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Joint and several liability

A legal doctrine that makes each of the parties who are responsible for an injury, liable for all the damages awarded in a lawsuit if the other parties responsible cannot pay.

Joint tenancy

A form of legal co-ownership of property (also known as survivorship). At the death of one co-owner, the surviving co-owner becomes sole owner of the property. Tenancy by the entirety is a special form of joint tenancy between a husband and wife.

Judge

A presiding officer of the court.

Judgment

The official and authentic decision of a court of justice upon the rights and claims of parties to an action or suit submitted to the court for determination. (See also summary judgment.)

Judgment debtor

One who owes money as a result of a judgment in favor of a creditor.

Judicial lien

A lien obtained by judgment or other judicial process against a debtor.

Judicial review

The authority of a court to review the official actions of other branches of government. Also, the authority to declare unconstitutional the actions of other branches.

Judiciary

The branch of government invested with judicial power to interpret and apply the law; the court system; the body of judges; then bench.

Jurat

Certificate of person and officer before whom a writing is sworn to.

Jurisdiction

The power or authority of a court to hear and try a case; the geographic area in which a court has power or the types of cases it has power to hear.

Jurisprudence

The study of law and the structure of the legal system.

Jury

A certain number of men and women selected according to law and sworn to try a question of fact or indict a person for public offense.

Jury Administrator

The court officer responsible for choosing the panel of persons to serve as potential jurors for a particular court term.

Justiciable

Issues and claims capable of being properly examined in court.