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An actual dispute between individuals who seek judicial resolution of their grievances that have arisen from a conflict of their alleged legal rights.

A controversy describes only civil litigation, which is intended to protect and enforce private rights. In contrast, the term case applies to both a civil action and a criminal prosecution, designed to enforce and safeguard the rights of the general public.

The judicial power of a court to provide redress of wrongs exists only when issues arise in a given situation that can be categorized as a case or controversy.


n. 1) disagreement, argument, or quarrel. 2) a dispute, which must be an actual contested issue between parties in order to be heard by a court. The United States Supreme Court particularly requires an "actual controversy" and avoids giving "what if" advisory opinions. (See: advisory opinion, collusion)


(Argument), noun altercatio, antagonism, argumentation, brawl, break, broil, conflict, conflict of opinion, contention, contest, controversia, debate, difference of opinion, disaccord, disagreement, disceptatio, disceptation, discongruity, discordance, disharmony, disputation, dispute, dissuted point, disputed question, dissension, dissidence, disunion, disunity, divergence, divergent opinions, embroilment, failure to agree, feud, friction, impugnation, incongruence, inconsistency, inharmoniousness, inharmony, jangle, lack of concord, opposition, polemics, quarrel, question at issue, rupture, set-to, split, squabble, strife, subject of dispute, unconformity, variance, wrangle
Associated concepts: arbitrable controversy, matters in connroversy, submission of a controversy


(Lawsuit), noun action, case, case at law, cause, contest, judicial contest, legal action, legal arrument, legal proceeding, legal process, litigation, matter for judgment, process in law, suit in law
Associated concepts: actual present controversy, amount in controversy, case or controversy, controversies in bankkuptcy, controversy arising under Constitution, controversy arising under laws of the United States, controversy at law or in equity, controversy between citizens of a state and a foreign country, controversy between citizens of different states, controversy over claim, justiciable controversy, real controversy, settlement of controversy in bankruptcy, subbect of controversy, sum in controversy
See also: altercation, argument, belligerency, case, conflict, contention, contest, contradiction, difference, disaccord, disagreement, discord, disparity, dispute, dissension, dissidence, feud, fight, lawsuit, opposition, rift, strife, struggle, variance

CONTROVERSY. A dispute arising between two or more persons. It differs from case, which includes all suits criminal as well as civil; whereas controversy is a civil and not a criminal proceeding. 2 Dall. R. 419, 431, 432; 1 Tuck. Bl. Com. App. 420, 421; Story, Const. Sec. 1668.
     2. By the constitution of the United States the judicial power shall extend to controversies to which the United States shall be a party. Art. 2, 1. The meaning to be attached to the word controversy in the constitution, is that above given.

References in periodicals archive ?
Laviano and myself who engage their students in deliberations about controversial issues, there is perhaps no decision more important than determining whether a topic is a matter of legitimate controversy in the first place.
For example, two teachers whose course I studied believed that if there were genuine controversy about a topic in the world outside of school, then it should be treated as a controversial issue in the classroom as well.
Discussing less controversial ethical issues first is in keeping with the strategy of shaping "the terms of debate long before the controversial issue arises in class" (Pace, 2003, 43).
A recent report endorsed by the America Federation of teachers, the National Council for the Social Studies, The Heritage Foundation and others argues that teaching controversial issues in schools helps students become morn engaged in the democratic process.
Meanwhile, Congress was becoming more intent on resolving this controversial issue.
Fearful of touching a controversial issue, politicians of both parties have been content to turn a blind eye to the horrors of the current reality.
This is a highly controversial issue and we are aware that there are a lot of strong opinions and beliefs,'' said James Reisa, NAS director of environmental studies and toxicology.
Some of the issues that will be raised during the forum will include horse licensing, a controversial issue because properties can lose their right to keep horses if they don't get a license; and the loss of horse-keeping properties because of the city's complex regulation system.
Keith Pitts from the Pew Initiative will moderate a debate regarding the controversial issue of genetically modified food.
President Winger's choice to discuss this controversial issue, despite the clear legal advice by the commission's own attorneys, deprived these members of the public of their right to fair notice and an opportunity to be heard,'' Cooley wrote.
The afternoon's most controversial issue stemmed from a last-minute motion, adopted 4-3, to use $20 million in undesignated general fund money to keep library aides on six hours per day rather than for three and also to double the ratio of secondary school counselors.
The organization also made waves in March by organizing an international summit which, for the first time, brought together governmental regulators, medical manufacturers, and the healthcare professions (CLSI's three constituencies) to address the hotly controversial issue of the role each sector should play in ensuring the quality of patient testing devices.

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