Noun: The legal term used to describe the process in which a court distributes the estate of a deceased. If a will is left, then it must go through a probate court to determine its validity and distribute the estate accordingly.


Noun: The representative of the bankruptcy estate who exercises statutory powers, principally for the benefit of the unsecured creditors, under the general supervision of the court and the direct supervision of the U.S. trustee or bankruptcy administrator.

The trustee is a private individual or corporation appointed in all chapter 7, chapter 12, and chapter 13 cases and some chapter 11 cases. The trustee’s responsibilities include reviewing the debtor’s petition and schedules and bringing actions against creditors or the debtor to recover property of the bankruptcy estate.

In chapter 7, the trustee liquidates property of the estate, and makes distributions to creditors. Trustees in chapter 12 and 13 have similar duties to a chapter 7 trustee and the additional responsibilities of overseeing the debtor’s plan, receiving payments from debtors, and disbursing plan payments to creditors.


Verb: The system by which a city or county plan which various geographic areas will be restricted to certain uses and development. Examples of zoning area terms include industrial, light industrial, commercial, light-commercial, agricultural, single-family residential, multi-unit residential, parks, and schools.


Noun: A court order which directs a law enforcement official to arrest and bring a person before a judge.


Noun: The final outcome of a civil case decided by a trial jury or a judge that determines the guilt or innocence of a criminal defendant.

Under the Influence

Adjective: Term used to describe someone who has consumed alcoholic beverages, taken some form of drug, or a combination of the two. It is a criminal offense to drive while under the influence, or be drunk in public.

Tainted Evidence

Noun: Evidence which is not admissible in court due to the fact that it was procured by illegal means such as illegal searches or seizures. This evidence is often referred to as “fruit of the poisonous tree.”