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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 ?
Further slamming the Prime Minister for being silent on Lalitgate and other controversies, Congress General Secretary Digvijaya Singh alleged that he was helping the former IPL chief in getting him bailed out of Enforcement Directorate ( ED) cases against him.
I really don't know if the controversies were following me or they were being put on me.
Senderwicz extends this framework to the complex series of subsequent controversies that resulted in the development of two-dimensional semantics, a conceptual innovation that Senderwicz argues is inherently valuable and would have been impossible had it not been for the controversy engendered by the knowledge arguments.
We can now make a fresh start after a lot of controversies affected Pakistan cricket and I am happy that it's over now," he said after reaching home from New Zealand, where Pakistan drew the Test and won the one-day series.
It's hard to see the fight over Tilted Arc as one of Kammen's "healthy controversies.
debates highlighting controversies in ototopical therapies
Early Renaissance Invective and the Controversies of Antonia da Rho presents an edited translation of two works by medieval scholar Antonio da Rho (1395-1447).
53); the texts of the thanksgiving prayer over the water; controversies over the epiclesis in that thanksgiving; the ancillary actions of anointing, handlaying, garment, and candle; and many problems related to "confirmation.
Indeed, controversy seems built into the very languages of Ireland--as Lucy McDiarmid comments near the end of this remarkable study, "Irish language traditions privilege controversies in both manuscript and oral versions (211)--and of course Irish history, with its long sequences of invasions, assimilations, conquests, oppressions, and resistances seems composed of nothing but controversy.
Previous international controversies over the transborder flow of personal information resulted mostly from actions in Europe.
Controversies abound and multiply: over the proper content for English courses and the role of student discourse, over standardized testing and teacher accountability, over community ownership of school policies and proposed "national curricula," over vouchers and charter schools, over cultural "values" and students' rights to their own language, over school "failure," particularly in America's cities, and corporate management models for education.