Glossary Of Terms

Glossary of Terms


The legal and formal certification of the innocence of a person who has been charged with crime; a deliverance or setting free a person from a charge of guilt; finding of not guilty.

Adverse Action:

An action that may result in a negative impact on a consumer’s ability to secure housing, credit or employment.


Call an accused person before a court to answer the charge made against him or her by indictment, information, or complaint.

Consumer Disclosure Request Form:

The consumer’s written request to receive or discuss information in his or her consumer file.


The result of a criminal trial that ends in a judgment or sentence that the accused is guilty as charged.


A customer request for a consumer report. An inquiry may only be obtained under permissible purposes as defined by the Fair Credit Reporting Act.


A person who is the subject of legal action initiated by a plaintiff.


An order of judgment finally disposing of an action, suit, motion, etc., without trial of the issues involved.


A crime of a graver or more serious nature than those designated as misdemeanors.


A formal written accusation originating with a prosecutor and issued by a grand jury against a party charged with a crime. An indictment is referred to as a “true bill”, whereas failure to indict is called a “no bill”.


Offenses lower than felonies and generally those punishable by fine, penalty, forfeiture or imprisonment otherwise than in penitentiary.

Nolo contendere:

A plea in a criminal case that has similar legal effect as pleading guilty. Type of plea which may be entered with leave of court to a criminal complaint or indictment by which the defendant does not admit or deny the charges; complaint may not be brought before a Civil court at a later date, should no criminal conviction result


Release from jail, prison, or other confinement after actually serving part of sentence. Conditional release from imprisonment which entitles parolee to serve remainder of term outside confines of an institution.


A person who brings legal action against another person

Pre-Adverse Action:

Notice of the consumer’s right to obtain a free copy of a consumer report from the Credit Reporting Agency that provided the consumer request within 60 days of the adverse action.


To begin criminal proceedings against a person.


To vacate or make void as in to quash an indictment.

Suspended sentence:

The defendant is not required at the time sentence is imposed to serve the sentence.

Warrant for arrest:

A written order of the court which is made on behalf of the state or federal government and is based upon a complaint issued pursuant to statute and/or court rule and which commands law enforcement to arrest a person and bring them before a court.