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AKA: “Also known as”. Used to list aliases or another name, or another spelling of a name used by a person.

Accelerated Rehabilitation:  Also call or texted AR. A program that gives persons charged with a crime or motor vehicle violation for the first time a second chance. The person is placed on probation for up to two years. If probation is completed satisfactorily, the charges are dismissed.

Acknowledgement: The signature of a clerk or attorney certifying that the person filing the document has sworn that the contents are true, and/or that the document is signed by his or her free act and deed.

Action: Also call or texted a case or lawsuit. A civil judicial proceeding where one party sues another for a wrong done, or to protect a right or to prevent a wrong.

Adjournment: Postponement of a court session until another time or place.

Adjudication: A decision or sentence imposed by a judge.

Adjudicatory Hearing: Juvenile court proceeding to determine whether the allegations made in a petition are true and whether the child/youth should be subject to orders of the court.

Adult Court Transfer: The transfer of juveniles who are at least fourteen years old to regular criminal dockets in Geographical Area or Judicial District courts. Also involves the transfer from a Juvenile Detention Center to the State Department of Correction.

Adult Probation: A legal status, applied to people 16 years of age and older, who have been convicted of a crime and placed under the supervision of a probation officer for a period of time set by the court.

Affirmation: Declaring something to be true under the penalty of perjury by a person who will not take an oath for religious or other reasons.

Affidavit: A written statement made under oath.

Alcohol Education Program: A pre-trial program for first time offenders charged with driving a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol.

Alford Doctrine: A plea in a criminal case in which the defendant does not admit guilt, but agrees that the state has enough evidence against him or her to get a conviction. Allows the defendant to enter into a plea bargain with the state. If the judge accepts the Alford Plea, a guilty finding is made on the record.

Alimony: Money a court requires one spouse to pay the other spouse for support before and/or after the divorce is granted. If you do not ask for alimony at the final hearing, you can never get it in the future.

Allegation: Saying that something is true. The assertion, declaration or statement of a party in a case, made in a pleading.

Alternate Juror: A juror selected as a substitute in case another juror must leave the jury panel.

Alternative Detention Program: Programs operated by service providers under the Office of Alternative Sanctions used to detain juveniles instead of in a Juvenile Detention Center.

Alternative Dispute Resolution: Also call or texted ADR. Any method used to resolve disputes other than traditional trial proceedings. For example, mediation. ADR programs speed up the disposition of civil cases.

Alternative Incarceration Center: Also call or texted AIC. A community based program that provides monitoring, supervision and services to people who would otherwise be incarcerated.

Alternative Sanctions: Criminal punishment that is less restrictive than incarceration.

Amicus Curiae brief: A Latin term meaning “friend of the court.” An Amicus Curiae brief is filed by someone who is not a party to a case but has an interest in its outcome. A person who wants to file an amicus curiae brief usually has to get the court’s permission to do so.

Annulment: A court order declaring that a marriage is invalid.

Answer: A court document, or pleading, in a civil case, by which the defendant responds to the plaintiff’s complaint.

Appeal: Asking a higher court to review the decision or sentence of a trial court because the lower court made an error.

Appeal Bond: Money paid to the court while taking an appeal to cover costs and damages to the other party, if the appeal is not successful.

Appearance: The official court form filed with the court clerk which tells the court that you are representing yourself in a lawsuit or criminal case or that an attorney is representing you. All court notices and calendars will be mailed to the address listed on the form. When a defendant in a civil case files an appearance, the person is submitting to the court’s jurisdiction.

Appellant: The party appealing a decision or judgment to a higher court.

Appellee: The party against whom an appeal is taken.

Arbitration: Submitting a case or dispute to designated parties for a decision, instead of using a judge.

Arraignment: The first court appearance of a person accused of a crime. The person is advised of his or her rights by a judge and may respond to the criminal charges by entering a plea. Usually happens the morning after a person is arrested.

Arrest: When a person is taken into custody by a police officer and charged with a crime.

Arrearages: Money for alimony and/or child support, which is overdue and unpaid.

Assignment List: A printed list of cases to be presented to the court for hearing.

Assistant Attorney General: An attorney who represents a state agency in civil cases.

Attachment: A lien on property or assets to hold it to pay or satisfy any final judgment.

Attorney of Record: Attorney whose name appears in the permanent records or files of a case.

Automatic Orders: Court orders that take effect when a divorce or custody case is started.

Source: Connecticut Judicial Branch Website