decree – modernly, synonymous with “judgment”

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decree:
n. (14c)

1. Traditionally, a judicial decision in a court of equity, admiralty, divorce, or probate — similar to a judgment of a court of law <the judge’s decree in favor of the will’s beneficiary>.

2. A court’s final judgment.

3. Any court order, but especially. one in a matrimonial case <divorce decree>. See JUDGMENT (2); ORDER (2); DECISION. [1]

1. The judgment of a court of chancery or equity. 27 Am J 2d Eq § 245.

A final determination of the rights of the parties in an action in equity.  In many states which have adopted code procedure or operate under a comprehensive set of rules of practice, the distinction between decrees and judgments are abolished for all practical purposes, relief in all actions and suits, whether of a legal or equitable character, being obtained by a judgment in a civil action. 30a am J Rev ed Judgm § 10.

While formerly there was a strict distinction between the terms “judgment” and “decree,” the term “judgment” being applied to decisions in actions at law, and “decree” being applied to decisions in cases in equity, the modern tendency is to construe constitutional and statutory provisions dealing with appealability of “judgments” as also including “decrees.” Jelm v Jelm, 155 Ohio St 226, 44 Ohio Ops 246, 98 NE2d 401, «22 ALR2d 1300. [1]

     Excerpt from 1 A.C. Freeman, A Treatise of the Law of Judgments 5 12, at 23-24 (Edward W. Tuttle ed., 5th ed. 1925):

     “The chief differences between decrees in equity and judgments at common law are as follows: The former are pronounced by courts of equity; the latter, by courts of law.  The former result from an investigation and determination of the rights of the parties by the means provided and according to the principles recognized in equity jurisprudence; the latter result from an investigation and determination made by the more limited means and more inflexible rules of the common law. The former may be adjusted to all the varieties of interest and of circumstance, and may contain such directions as are needed to carry them into effect, both in letter and in spirit; the latter are in an invariable form, general in terms, and absolute for plain‘ tiff or defendant.  And the former often enforce rights not recognized by the common law . . . . The term ‘judgment’ is frequently used in a broad sense to include decrees in equity. [4]

agreed decree (1911) A final judgment, the terms of which are agreed to by the parties.

consent decree (1831) A court decree that all parties agree to. — aka consent order.

custody decree (1913) A decree awarding or modifying child custody.  *  The decree may be included in the decree for a related proceeding -such as a divorce -or it may be a separate order.

decree absolute (1826) A ripened decree nisi; a court’s decree that has become unconditional because the time specified in the decree nisi has passed. — aka order absolute; rule absolute; absolute order; absolute rule.

decree absolvitor n. (1809) Scots law. A judgment for a defendant, either by a dismissal of a claim or by an acquittal. — aka decreet absolvitor.

v decree ad factum praestandum. (1830) Scots law. A court order requiring that a party specifically perform an act, such as to deliver property. See IMPRISONMENT FOR DEBT.

decree arbitral n. (18c) Scots law. 1. An arbitration award.  2. A form for an arbitration award. — aka decreet arbitral.

decree cognitionis causa n. (1804) Scots law. A judgment in a suit involving a plaintiff creditor suing a de tor’s heir to attach the heir’s lands. — aka decreet cognitionis causa.

decree condemnator – n. ( 18c) Scots law. A judgment for the plaintiff. — aka decreet condemnator.

> decree dative. (18c) Scots law. A decree appointing an executor.

> decree nisi (nI-SI). (18c) A court’s decree that will become absolute unless the adversely affected party shows the court, within a specified time, why it should be set aside. -Also termed m‘sz‘ decree; order nisz’; rule m’si. See NISI.

r decree of constitution. (18c) Scots law. A judgment declaring the extent of a debt or obligation.

> decree of distribution. (1841) An instrument by which heirs receive the property of a deceased person.

> decree of forthcoming. (18c) Scots law. A court order that commands a third party in possession of a debtor’s property to deliver the property to the creditor for liquidation or satisfaction of a debt. -Also termed decree of furthcuming.

decree of insolvency. (18c) A probate-court decree declaring an estate’s insolvency.

> decree of locality. ( 18c) Scots law. A Teind Court order allocating what share of a clergyman’s stipend will be

paid by each heir in the parish.

b decree of modification. (18c) Scots law. A Teind Court order modifying a stipend for the clergy.

> decree of nullity. (17c) A decree declaring a marriage to be void ab initio. See ANNULMENT; NULLITY or MARRIAGE.

b decree of registration. (18c) l. A court order that quiets title to land and directs recording of the title. 2. Scots law. CONFESSION OF JUDGMENT.

> decree of valuation. (18c) Scots law. A decree of the Teind Court determining the extent and value of a heri

tor’s teinds.

b decree pro confesso ‘(proh kan-fes-oh). (1821) Equity practice. A decree entered in favor of the plaintiff as a result of the defendant’s failure to timely respond to the allegations in the plaintiff’ 3 bill: esp., a decree entered when the defendant has defaulted by not appearing in court at the prescribed time. -Also termed decree

taken pro confesso.

“A decree pro confesso in equity is similar to a default judgment in an action at law. If a defendant in an equity suit fails to answer the plaintiff’s petition within the prescribed time period, the bill will be taken pro confesso, and a decree entered in favor of the plaintiff . . . . However. whereas a default judgment in an action at law effects an admission of pleaded facts and conclusions of law . . . a decree pro confesso in an equity action admits only the material and well pleaded facts in the petition and does not admit the legal claims upon which the plaintiff seeks relief.” 27A Am. Jur. 2d Equity 5 249, at 733-34 (1996).

-_ .. _. ._ 1 in

deficiency decree. See deficiency judgment under JUDGMENT (2).

> divorce decree. (1870) A final judgment in a suit for

divorce. 0 A divorce decree dissolves the marriage

and usu. resolves all matters concerning property and

children. Generally, matters concerning children can

be modiiied in a post-divorce action if there has been

a substantial change in circumstances. –Also termed divorce order.

> iinal decree. See final judgment under JUDGMENT (2).

> foreign decree. (18c) 1. A decree issued by a court in another jurisdiction within the same country, such as a court in another state or province. 2. A decree issued by a court in another country.

> interlocutory decree. See i nterlocutory judgment under JUDGMENT (2).

decree nunc pro tunc. See judgment nunc pro tunc under JUDGMENT (2).

decree of furthcuming. See decree of forthcoming under DEGREE.

decreet (di-kreet), n. [fr. Latin decretum] (14c) Archaic Scots law. A court’s final judgment; a decree. 0 Decree is now

the usual term.

> decreet absolvitor (ab-zol-vi-tar or ator), n. See decree absolvitor under DEGREE.

decreet arbitral (ahr-bi-tral), n. See decree arbitral under DEGREE.

decreet cognitiom’s causa (kog-nish-ee-ohanis kaw~za), n. See decreet cognitionis causa under DEGREE.

p dccreet condemnator (kon-dem~nay-tar or ~tor), 11. See decree condemnator under DEGREE.

decree taken pro confesso. See decree pro oonfesso under DEGREE.

decrementum maris (dek-ra-men-tam mar~is). [Latin “decrease of the sea”] (16c) The receding of the sea from the land.

decrepit (di-krep-it), adj. (15c) (Of a person) disabled; phys~ ically or mentally incompetent to such an extent that the individual would be helpless in a personal conflict with a person of ordinary health and strength.

decreta (di-kree-ta), 11. [Latin “decisions”] Roman law. Judgments of magistrates; esp., sentences pronounced by the emperor as the supreme judge. See DEGRETUM.

“Decreta. In Roman law decisions of magistrates given after investigation of a case by cognitio . . . and in particular, decisions of the emperor as judge of first instance after trial by cognitio, or as a judge of appeal. As the highest authority in the State the emperor could interpret the law freely and even introduce new principles. Consequently imperial decisions were authoritative interpretations of the law or even innovatory and regarded as statements binding for the future, and as such quoted by the jurists. They were not only communicated to the parties but recorded in the records of the imperial court and private persons might obtain copies of them.” David M. Walker, The Oxford Companion to Law 343 (1980).

decretal (di-kree-tal), adj. (15c) Of, relating to, or involvlng a decree.

decretal child support. See CHILD SUPPORT.

decreet cognitiom’s causa (kog-nish-ee-ohanis kaw~za), n. See decreet cognitionis causa under DEGREE.

p dccreet condemnator (kon-dem~nay-tar or ~tor), 11. See decree condemnator under DEGREE.

decree taken pro confesso. See decree pro oonfesso under DEGREE.

decrementum maris (dek-ra-men-tam mar~is). [Latin “decrease of the sea”] (16c) The receding of the sea from the land.

decrepit (di-krep-it), adj. (15c) (Of a person) disabled; phys~ ically or mentally incompetent to such an extent that the individual would be helpless in a personal conflict with a person of ordinary health and strength.

decreta (di-kree-ta), 11. [Latin “decisions”] Roman law. Judgments of magistrates; esp., sentences pronounced by the emperor as the supreme judge. See DEGRETUM.

“Decreta. In Roman law decisions of magistrates given after investigation of a case by cognitio . . . and in particular, decisions of the emperor as judge of first instance after trial by cognitio, or as a judge of appeal. As the highest authority in the State the emperor could interpret the law freely and even introduce new principles. Consequently imperial decisions were authoritative interpretations of the law or even innovatory and regarded as statements binding for the future, and as such quoted by the jurists. They were not only communicated to the parties but recorded in the records of the imperial court and private persons might obtain copies of them.” David M. Walker, The Oxford Companion to Law 343 (1980).

decretal (di-kree-tal), adj. (15c) Of, relating to, or involvlng a decree.

decretal child support. See CHILD SUPPORT.

 

decree absolvitor (decree ab-sol’vi-tor). A decree acquitting a defendant.

decree a mensa et «thoro (decree a men’sa et tho’ro). See divorce 3 mensa et thoro.

decree a vinculo matrimonii (decree a vin’ku-lo matri-mo’ni-i). See divorce 3 vinculo matrimonii.

decree by consent. See consent decree.

decree condemnator (decree kon-dem-na’tor). A de. cree in favor of a plaintlff.

decree dative. A decree which appointed as executor a person who was not nominated in the will.

decree in absence. A decree rendered against a party by reason of his default.

decree nisi. A provisional judgment to be made ab. solute on motion unless cause is shown against it, the distinguishing characteristic being that further order is required to complete the rendition of a final judgment. 30A Am J 1st Judgm § 119. The inter~

locutory judgment or decree in a divorce action. 24 Am J2d Div & S §427.

decree nunc pro tunc. See nunc pro tunc order.

decree of confirmation. A judgment or decree of court confirming a sale by an administrator, executor, guardian, committee, receiver or other officer of court, usually a prerequisite to the passing of title.

decree of distribution. See order for distribution.

decree of divOrce A judgment which grants a divorce, not to be distinguished from judgments rendered in cases other than divorce actions, in the absence of statutory provisions creating such distinction.

Jelm v Jelm, 155 Ohio St 226, 98 NE2d 401, 22 ALR2d 1300.

See divorce. decree of foreclosure. See foreclosure.

decree of interpleader. A decree in favor of the plaintiff in interpleader, discharging him and leaving the claimants interpleaded by him to litigate between themselves for the stake brought by him into court. 30 Am J Rev ed Interpl § 266.

decree of nullity. A judgment or decree annuling a marriage. 4 Am J2d Annul § 92.

decree pro confesso (decree pro kon-fes’so). A judg~ ment or decree in a suit in equity taken against a defendant in default. 27 Am 12d Eq §221.

The method in equity of taking a bill pro confesso is consonant with the rule and practice of the courts of law, where, if the defendant makes de

fault, judgment is given for the plaintiff. To fake a bill pro confesso is to order it to stand as if its statements were confessed to be true. Thompson V

‘ Wooster, 114 US l04, ill, 29 L Ed 104, 107. 5 S » Ct 788.

decree quasi in rem. See proceeding quasi in rem. deereet (dé-krét’). Same as decree.

References:

Disclaimer: All material throughout this website is compiled in accordance with Fair Use.

[1]: Black’s Law Dictionary Deluxe Tenth Edition by Henry Campbell Black & Editor in Chief Bryan A. Garner. ISBN: 978-0-314-62130-6

[2]: Ballantine’s Law Dictionary with Pronunciations
Third Edition
 by James A. Ballantine (James Arthur 1871-1949).  Edited by William S. Anderson.  © 1969 by THE LAWYER’S CO-OPERATIVE PUBLISHING COMPANY.  Library of Congress Catalog Card No. 68-30931

[3]:  Ballantine’s Law Dictionary Legal Assistant Edition
by Jack Ballantine 
(James Arthur 1871-1949).  Doctored by Jack G. Handler, J.D. © 1994 Delmar by Thomson Learning.  ISBN 0-8273-4874-6.

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