FindLaw Legal Dictionary
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1 : a draft of a law presented to a legislature for enactment
: the law itself [the GI ]
: a bill providing money for government expenses and programs NOTE: Appropriations bills originate in the House of Representatives.
bill of attainder
1 : a legislative act formerly permitted that attainted a person and imposed a sentence of death without benefit of a judicial trial see also attainder compare bill of pains and penalties in this entry
2 : a legislative act that imposes any punishment on a named or implied individual or group without a trial NOTE: Bills of attainder are prohibited by Article I of the U.S. Constitution.
bill of pains and penalties
: a legislative act formerly permitted that imposed a punishment less severe than death without benefit of a judicial trial compare bill of attainder in this entry NOTE: The term bill of attainder is often used to include bills of pains and penalties. Bills of pains and penalties are included in the constitutional ban on bills of attainder.
: a bill in its form as amended and newly introduced to the legislature by a legislative committee
: a bill printed in the form in which it was passed by one chamber of Congress and certified by the appropriate legislative official
: a copy of a bill in the form in which it is passed in the legislature including all changes introduced before enactment that is kept as evidence of the law
: a bill originating in the House of Representatives
: revenue bill in this entry
: a bill that includes a number of miscellaneous provisions or appropriations
: a bill affecting a particular person, organization, or locality as distinguished from all the people or the whole area of a political unit
: a bill affecting the community (as a nation or state) at large
: a bill (as for imposing a tax) for raising money for any public purpose called also money bill NOTE: The U.S. Constitution requires all bills for raising revenue to originate in the House of Representatives.
2 : the pleading used to begin a suit in equity that sets forth the basis for one's claim against another called also bill in equity
3 a : a form or device of procedure used in civil actions
bill in the na·ture of a bill of review
: an equitable bill seeking to have a court decree set aside that is brought by someone who was not a party to the original suit usually before the decree is entered in the record compare bill of review in this entry NOTE: Bills in the nature of a bill of review were abolished in federal practice by Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b).
bill in the na·ture of interpleader
: a bill of interpleader in which the plaintiff is allowed to claim an interest in the subject matter of the suit compare bill of interpleader in this entry interpleader NOTE: In federal practice, bills in the nature of interpleader have been abandoned in favor of interpleader as described in Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 22.
bill of complaint
: complaint used esp. in equity actions
bill of costs
: a bill setting forth the expenses in connection with a suit that a party seeks to have paid by an opposing party
bill of exceptions
: a bill setting forth the exceptions and objections to rulings made at trial and the evidence relevant to them for the purpose of appeal or other review NOTE: Bills of exceptions are no longer required in federal practice under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, but they are still used in some state courts.
bill of interpleader
: a bill brought by a plaintiff who seeks a court determination of the conflicting claims of two or more defendants to the subject matter of the suit (as money owed by the plaintiff) and who has no interest in the subject matter and no preference as to which defendant prevails called also strict bill of interpleader compare bill in the nature of interpleader in this entry interpleader NOTE: Under most modern rules of procedure, the requirements for interpleader have been relaxed and the distinction between a bill of interpleader and a bill in the nature of interpleader no longer exists.
bill of par·tic·u·lars
: a bill containing a detailed listing and explanation of the claims made by the plaintiff NOTE: Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12, bills of particulars have been abandoned in favor of the expanded rules for discovery and the motion for a more definite statement.
bill of peace
: an equitable bill used to settle the rights of parties in one suit and avoid repeated litigation
bill of review
: an equitable bill used to start a suit to have the final judgment of a previous suit set aside compare bill in the nature of a bill of review in this entry NOTE: Bills of review are used when another device for review, such as appeal, is not available, as when the period to bring it has expired. Bills of review are abolished in federal practice by Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b).
: an equitable bill by which a creditor who has won a court judgment against a debtor can compel payment from the debtor out of the property that is not otherwise reachable by legal process
: an equitable bill by which a party to a suit can bring a claim against any other party NOTE: Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 13, cross bills are replaced by counterclaims and cross-claims.
strict bill of interpleader
: bill of interpleader in this entry
b : a device or instrument used in criminal procedure
bill of indictment
: an instrument that contains the charges against a defendant and that is presented to a grand jury for determination after a preliminary hearing whether there is enough evidence to issue an indictment called also indictment compare no bill and true bill in this entry
bill of information
bill of par·tic·u·lars
: a bill that a defendant may request in which the prosecution sets out in detail the facts forming the basis for the criminal charges against the defendant
: a bill returned by a grand jury that has determined the evidence in a bill of indictment to be insufficient to warrant prosecution
: the finding of the grand jury that the evidence is insufficient called also ignoramus no true bill
: a bill returned by a grand jury that has found the evidence in a bill of indictment sufficient to warrant prosecution
4 : an itemized account of goods sold, services performed, or work done
5 : a written instrument setting out the terms of a transaction involving goods: as
a : bill of lading
b : bill of sale
6 : a piece of paper money
7 : a written instrument providing proof of an obligation to pay money
bill of credit
: an instrument written by a banker certifying to another that a person named in the instrument is entitled to draw on the banker's funds or credit up to a certain amount
: letter of credit
bill of exchange
: an instrument by one party directing another party to pay a named third party or anyone bearing it a specific amount of money on a named future date or on demand
: a bill given by a bank to the purchaser of a security in place of the security itself that entitles the purchaser to receive payment upon presentation
: a short-term obligation sold by the government at a discount that bears no interest but is payable at its face value at maturity compare Treasury bond at bond Treasury note at note
Source: Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law ©1996. Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. Published under license with Merriam-Webster, Incorporated.