Court order

Court order

A court order (a type of court ruling) is an official proclamation by a judge (or panel of judges) that defines the legal relationships between the parties to a hearing, a trial, an appeal or other court proceedings. Such ruling requires or authorizes the carrying out of certain steps by one or more parties to a case. A court order must be signed by a judge; some jurisdiction may require it to be notarized.

The content and provisions of a court order depend on the type of proceeding, the phase of the proceedings in which they are issued, and the procedural[1] and evidentiary[2] rules that govern the proceedings.

An order can be as simple as setting a date for trial or as complex as restructuring contractual relationships by and between many corporations in a multi-jurisdictional dispute. It may be a final order (one that concludes the court action), or an interim order (one during the action). Most orders are written, and are signed by the judge. Some orders, however, are spoken orally by the judge in open court, and are only reduced to writing in the transcript of the proceedings.



The following represents a small sampling of matters that are commonly dictated by the terms of a court order:


One kind of interim order is a temporary restraining order (TRO) to preserve the status quo. Such an order may later be overturned or vacated during the litigation, or it may be a final order and judgment only subject to appeal.

In the area of domestic violence courts will routinely issue a temporary order of protection (TOP) (or temporary protective order, TPO) to prevent any further violence or threat of violence. In family law temporary orders can also be called pendente lite relief and may include grants of temporary child custody, visitation, spousal support and maintenance.

Notes and references

See also

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • court order — ➔ order1 * * * court order UK US noun [C] ► LAW an instruction given by a court telling someone what they must or must not do: apply for/seek a court order »They applied for a court order to compel the government to disclose details of the deal.… …   Financial and business terms

  • court order — index search warrant Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 court order …   Law dictionary

  • court order — n an order or decision made by a law court ▪ His computer was seized under a court order …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • court order — noun count an order that someone must or must not do something, given by a court of law …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • court order — ► NOUN ▪ a direction issued by a court or a judge requiring a person to do or not do something …   English terms dictionary

  • court order — noun a writ issued by a court of law requiring a person to do something or to refrain from doing something (Freq. 2) • Topics: ↑law, ↑jurisprudence • Hypernyms: ↑writ, ↑judicial writ • Hyponyms: ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

  • court order — UK / US noun [countable] Word forms court order : singular court order plural court orders an order that someone must or must not do something, given by a court of law …   English dictionary

  • court order — noun A written command, issued by a judge, requiring whomever it is served upon to do whatever the order says, under penalty of being held in contempt of court. 1920 The Reds were raising an awful howl. Andrews, the lawyer, had succeeded in… …   Wiktionary

  • court order — noun Date: 1650 an order issuing from a competent court that requires a party to do or abstain from doing a specified act …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • court order — noun (C) an order given by a court of law that someone must do or must not do something …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

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