Glossary beginning with S

Click one of the letters above to go to the page of all terms beginning with that letter.

When a judge penalizes a party


A processing center that handles child support payments, called the State Disbursement Unit

Synonyms: State Disbursement Unit


When a criminal record is hidden from most of the general public, but not law enforcement

Security deposit

A payment held by a landlord to make sure that a tenant pays rent on time and keeps the apartment or house in good condition


Giving court documents to someone

Service by publication

Notifying someone about a case by publishing a notice in a newspaper


To resolve a case before finishing a trial

Settlement agreement

An agreement by both sides in a lawsuit that settles all the issues of the case without going to trial


A county officer who can serve people with summons and evict someone with a judge’s order

Significant decision-making responsibility

Being able to decide how a child is raised, such as their education, religion, and educational activities

Small claim

A lawsuit asking only for money, for $10, 000 or less

Social security disability

A federal program that gives money to people who cannot work because of a disability

Social security number

A number that the federal government gives to each individual to keep track of their earnings and retirement benefits

Synonyms: SSN


When a person follows someone, watches them outside their home or office, or tells them things they observed them doing


The right to file a lawsuit or make a particular legal claim

State's attorney

A lawyer who represents the state in a criminal case

Statement of facts

Any written or oral list of facts in a court case

Statutes of limitations

Length of time to file a suit in court

Stay order

A court order that delays a court case


An agreement between 2 or more people


A court order requiring someone to show up in court


A tenant who will either share the rental or take over from the first tenant in the apartment

Summary judgment

A court decision made on the basis of statements and evidence presented for the court record without a trial


A notice to a defendant that a lawsuit against him or her was filed in a court and that the defendant has to appear in court

Supervised visitation

Visitation between a parent and a child in the presence of another adult

Supplemental security income

A federal program that gives money to low-income elderly, blind and disabled people on a monthly basis

Synonyms: SSI

Supporting parent

Parent who pays child support