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Direction of a court or judge normally made or entered in writing, and not included in a judgment, which determines some point or directs some step in the proceedings.

The decision of a court or judge is made in the form of an order. A court may issue an order after a motion of a party requesting the order, or the court itself may issue an order on its own discretion. For example, courts routinely issue scheduling orders, which set the timetable and procedure for managing a civil lawsuit. More substantive orders, however, typically are made following a motion by one of the parties.

A motion is an application for an order. The granting or denying of a motion is a matter of judicial discretion. When a motion is granted, the moving party (the party who requests the motion) is ordinarily limited to the relief requested in the application. Although no particular form is required, a court order granting a motion should be sufficiently explicit to enable the parties to do whatever is directed. Though a court is not obligated to issue an opinion, in most cases a party is entitled to have the reasons for the decision of the court stated in the order. The order must be consistent with the relief requested in the motion, and it should set forth any conditions on which relief is awarded.

In trial courts the attorney for a party who obtains a favorable ruling usually has the responsibility of writing a proposed order. A copy of the proposed order is furnished to the other party so that he or she can propose amendments to it. It is then presented to the court for settlement and approval. Courts are free, however, to modify proposed orders or to write their own order. Appellate courts routinely write their own orders.

To take effect, an order must be entered, filed, or incorporated into the minutes of the court. An entry or filing must be made with the court administrator within the prescribed time limits.

Aside from scheduling orders and other orders that deal with the administration of a case, there are several general categories of orders. An Interlocutory order is an order that does not decide the case but settles some intervening matters relating to it or affords some temporary relief. For example, in a Divorce case, a judge will issue an interlocutory order that sets the terms for temporary Child Support and Visitation Rights while the case is pending.

A Restraining Order may be issued upon the filing of an application for an Injunction forbidding the defendant to do the threatened act until the court has a hearing on the application. These types of orders are also called temporary restraining orders (TROs), because they are meant to be effective until the court decides whether to order an injunction. For example, if a neighborhood association seeks to prevent a land developer from cutting down a stand of trees, the association would seek an injunction to prevent the cutting and a TRO to forbid the developer from removing the trees before the court holds a hearing. If the association did not request a TRO, the developer could legally cut down the trees and effectively render the injunction request moot.

A final order is one that terminates the action itself or finally decides some matter litigated by the parties. In a civil lawsuit, the plaintiff may make many allegations and legal claims, some of which the court may dispose of during the litigation by the issuance of an order. When the court is ready to completely dispose of the case, it enters a final order. As part of the final order, the court directs that judgment be entered, which authorizes the court administrator to close the case in that court.


1) n. every direction or mandate of a judge or a court which is not a judgment or legal opinion (although both may include an order) directing that something be done or that there is prohibition against some act. This can range from an order that a case will be tried on a certain date, to an order that a convicted defendant be executed at the state prison. 2) v. for a judge to direct that a party before the court perform a particular act or refrain from certain acts, or to direct a public official or court employee (like a sheriff) to take certain actions such as seizing property or arresting an AWOL defendant. (See: judge, judgment)


(Arrangement), noun adjustment, allocation, allotment, apportionment, array, catalogue, categorization, chronology, classification, composition, design, disposal, distribution, form, formation, gradation, grouping, layout, lineup, methodology, ordo, organization, pattern, plan, procession, progression, rotation, sequence, setup, stratification, structure, system, systematization
Associated concepts: order of creditors, order of priorities, order of proof


(Judicial directive), noun authoritative command, behest, command, commandment, court commanddent, court instruction, declaration, decree, dictate, directive, edict, edictum, fiat, imperative, instruction, iussum, judicial command, judicial instruction, mandate, mandatum, precept, prescript, prescription, proclamation, pronouncement, rescript, rule, ruling, ukase
Associated concepts: appealable order, charging order, conninement order, decision, decretal order, entry of order, final order, interlocutory order, motion, nonappealable order, nunc pro tunc order, order granting a new trial, order of dississal, order of the court, order staying execution, order to show cause, preliminary order, restraining order, selffxecuting order, settle order, suspension order


verb adjure, call forth, call upon, cite, command, compel, decree, demand, dictate, direct, imperare, impose, impose a duty, impose a task, insist on, instruct, issue a decree, issue one's fiat, iubere, make a reqqisition, make demands on, oblige, ordain, prescribe, require, rule, serve, tell, warrant
Associated concepts: administrative order, amended order, appealable order, charging order, confinement order, contempt order, entry of judgment and order of the court, ex parte order, final order, interlocutory order, nunc pro tunc order, order granting a new trial, order of discontinuance, order of probate, order of proof, order of the court, order to show cause, restraining order, reviewwble order, special order, stay order, suspension order, vacation of an order
Foreign phrases: Quando aliquid mandatur, mandatur et omne per quod pervenitur ad illud.When something is commanded, everything by which it can be accomplished is also ordered.
See also: adjudge, adjudicate, adjudication, adjust, agenda, appointment, arbitrate, arrange, arrangement, assign, authority, award, book, buy, call, canon, caveat, chain, charge, choice, class, classification, coerce, command, compel, constrain, control, course, decision, decree, delegate, demand, denomination, detail, determination, dictate, direct, direction, directive, disposition, documentation, draft, edict, enact, enforce, enjoin, exact, fiat, finding, force, form, formation, govern, guide, hierarchy, holding, impose, injunction, insist, instruct, instruction, judgment, kind, law, legislate, lineup, manage, mandamus, mandate, manner, method, mittimus, modus operandi, monition, opinion, orchestrate, ordinance, organization, organize, peace, pigeonhole, precept, prescribe, prescription, press, procedure, program, purchase, register, regularity, regulate, regulation, request, require, requirement, requisition, rule, ruling, scheme, sentence, sequence, society, sodality, sort, statute, structure, subpoena, succession, summon, system, uniformity, warrant, writ

ORDER, government. By this expression is understood the several bodies which compose the state. In ancient Rome, for example, there were three distinct orders; namely, that of the senators, that of the patricians, and that of the plebeians.
     2. In the United States there are no orders of men, all men are equal in the eye of the law, except that in some states slavery has been entailed on them while they were colonies, and it still exists, in relation to some of the African race but these have no particular rights. Vide Rank.

ORDER, contracts. An indorsement or short writing put upon the back of a negotiable bill or note, for the purpose of passing the title to it, and making it payable to another person.
     2. When a bill or note is payable to order, which is generally expressed by this formula, "to A B, or order,"or" to the order of A B," in this case the payee, A B may either receive the money secured by such instrument, or by his order, which is generally done by a simple indorsement, (q.v.) pass the right to receive it to another. But a bill or note wanting these words, although not negotiable, does not lose the general qualities of such instruments. 6 T. R. 123; 6 Taunt. 328; Russ. & Ry. C. C. 300; 3 Caines, 137; 9 John. 217. Vide Bill of Exchange; Indorsement.
     3. An informal bill of exchange or a paper which requires one person to pay or deliver to another goods on account of the maker to a third party, is called an order.

ORDER, French law. The act by which the rank of preferences of claims among creditors who have liens over the price which arises out of the sale of an immovable subject, is ascertained, is called order. Dalloz, Dict. h.t.

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