Civil Definitions

Complaint - In a Civil action, a complaint is the first pleading by a plaintiff stating the various names of parties to civil action, and the remedy requested.

Foreclosure - See Writ of Execution

Injunction - is a court order which requires a party to refrain from doing a particular act or activity.

Levy - is a seizure of real property through lawful process. The land or property seized may be sold to satisfy a judgment. The levy may be against personal property such as bank accounts, cash, vehicles, etc.

Return - an affidavit is sent to the plaintiff's attorney notifying him/her as to the result of service.

Summons - This is a mandate requiring the answer of a defendant and specifying the time in which the defendant must answer the complaint. A summons enables the court to acquire jurisdiction of the defendant.

Wage Execution (Garnishment) - is the process in which the Sheriff may levy money or salary which is in the hands of a third person but which is due a defendant. For example, a percentage of the salary due an employee (defendant debtor) which is controlled by a third party ( employer) is issued to repay the debt due the plaintiff (lender).

Writ of Attachment - This prevents the disposal of an item prior to a final judgment and is used to enforce obedience to an order of judgment.

Writ of Execution - This orders the enforcement of a judgment by commanding the Sheriff to levy or seize and sell the personal and real property of the judgment debtor.

Writ of Execution against Goods and Lands - see Writ of Execution

Writ of Possession - This is a writ of execution which allows the sheriff to take possession of real or personal property and give it to the person entitled to it under the judgment.

Writ of Replevin - This writ requires or provides for the recovery of goods which the owner believes were unlawfully taken.

This page last updated on 05/18/2009