminal matters such as business contracts and personal injury
criminal law
the body of law concerning felony and misdemeanor offenses by individuals against other persons and property
misdemeanor
classified as a, b, or c, a misdemeanor may be punished by fine and/or jail sentence
felony
a serious crime punished by fine and prison confinement
jurisdiction
a courts authority to hear a particular case
original jurisdiction
the power of a court to hear a case first
appellate jurisdiction
the power of a court to review cases after they have been tried elsewhere
exclusive jurisdiction
authority of only one court to hear a particular type of case
concurrent jurisdiction
the authority of more than one court to try a case
court of record
has a court reporter of electronic device to record testimony and proceedings
small claims court
presided over by a justice of the peace, a small claims court offers an informal and inexpensive procedure for handling damage claims of 10,000 or less
probate
probate cases involving wills and guardianships fall under the jurisdiction of county courts and probate courts
contingency fee
a lawyers compensation paid from money recovered in a lawsuit
grand jury
composed of 12 person with the qualifications of trial jurors, a grand jury serves from 3 to 6 months while it determines if sufficient evidence exists to indict persons accused of committing crimes
petit jury
a trial jury of 6 or 12 members
venire
a panel of prospective jurors drawn by random selection, these prospective jurors are called veniremen
voir dire
courtroom procedure whereby attorneys question prospective jurors to identify any who cannot be fair and impartial
tort
and unintended injury to another person or to a persons property
plaintiff
the injured party who initiates a civil suit or the state in a criminal proceeding
defendant
the person sued in a civil proceeding or prosecuted in a criminal proceeding
special issues
questions a judge gives a trial jury to answer to establish facts in a case
verdict
a jurys decision about a court case
judgment
a judges written opinion based on a verdict
graded penalties
depending on the nature of the crime, felonies are graded as first, second, and third degree, misdemeanors are graded as a, b, and c
capital felony
a crime punishable by death or life imprisonment
recidivism
criminal behavior that results in reincarceration after a person has been released from confinement for a prior offense
alternative dispute resolution (adr)
use of mediation, conciliation, or arbitration to resolve disputes among individuals without resorting to a regular court trial
missouri plan
a judicial selection process in which a commission recommends a panel of names to the governor, followed by a one year of so appointment before voters determine whether the judge will be retained for a full term
appointment retention system
a merit plan for judicial selection, whereby the governor appoints to fill a court vacancy for a trial period after which the judge must win a full term in an uncontested popular election
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