Court News Ohio
Court News Ohio
Court News Ohio

CNO Legal Glossary

S
Sanction
A penalty or other type of enforcement, such as fines, jail, or prison.
Seal, under seal
To restrict sensitive or confidential information within court records from being publicly available.  Sealing of conviction records gives access to them only to certain persons for specific reasons.
Sentence
The punishment ordered by a court for a defendant convicted of a crime.
Service of process
The delivery of writs or summonses to the appropriate party.
Settlement
An agreement by parties to a lawsuit to resolve their dispute without having a trial.
Sequester
A method to separate jurors from outside influences during their deliberations.
Standard of proof
The degree of proof required. In criminal cases, prosecutors must prove a defendant’s guilt “beyond a reasonable doubt.” The majority of civil lawsuits require proof “by a preponderance of the evidence” (50 percent or more), but in some cases the standard is higher and requires “clear and convincing” proof.
Stare decisis
Latin, meaning “to stand decided.” The legal principle that cases should be decided the same way as they have been decided before, if facts are the same.
Statute
A law passed by the legislature.
Statute of limitations
The deadline by which a lawsuit must be filed or a criminal prosecution started, depending on the type of case.
Stay
To temporarily stop a judicial proceeding through the order of a court.
Sua sponte
Latin, “of its own will.” When the court takes an action without being asked to do so by either side.
Subpoena
A court order for a witness to appear and give testimony.
Subpoena duces tecum
A command to a witness to appear and produce documents.
Substance abuse treatment
Evaluation and treatment that a court orders an individual to undergo for abuse of drugs or alcohol.
Summary judgment
A court decision made on the basis of statements and evidence without a trial when the facts are undisputed and one party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.
Summons
A court order to require the presence of a person in court, or an order to give notice and to provide instructions about a lawsuit.
Supervised release
A type of bond that allows a criminal defendant to avoid jail pending trial.

The CNO Legal Glossary is part of an ongoing effort to educate the public about the courts and explain the legal system. The glossary is an evolving, interactive public resource. CNO encourages readers to send in their ideas for words and phrases to be considered for inclusion in the glossary. Submit your suggestions to CNO@sc.ohio.gov. The content of the CNO Legal Glossary does not represent the legal views of the court and is not considered or consulted by the justices in case deliberations.

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