Skip to main content
Find a Lawyer
Please enter a legal issue and/or a location
Begin typing to search, use arrow keys to navigate, use enter to select
FindLaw Legal Dictionary

The FindLaw Legal Dictionary -- free access to over 8260 definitions of legal terms. Search for a definition or browse our legal glossaries.





1 a : a formal decision or determination on a matter or case by a court
: final judgment in this entry compare dictum, disposition, finding, holding, opinion, ruling, verdict NOTE: Under Rule 54 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure judgment encompasses a decree and any order from which an appeal lies.

cog·no·vit judgment
[kÄ g-nō-vit-]
: an acknowledgment by a debtor of the existence of a debt with agreement that an adverse judgment may be entered without notice or a hearing
: confession of judgment

consent judgment
: a judgment approved and entered by a court by consent of the parties upon agreement or stipulation
: consent decree at decree

declaratory judgment
: a judgment declaring a right or establishing the legal status or interpretation of a law or instrument [seeking a declaratory judgment that the regulation is unconstitutional] compare damage, injunction specific performance at performance

default judgment
: a judgment entered by a court after an entry of default against a party for failure to appear, to file a pleading, or to take other required procedural steps called also judgment by default compare decree pro confesso at decree

deficiency judgment
: a judgment in favor of a creditor for the balance of a debt that is not satisfied in full by the security
: such a judgment following the foreclosure of a mortgage

final judgment
: a judgment that leaves nothing further to be done on a matter except execution

in personam judgment
: personal judgment in this entry

in rem judgment
: judgment in rem in this entry

judgment by default
: default judgment in this entry

judgment in per·so·nam
[-in-pər-sō-nəm, -per-sō-nÄ m]
pl: judgments in personam
: personal judgment in this entry

judgment in rem
pl: judgments in rem
: a judgment affecting the status of a particular thing (as an item of property) or subject matter
: a judgment rendered by a court exercising in rem jurisdiction compare personal judgment in this entry

judgment ni·si
[-nī-sī, -nē-sē]
pl: judgments nisi
: a judgment that is not final or absolute [after default and judgment nisi requiring them to show cause why it should not be made final "Code of Alabama"]

judgment non ob·stan·te ve·re·dic·to
[-nÄ n-əb-stan-tē-ver-ə-dik-tō, -nȯn-ȯb-stÄ n-tā-vā-rā-dēk-tō]
pl: judgments non obstante veredicto
[non obstante veredicto, from Medieval Latin, notwithstanding the verdict]
: judgment notwithstanding the verdict in this entry

judgment not·with·stand·ing the verdict
: a judgment that may be granted upon a motion by a defendant whose motion for a directed verdict was denied and that sets aside the jury's verdict in favor of a judgment in accordance with the motion for directed verdict called also judgment non obstante veredicto

judgment of acquittal
: a judgment that is rendered upon motion of the defendant or the court's own motion at the close of the evidence and that acquits the defendant of one or more of the offenses charged when the evidence is insufficient to sustain a conviction called also directed verdict directed verdict of acquittal

judgment on the merits
: a judgment made after consideration of the substantive as distinguished from procedural issues in a case

judgment on the pleadings
: summary judgment in this entry

money judgment
: a judgment directing the payment of a sum of money

ni·hil-di·cit judgment
[nī-həl-di-sit-, -dī-; nē-hil-dē-kit-]
: a judgment entered against a defendant who has failed to make an effective answer (as because the answer is withdrawn or does not respond to the merits of the plaintiff's case) called also nil dicit judgment

personal judgment
: a judgment determining the rights and liabilities of a particular person
: a judgment rendered by a court exercising personal jurisdiction over a person compare judgment in rem in this entry

summary judgment
: judgment that may be granted upon a party's motion when the pleadings, discovery, and any affidavits show that there is no genuine issue of material fact and that the party is entitled to judgment in its favor as a matter of law NOTE: According to Rule 56 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, a motion for summary judgment may be made at any time after 20 days following the commencement of the action. Summary judgment may be granted on all or on just part of a case.
b : an obligation (as a debt) created by a decree of a court [collection of…automobile s from uninsured motorists "Harvard Law Review"]
: an official document embodying such a decision or decree
c : a declaration by a court of the conviction of a criminal defendant and the punishment to be imposed
: sentence
2 : the action of judging
: the mental or intellectual process of forming an opinion or making a decision
: an opinion or decision so formed

business judgment
: a decision by a person or body (as a board of directors) having authority to act on behalf of a business and usually marked by reasonableness and the exercise of due care
: the faculty of making such decisions

sub·sti·tut·ed judgment
: a decision regarding medical treatment made by a person (as a family member) on behalf of a person who is incompetent and unable to decide for himself or herself

Source: Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law ©1996. Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. Published under license with Merriam-Webster, Incorporated.

Copied to clipboard

Find a Lawyer

More Options