Journalist's Guide

Probation Before Judgment (PBJ) : A conditional avoidance of imposition of sentence after conviction; failure to satisfy the conditions may cause imposition of sentence after a finding of violation of probation. Procedural Law : The method, established normally by rules, to be followed in a case; the formal steps in a judicial proceeding. Proffer : An offer of proof as to what the evidence would be if a witness were called to testify or answer a question. Purge : To clean or clear, such as eliminating inactive records from court files; with respect to civil contempt, to cure the noncompliance that caused the contempt finding. Quash : To set aside or to make void; with respect to process, such as a summons or subpoena, to void on motion of the person served. Rebuttal : The act of contradicting or overcoming the effect of a presumption of evidence. Recall : Cancellation by a court of a warrant before its execution by the arrest of a defendant; also, a process by which a retired judge may be asked to sit on a particular case. Remand : The return of a case by an Appellate Court to the trial court or agency for further proceedings. Removal : The change of location (venue) of a case on the grounds a party cannot receive a fair and impartial trial in the jurisdiction where the action is pending. Res Judicata : The matter already has been finally decided; a rule against relitigation of issues. Sequester : To separate or isolate; for example, to separate witnesses from each other, to isolate jurors from the public, to separate property from a party and place it in the custody of the court or a third person. Service of Process : The act of delivering an order, subpoena, summons, or other writ to person named. Show Cause : An order requiring a person to appear in court and present reasons why a certain order; judgment or decree should not be issued. Speedy Trial : The right of an accused to a speedy trial as guaranteed by the 6th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution; in Maryland, the right to be tried within 180 days after initial appearance, unless waived. Stare Decisis : Translated: “to stand by a decision;” the practice in which decisions of lower courts are guided and bound by the rulings made by the higher, appellate courts. For example, Maryland Court of Appeals decisions bind the state’s lower courts in cases of identical or similar circumstances. Statement of Charges : A charging document, other than a citation, filed in the District Court by a peace officer or a judicial officer. Stet : Translated: “to stand;” a conditional, indefinite stay of all further proceedings on a charge, allowed by a court on motion of a State’s Attorney and marked “stet” on the docket, Maryland Rule 4-248 requires, when a charge is stetted and unless the court orders otherwise, the clerk


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