in collaboration with the Colorado Supreme Court

Glossary

Alimony

Financial support for a formal spouse after a divorce. Also known as maintenance.


Allocation of parental responsibilities

Commonly known as “custody". A case procedure where orders about child(ren) are issued regarding parenting time, decision making and child support between two people that were never married.


Allocation of Parental Responsibilities

A family matter case that will decide the three main areas of parental responsibilities. 1. Decision Making - Which parent will make education or healthcare decisions. 2. Parenting Time - The schedule of when the child will spend time with each parent. 3. Child Support - The right of the child to receive financial support from both parents. Commonly known as Custody.


Appeal Bond

Money given to the court to insure that responding party's costs or any judgment is covered if the appellant loses the appeal.


Appellant

The party who starts the appeal.


Appellate Court

A level of court that reviews a deciding court's final orders to determine if they are acceptable. An appellate court acts as a check on the power of a deciding court.


Appellee

The party that responds to the appeal.


At-will tenancy

Living in your apartment or house without a lease, but with permission of your landlord.


Bond

Money or property given to the court to hold a hearing date or to get someone out of jail.


Case Caption

The information about the case found at the top of the form. The case caption includes the court's address, the parties in the case and their respective roles, the case number, the courtroom or division to which the case is assigned, and the name and contact information of the person who is filing the form.


Claim of Exemption

A court paper filed by the judgment debtor that lists each piece of property that the judgment debtor claims is an exempt asset under certain provisions of the law and, therefore, can’t be taken to pay the judgment.


Client

The person a lawyer represents.


Contempt

When someone in a court case does not follow through with the judge’s orders. In the case of a money judgment, a process when the judgment debtor has not complied with the court order, e.g. failed to respond to interrogatories within (14) fourteen  days from service or has filed an answer that does not adequately respond to the questions in the interrogatories.


Continuance

Delay of a hearing to a later date.


Counterclaim

When the person being sued is also putting a lawsuit on the person suing them.


Credibility

How believable someone or something is.


Custody

A family matter case that will decide the three main areas of parental responsibilities. 1. Decision Making - Which parent will make education or healthcare decisions. 2. Parenting Time - The schedule of when the child will spend time with each parent. 3. Child Support - The right of the child to receive financial support from both parents. Also known as Allocation of Parental Responsibilities.


Damages

Usually money that is paid to a person to compensate them for their loss or injury.


Deciding Court

The level of court that resolves the legal questions or problems that bring parties into the court system. Also known as the trial court.


Defamation

The action of damaging the good reputation of someone else. Defamation is a ground (Claim for Relief/Cause of Action) for bringing a civil lawsuit.


Default judgment

A judgment issued by the court. Usually occurs when the defendant does not respond to a summons or fails to appear in court.


Defendant

The person or company that is being sued.


Discovery

Formal process of exchanging information between parties about the witnesses and evidence needed to prepare for trial.


Dissolution

Also known as divorce. The cancelling of a marriage contract between two parties.


Divorce

The process of ending a civil union or marriage. Also known as a dissolution of civil union, or a dissolution of marriage.


error

A mistake; not correct.


e-service

Colorado Courts have developed an online service that accepts documents to be filed in a case. The service will then electronically notify other parties in the case if they are also signed up for the online service. The service will automatically mail the document to any parties that are not signed up with the online service. This online service is known as e-filing and e-service. Lawyers are required to use this service and pay a per filing fee. This service is being developed for self-represented party use.


Exempt Earnings

Certain types of income, such as child support or alimony/maintenance you receive from someone else, SSI, social security, Veterans’ benefits, public assistance, and unemployment, may be completely exempt from garnishment or exempt from certain types of garnishment. You may want to contact an attorney or other legal service provider if you have more questions regarding whether your income is exempt from garnishment.


Exhibit

A document (pictures, bills, contracts, etc.) introduced as evidence in court.


Exhibits

A document (pictures, bills, contracts, etc.) introduced as evidence in court.


Garnishee

A person or entity served with Writ of Garnishment.


Garnishment

Court order allowing for money or property to be taken to help pay off a debt (judgment) awarded by the court.


Habitable

A rental unit that is fit for people to live in and follows important building and safety code standards that affect tenants' health and safety.


Immediate threat

Harm to yourself, property, rights or safety that is going on right now or will happen in the very near future.


Initial Status Conference

A meeting in the Courthouse to discuss the case. The meeting may be led by a Judge, Magistrate, or Family Court Facilitator.


Injunctive Relief

Court order for someone to stop a specific act or behavior.


Interrogatories

List of questions one party sends to another in a court action to get certain information. For money cases, this may include requesting information about bank accounts, place of employment, etc.


Issue on Appeal

The legal question or problem that an appellate court will decide. This is a possible mistake the lower court made in deciding the case.


Issue on Appeal

The legal question or problem that an appellate court will decide. This is a possible mistake the lower court made in deciding the case.


Issues on Appeal

The legal question or problem that an appellate court will decide. These are the possible mistakes the lower court made in deciding the case.


Judgment

A specific amount of money awarded by the court to a person as payment for damages (losses or injuries) suffered.


Judgment creditor

The person who is owed money from a court order.


Judgment debtor

The person who owes money in a court order.


Liability

Legal responsibility for one’s own actions.


Libel

Written or printed words that has caused harm to someone’s reputation.


Lien

A claim to property in order to fulfill a debt. The debt must be paid before the property can be sold.


Magistrate

A type of Judicial Officer. A Magistrate is in charge of the case and makes final decisions. The law states when a Magistrate can hear a case.


Maintenance

Maintenance is the new term for "alimony" or "spousal/partner support".  Maintenance is financial support paid to a former spouse or partner.


Mediation

A trained neutral person helps people involved in a court case reach their own solution.


Memorandum of understanding

Also known as a MOU. A formal agreement between two or more people prepared at mediation. If the parties want the MOU to become an order of the Court, they need to file it into their existing case.


minor children

A child who is under 19 years old.


Money judgment

A court order that awards money in a case.


Normal wear and tear

Minor damage to property that occurs due to the use of the property as it is intended.


Notarized

An official must witness when the person signs the form. The official may be a registered Notary Public or a Court Clerk.


Orders

The verbal or written commands from a judge or magistrate that a parties in a case are expected to obey.


Party

A person that has direct interest or is named in the case.


Personal Service

A legal process where the person suing arranges to have Court papers served/delivered to the defendant. Must be done by someone over the age of 18, by the Sheriff’s Department, or by a private process server.


Petitioner

The party who started the case.


Plaintiff

The person who starts a lawsuit to sue someone in court.


Post-trial motion

A motion filed after there is a final ruling in a case.


Preponderance of the evidence

Proving that something is more probably true than not.


Probate

The process of overseeing the property of someone who has died.


Published Opinion

A case decided by the Court of Appeals that was selected to be published in a book. Published cases further clarify the law. The case becomes case law. Case law is binding on furture cases.


Rebuttal Evidence

Documents or other testimony that challenge a fact that a witness testified to in court. It may also be used to challenge the general believability or trustworthiness of a witness.


Record on Appeal

The paperwork from a case that an appellate court will review. The Record on Appeal may contain the documents filed into the case, exhibits submitted at a hearing, and a transcript of the hearing or trial.


Respondent

A party who was brought into court by the filing of a Petition or Complaint.


Response

An answer, reply, or reaction to the arguments made in a document such as a Petition, Complaint, or Motion.


Restrictive Covenant

An agreement that limits what the owner can do with their property.


Revive a judgment

A process to extend the time of the judgment prior to the expiration date of the judgment. A judgment in County Court expires and is unenforceable six years from the date of judgment. A judgment in District Court expires and is unenforceable 20 years from the date of judgment.


Reviving a judgment

A process to extend the time of the judgment prior to the expiration date of the judgment. A judgment in County Court expires and is unenforceable six years from the date of judgment. A judgment in District Court expires and is unenforceable 20 years from the date of judgment.


Satisfaction of judgment

The document stating the Judgment Debtor has satisfied (paid) the judgment. If the judgment has been paid, this document must be filed by the Judgment Creditor with the Clerk of Court in order to remove the judgment from credit reports as being unpaid. The satisfaction can be “Full” or “Partial”.


Self-Represented Litigant Coordinator

Also known as a Sherlock. A judicial employee of the self-help center that can assist someone with information regarding forms and procedure of a case.


Service of process

The official act by which a party is notified that a court action has been filed against them.  They are personally served with a copy of the document(s) filed and information as to the steps they should take in order to respond to the court action.


Slander

Making an untrue statement about someone that has caused harm to their reputation.


Stay of execution

A delay in carrying out a court order.


Subpoena to Appear and Produce

A document issued by a court clerk or attorney requiring witness to appear and produce any materials listed on the subpoena.


Substantial violation

An act the tenant or their guests commit that endangers the property of the landlord or anyone else living on or near the property or if the tenant or their guest commits a violent or drug-related felony or public nuisance on or near the property.


Tenant

A person who rents or leases a rental unit from a landlord. The tenant has the right to the exclusive use and possession of the rental unit during the lease or rental period.


Transcript of Judgment

The document a court issues showing there is a judgment against someone in a lawsuit. In the case of a judgement over money, it is the document a court issues that gives the name of the person/company owing money, the person/company who is owed money, and the date and amount of the money owed (judgment).


Unpublished Opinion

A case decided by the Court of Appeals that was not selected to be published in a book. The decision in these cases does not become case law. It is not binding on future cases.


Writ of restitution

A court order directing the Sheriff to physically remove the tenant and their belongings from the property they are living and restore possession of the property to the landlord.