Glossary E

Glossary of Legal Definitions

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The following list of legal definitions taken from the California Court's website may be useful in your California Family Law case. For further definitions in other areas of law not covered here, please visit the California Court's website.


Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT)

Electronic movement of funds from 1 bank account to another.


A legal way for children to become adults before they’re 18. Once a child is emancipated, his or her parents don’t have custody or control of him or her anymore. Learn more about emancipation.

En Banc

Court sessions where all the judges of a court participate, instead of the usual number. For example, the U.S. circuit courts of appeals usually use panels of 3 judges, but all the judges in the court may decide certain matters together. When that happens, they are sitting “en banc” (sometimes spelled “in banc”). It comes from French and means “on the bench.”


To sign your name on a document to authorize its contents or transfer (as in a check that is endorsed to transfer money).

Endorsed-Filed Copies

Copies of court papers that are stamped in the top right corner to show when they were filed. Compare with certified copy.


To take legal steps to make sure someone complies with a judgment.


To order or require; to order that something be stopped.


A system of law that supplements the statutory and case law and is based on principles of what is “fair and right.”


A process to prove paternity (fatherhood) and/or to get a court or administrative order for child support.


An act or statement that prevents a person from later making claims to the contrary.

Et Al.

In Latin, this means “and others.” Refers to parties not included in the formal name of a court case.

Et Ux.

In Latin, this means “and wife.”


Any proof legally presented at trial through witnesses, records, and/or exhibits.


(1) To carry out all terms of a contract or court order; (2) to sign (a document); (3) to kill.


A person named in a will to carry out the will’s instructions and requests. The executor is usually supervised by the probate court. Among other things, the executor takes care of the estate, pays the debts and estate taxes of the person that died, and distributes that person’s money and other property by following the instructions in the will.

Execution Of Judgment

Legal process of enforcing a judgment, usually by seizing and/or selling property of the judgment debtor.

Exempt Assets

Property of a judgment debtor that is legally protected from being taken to pay the judgment.


A document or an object shown and identified in court as evidence in a case. Normally, the court assigns an identifying letter or number in alphabetical or numerical order before exhibits are offered as evidence.

Ex Parte

These Latin words mean “from 1 side only.” An example is a motion that is made without giving notice to the other side. In many courts, even ex parte motions require 24-hour notice to the other side except under unusual circumstances.


To strike out or erase.


Bringing a person that is in custody in 1 state to the authorities of another state where that person has been accused or convicted of a crime.

Earnings Assignment

A way for an employee to transfer (or “assign”) portions of his or her future paychecks to pay a debt, like child support.

Earnings Withholding Order

Court order delivered (“served”) by a levying officer or registered process server that directs ajudgment debtor’s employer to withhold the earnings of the judgment debtor for the purpose of wage garnishment.

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