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ad damnum clause
element of a complaint that asks for damages; or "prayer for relief"
joint and several liability
when multiple defendents may be found liable as a group (jointly) or separately (several)
document that informs the defendant that he is being sued and that he has specific amount of time to respond
the pleading that initiates litigation; served with the summons
cause of action
a legally valid reason to sue; a required element of a complaint
a document asking the court to take some specific legal action.
service of process
the delivery of the summons and complaint upon defendent
in personam jurisdiction
Jurisdiction over a person
in rem jurisdiction
jurisdiction over the controversy, often property
quasi in rem jurisdiction
jurisdiction over property, even though the property is not the controversy
attachment to the title of a piece of property notifying any potential purchasers that the title is subject to the outcome of litigation
an admission that a specific act did occur, arguing that the fault lies not with the defendant.
a claim by the defendant against the plaintiff
a claim by one defendant against a co-defendant
pleading where a defendant sues someone not yet a party to the action