Glossary of Public Records Terms

Select a letter to view glossary terms for that letter.

A (7) | B (2) | C (6) | D (5) | E (1) | F (1) | G (1) | I (2) | L (1) | M (1) | N (6) | P (2) | Q (1) | R (1) | S (5) | V (1)
Termsort descending Definition
Dismissal With Predjudice

Term meaning an adjudication on the merits, and final disposition, barring the right to bring or maintain an action on the same claim or cause.

Dismissal Without Predjudice

Dismissal without predjudice to the right of the complaintant to sue again on the same cause of action.


Blot out, obliterate, completely remove, or strike out from the record.


A grave crime declared to be a felony by the common law or by statute regardless of the punishment actually imposed. These types of charges are of a more serious nature than those designated as misdemeanors.

Grand Jury

A body of citizens, the number of whom varies from state to state, whose duties consist in determining whether probable cause exists that a crime has been committed and whether an indictment should be returned against one for such a crime.


Formal accusation issued by a grand jury. This does not constitute a conviction or proof of guilt with respect to any charge.


Lesser offenses - generally city violations, code enforcement, etc.


An unlawful taking and carrying away of personal property without the consent of and against the will of the owner, and with felonious intent to deprive the person of the property permanently.


A crime less serious than a felony. These offenses are typically punishable by fine or imprisonment, other than a penitentiary. Under federal and most state laws, any offense that is not a felony is classified as a misdemeanor.

No Action

The court dropped the case and did not continue with the charges. This is not a conviction

No Bill

The decision by a grand jury that it will not bring an indictment against the accused on the basis of the allegations and evidence presented by the prosecutor.

No Papered

The paperwork was never sent to the court by the District Attorney and the case was never filed. This is not a conviction.

Nolle Prossed

The ending of a case because the prosecutor decides or agrees to stop prosecuting. Commonly called "nol pros."

Nolo Contendre

Latin for, "I will not contest it." This is a defendant's plea of "no contest" in a criminal case. It means that he or she does not directly admit guilt, but submits to sentencing or other punishment.

Non-Adjudication of Guilt

Same as Ajudication Withheld. This is not a conviction.

Prayer for Judgment

Deferred prosecution often seen in NC, meaning the state did not prosecute. This is not a conviction. For example, with worthless checks it gives the defendant a chance to pay the check before being charged.

Pre-Trial Intervention

This is a program offered to the defendant before going to trial. If the defendant complies prior to the trial date, the trial is not held and the defendant is not convicted.