Journalist's Guide

of court must act to recall or revoke any outstanding warrant or detainer that could lead to arrest or detention of the defendant because of the charge. Stipulation : An agreement between counsel on certain facts so those facts need not be proven, or on an issue so the issue need not be litigated. Sua Sponte : Translated from Latin: “of its own will;” commonly used when a judge does something in a case without being asked to do so by a party. Sub Curia : Translated: “under the law;” the holding of a case by a court under consideration, sometimes to await the filing of a document, such as a pre-sentence investigation report or memorandum of law, or to write an opinion. Subpoena : A writ issued by a governmental entity to compel a person to appear and to give testimony at a specified time and place. Subpoena Duces Tecum : Translated: “an order to bring it with him”; a writ issued by a governmental entity to compel a person to appear at a specified time and place with documents, records or paper. Summons : A writ notifying the person named an action has been filed against the person and in a criminal action, failure to appear may result in a bench warrant being issued for the person’s arrest; in a civil action, failure to answer may result in entry of a judgment against that person. Suppress : To stop, prohibit, prevent, subdue; with respect to evidence, to prevent its use by showing it was obtained illegally or is irrelevant. Tracking Number : A 12-digit number assigned to allow a defendant and incident to be followed throughout criminal proceedings, by identification of the year (first 2 digits), the origin of the charging document (next 4 digits) and the place of the charge(s) within the sequence of charges issued that year (last 6 digits). Trial De Novo : See “De Novo.” True Test Copy : A copy of a court document given under the clerk’s seal, but not certified. Venue : The county or other geographical area in which an action may be filed Victim impact statement : A statement during sentencing which informs the sentencer of the impact of the crime on the victim or the victim’s family. Voir Dire : Translated: “to speak the truth;” the preliminary examination of a prospective juror or witness (including an interpreter) to determine whether the person is competent, impartial, and unprejudiced. Waive : Relinquish; in Maryland, used commonly to refer to the giving up of a legal right voluntarily, intentionally and with full knowledge of the consequences. Without Prejudice : A dismissal “without prejudice” allows a new suit to be brought on the same cause of action.


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