Glossary of Legal Terms

This glossary explains some legal terms. You might see these terms on the ECB website. They may be used at your hearing. Remember that the glossary is not a dictionary. It explains what these words mean at the ECB. So, you should not use this glossary for anything that is not related to the ECB.

Adjourn: when a case is postponed to a later date. This is done at a hearing.

Adjudication: the ALJ's decision on the case.

Adjudicate: to have an ALJ hear and decide a case.

Administrative Hearing: where parties present legal arguments and evidence about the case to an ALJ.

Administrative Law Judge (ALJ): an attorney who is specially trained to hear and decide cases at ECB.

Agency Representative: an employee of the City agency that wrote the Notice Of Violation (ticket). This person gives the ALJ the agency's evidence and legal arguments. Usually, this person is not the officer who wrote the ticket.

ALJ: Administrative Law Judge.

Appeal: a review of the ALJ's decision by the ECB.

Appear: to come to a hearing, either in person or by mail.

Case: the set of facts and background which led to the ticket being issued.

Cease and Desist Order: an order to stop an activity. It only applies to certain cases, including air and noise cases. The ECB issues these orders. They direct a person or entity that did not comply with an earlier order to immediately comply.
Cure: if you admit fault for the violation and fix the problem before the “Cure Date” written on your ticket, you may be able to avoid paying the penalty. In order to do this, you must give the city agency that wrote the ticket a certificate showing that you corrected the problem. This option is only for certain types of violations.

Default: when a respondent fails to appear at the ECB or answer a ticket within the time allowed.

Decision: the written result of a hearing.

Dismissal: deciding the case in favor of the person who got the ticket.

Disposition: the decision of a case.

Disqualify: when an ALJ may not hear a case. The ALJ may be disqualified because he or she is related to the parties or their representatives. Or the ALJ may have other reasons why he or she cannot hear that type of case.
Evidence: documents (papers, photos and other items) and witness testimony (statements under oath) that parties give the ALJ during a hearing.

Ex Parte Communication: when one party in a case talks or writes to an ALJ without the other party knowing about it. In most cases, this is not allowed.

Hearing: when the person who received the ticket and someone from the agency that wrote the ticket come to or write a letter to the ECB. At the hearing, each side may present evidence and legal arguments about the case.
Hearing Officer: an attorney who is specially trained to hear and decide cases at ECB. This person is also called an Administrative Law Judge.

Intervenor: a person who is not the respondent or petitioner, but who might be affected by the outcome of the case. The ALJ may, in certain cases, allow this person to take part in the hearing.

Issuing Officer: a City employee (usually an agent, inspector or police officer) who writes a ticket.
Jurisdiction: the types of cases the ECB is allowed to hear based on certain laws.

Notice of Appearance: a document verifying that a respondent or the respondent's representative appeared at ECB for a hearing.

Notice of Violation (NOV): The NOV is the ticket given by a City agency stating that you or the respondent violated a City law that protects health, safety, and a clean environment. You may hear many people at ECB refer to your ticket as an "NOV." You may also see this in written decisions.

Order: an oral or written direction given to a party by an ALJ or the full ECB after a hearing.

Party: a person, business, or entity named in the ticket. It is also the City agency that gave the ticket. The ECB allows parties to participate in hearings. Parties are legally bound by (must follow) the decision in the case.

Perjury: stating or giving untrue evidence, while knowing it is untrue.

Petitioner: the City agency, department, bureau, or commissioner that gave the ticket.

Prima Facie: this is the Latin term for “on its face”. It means that the City Agency gave enough proof to make out its case. A ticket, if sworn to or affirmed, is considered prima facie evidence of the facts it contains.

Pro Se: this is the Latin term for “for self.” It refers to a respondent who comes to a hearing without a lawyer or other person and wants to speak for him or herself.

Respondent: the person (or other entity) that is named on the ticket.

Respondent Representative: a person that a respondent has allowed to represent him or her at a hearing.

Standing: the right to appear as a party in an ECB case.

Stipulation: an agreement between the parties. The respondent admits the violation, and still has to pay a penalty.
However, sometimes the penalty is reduced. The respondent may also be given more time to fix the problems stated in the ticket. You may only do this for certain types of violations.

Testimony: a statement made by a witness or party. Testimony is taken “under oath.” This means the person making the statement has promised that the statement is true. A person who tells a lie or who brings in false papers or other evidence may be charged with perjury.

Tribunal: the ALJs, staff, and members of the ECB.