Glossary beginning with P

Click one of the letters above to go to the page of all terms beginning with that letter.
P.O. Box

Post office box, an individual box for mail at a post office


To release someone from punishment for a crime they were convicted of committing


The relationship between a parent and a child

Parental responsibilities

How parents will make significant decisions, spend time with, and care for their child, formerly known as "custody"

Parenting plan

A document that says which parent will make what decisions for the child, where the child will live, and when each parent will spend time with the child

Parenting time

Time spent between a parent and a child, formerly known as "visitation"


A release from prison that allows someone to serve time outside of prison as long as he or she follows certain conditions


A document that lets a person travel outside the country


The person who will receive payment


A person who makes a payment


A type of document that can be viewed and printed with software called Adobe Reader


Money paid to a person by an employer during retirement


When someone promises to tell the truth, and then tells a lie

Personal jurisdiction

The authority of the court to make a decision that affects the parties in the case


(noun) A written request to a court
(verb) To request from a court


A person who makes a written request to a court


A person that files a lawsuit


A person's formal answer of guilty, not guilty, or no contest to the charges against them

Plenary order of protection

A request granted by a judge telling an abuser to stop further domestic abuse, after both parties present their arguments

Police report

When a police officer writes a description of what happened at an accident


A court decision made in an earlier case which establishes a rule that judges will typically follow when deciding a similar case

Preliminary injunction

An order issued by a judge that stops the defendant from doing a certain activity


Money that must be paid every month, such as for health insurance

Prenuptial agreement

An agreement made before marriage that says how issues of support and property will be resolved when the marriage ends

Presiding judge

In a court with more than one judge, the judge that acts as the leader of the court's business

Presiding justice

In a court with more than one justice, the justice that acts as the leader of the court's business

Pro bono

Legal work done for little or no cost

Pro se

Pronounced 'pro say,' a person who does not have a lawyer


The type of court process where a person's property is given out after they die


When a person who has been convicted of a crime is released from jail but still has to follow certain rules

Process server

Someone other than a sheriff who serves a summons

Proof of service

A form that says that court papers were given to someone in a court case

Protected class

Groups of people who get special protection against discrimination

Public defender

A free lawyer appointed by the criminal court when a defendant cannot afford to pay for a lawyer

Punitive damages

Money awarded in a case meant to punish a losing party, usually above the real cost of the injury

Putative father registry

A list of men who have registered as possibly being the father of a child within 30 days of the child's birth