The Law Dictionary

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DECREE Definition & Legal Meaning

Definition & Citations:

In practice. The judgment of a court of equity or admiralty, answering to the judgment of a court of common law. A decree in equity is a sentence or order ofthe court, pronounced on hearing and understanding all the points in issue, and determining the right of all the parties to the suit, according to equity and good conscience.2 Daniell, Ch. Pr. 980; Wooster v. Handy (O. C.) 23 Fed. 50; Rowley v. Van Benthuysen,10 Wend. (N. Y.) 383; Vance v. Rockwell, 3 Colo. 243; Albert v. Alford (Tex.) 10 S. W. 814.Decree is the judgment of a court of equity, and is, to most intents and purposes,the same as a judgment of a court of common law. A decree, as distinguished from an order, is final, and is made at the hearing of the cause, whereas an order is interlocutory, and is made on motion or petition. Wherever an order may, in a certain event resulting from the direction contained in the order, lead to the termination of the suit in like manner as a decree made at the hearing, it is called a “decretal order.” Brown-In French law. Certain acts of the legislature or of the sovereign which have theforce of law are called “decrees;” as the Berlin and Milan decrees.In Scotch law. A final judgment or sentence of court by which the question at issue between the parties is decided.Classification. Decrees in equity are either final or interlocutory. A final decree is one which fully and finally disposes of the whole litigation, determining all questions raised by the case, and leaving nothing that requires further judicial action. Travis v. Waters,12 Johns. (N. Y.) 508; Mills v. Iloag, 7 Paige (N. Y.) 19, 31 Am. Dec. 271; Core v.Strickler, 24 W. Va. 0S9; Ex parte Crittenden, 10 Ark. 339. An interlocutory decree is a provisional or preliminary decree, which is not final and does not determine the suit,but directs some further proceedings preparatory to the final decree. A decree pronounced for the purpose of ascertaining matter of law or fact preparatory to a final decree.1 Barb. Ch. Pr. 320, 327. Teaff v. Hewitt, 1 Ohio St 520, 50 Am. Dec. 034;Wooster v. Handy (C. C.) 23 Fed. 56; Beebe v. Russell, 19 How. 283, 15 L. Ed. 008;Jenkins v. Wild, 14 Wend. (N. Y.) 543.


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