Types of Court Orders § 2:

Definition of Order:

(16c) 1. A command, direction, or instruction. See MANDATE.  2. A written direction or command delivered by a government official, especially a court or judge. The word generally embraces final decrees as well as interlocutory (lesser, or intermittent commands throughout the case, issued by the judge– but not necessarily the final decree) directions or commands. – Also termed court order; judicial order. See MANDAMUS

     Excerpt from Henry Campbell Black’s A Treatise on the Law of Judgments:

      “An order is the mandate of determination of the court
upon some subsidiary or collateral matter arising in an action, not disposing of the merits, but adjudicating a preliminary point or directing some step in the proceedings. [2]

     Excerpt from A.C. Freeman’s A Treatise of the Law of Judgments:

     “While an order may under some circumstances amount to a judgment, they must be distinguished, owing to the different consequences flowing from them, not only in the matter of enforcement and appeal but in other respects, as, for instance, the time within which proceedings to annul them must be taken. Rulings on motions are ordinarily orders rather than judgments.  The class of judgments and of decrees formerly called interlocutory is included in the definition given in [modern codes] of the word ‘order.’[3]

Mandate – n. (16c) 1. An order from an appellate court directing a lower court to take a specified action. 2. A judicial command directed to an officer of the court to enforce a court order. 4. Roman & civil law. A written command given by a principal to an agent; specifically, a commission or contract by which one person (the mandator) requests someone (the mandatary) to perform some service gratuitously, the commission becoming effective when the mandatory agrees. – mandate, vb.

Types of Orders:

Injunction – an order commanding or preventing an action that the plaintiff has shown to be necessary to prevent injury

Subpoena – command a person to appear in court, subject to a penalty for failing to comply

Interlocutory – a temporary order not constituting a final resolution of the whole controversy

Remittitur – an order requiring a Plaintiff to choose between a new trial or lowering the damages amount below what the jury had awarded

Peremptory Mandamus – an absolute command to the defendant after they default on, or fail to show sufficient cause in answer to, an alternative mandamus

Additur – with the defendant’s consent, increases the jury’s award of damages to avoid a new trial on grounds of inadequate damages

Minute Order – An order recorded in the minutes of the court rather than directly on a case docket., often not directly relating to a case, such as an order adopting a local rule of court. 

Show Cause Order directs a party to appear in court & explain why the party took (or failed to take) some action or why the court should or should not impose some sanction or grant some relief.


All material utilized in accordance with Fair Use.

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

[2]: 1 Henry Campbell Black, A Treatise on the Law of Judgments § 1, at 5 (2d ed. 1902).

[3]: 1 A.C. Freeman, A Treatise of the Law of Judgments §
19, at 28 (Edward W. Tuttle ed., 5th ed. 1925).


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