What is a legal document?
According to the dictionary, a legal document is a document that states some contractual relationship or grants some right. It is synonymous with a legal instrument, official document, instrument document, papers, written document or writing that provides information (especially information of an official nature).
What are some common legal documents?
articles of incorporation – a legal document that creates a corporation; it is filed with a state by the founders of a corporation and is governed by the laws of the state
derivative instrument, derivative – a financial instrument whose value is based on another security
negotiable instrument – an unconditional order or promise to pay an amount of money
passport – a document issued by a country to a citizen allowing that person to travel abroad and re-enter the home country
ship’s papers – official papers which a ship is legally required to have; related to ownership, cargo, etc.
manifest – a customs document listing the contents put on a ship or plane
debenture – a certificate or voucher acknowledging a debt
power of attorney – a legal instrument authorizing someone to act as the grantor’s agent
letters of administration – legal document naming someone to administer an estate when no executor has been named
letters testamentary – a legal document from a probate court or court officer informing you of your appointment as executor of a will and empowering you to discharge those responsibilities
work papers, work permit, working papers – a legal document giving information required for employment of certain people in certain countries
act, enactment – a legal document codifying the result of deliberations of a committee or society or legislative body
law – legal document setting forth rules governing a particular kind of activity; “there is a law against kidnapping”
bill, measure – a statute in draft before it becomes law; “they held a public hearing on the bill”
brief, legal brief – a document stating the facts and points of law of a client’s case testament, will – a legal document declaring a person’s wishes regarding the disposal of their property when they die
living will – a document written by someone still legally capable requesting that he should be allowed to die if subsequently severely disabled or suffering terminal illness; “after he discovered he had AIDS he drew up a living will”
deed, deed of conveyance, title – a legal document signed and sealed and delivered to effect a transfer of property and to show the legal right to possess it; “he signed the deed”; “he kept the title to his car in the glove compartment”
assignment – the instrument by which a claim or right or interest or property is transferred from one person to another
deed of trust, trust deed – a written instrument legally conveying property to a trustee often used to secure an obligation such as a mortgage or promissory note
conveyance – document effecting a property transfer
income tax return, return, tax return – document giving the tax collector information about the taxpayer’s tax liability; “his gross income was enough that he had to file a tax return”
license, permit, licence – a legal document giving official permission to do something
letters patent, patent – an official document granting a right or privilege
judgement, legal opinion, opinion, judgment – the legal document stating the reasons for a judicial decision; “opinions are usually written by a single judge”
acquittance, release – a legal document evidencing the discharge of a debt or obligation judicial writ, writ – (law) a legal document issued by a court or judicial officer
authorisation, authorization, mandate – a document giving an official instruction or command
affidavit – written declaration made under oath; a written statement sworn to be true before someone legally authorized to administer an oath
written agreement – a legal document summarizing the agreement between parties
bill of indictment, indictment – a formal document written for a prosecuting attorney charging a person with some offense
impeachment – a formal document charging a public official with misconduct in office
arraignment – a legal document calling someone to court to answer an indictment law, jurisprudence – the collection of rules imposed by authority; “civilization presupposes respect for the law”; “the great problem for jurisprudence to allow freedom while enforcing order”
What legal documents are relevant to the District of Columbia?
Click on the download links available here to obtain legal documents for the District of Columbia.
Article One, Section Eight of the United States Constitution grants the U.S. Congress “exclusive jurisdiction” over the city. The District did not have an elected municipal government until the passage of the 1973 Home Rule Act. The Act devolved certain Congressional powers to a local government administered by an elected mayor, currently Vincent C. Gray, and the thirteen-member Council of the District of Columbia. However, Congress retains the right to review and overturn laws created by the council and intervene in local affairs.
Each of the city’s eight wards elects a single member of the council and four at-large members represent the District as a whole. The council chair is also elected at-large. There are 37 Advisory Neighborhood Commissions (ANCs) elected by small neighborhood districts. ANCs traditionally wield a great deal of influence and the city government routinely takes their suggestions into careful consideration.
Residents of the District of Columbia have no voting representation in Congress. They are represented in the House of Representatives by a non-voting delegate, currently Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C. At-Large), who may sit on committees, participate in debate, and introduce legislation, but cannot vote on the House floor. The District has no representation in the United States Senate. Unlike residents of U.S. territories such as Puerto Rico or Guam, which also have non-voting delegates, D.C. residents are subject to all U.S. federal taxes. In the financial year 2007, D.C. residents and businesses paid $20.4 billion in federal taxes; more than the taxes collected from 19 states and the highest federal taxes per capita.
A 2005 poll found that 78% of Americans did not know that residents of the District of Columbia have less representation in Congress than residents of the 50 states. Efforts to raise awareness about the issue have included campaigns by grassroots organizations as well as featuring the city’s unofficial motto, “Taxation Without Representation”, on D.C. vehicle license plates. There is evidence of nationwide approval for DC voting rights; various polls indicate that 61 to 82% of Americans believe that D.C. should have voting representation in Congress. Despite public support, attempts to grant the District voting representation, including the D.C. statehood movement and the proposed District of Columbia Voting Rights Amendment, have been unsuccessful.