Definitions from Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition and Ballentine's Law Dictionary as are available for each term in each dictionary.
  • Ballentine's Law Dictionary

    An action at law; a suit in equity; an abbreviated form of “Action on the case,” which see.

  • Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition

    1. A general term for an action, cause, suit or controversy, at law or in equity; a question contested before a court of justice; an aggregate of facts which furnishes occasion for the exercise of the jurisdiction of a court of justice. Smith v. Wa-terbury, 54 Conn. 174, 7 Atl. 17 ; Kundolf v. Thalueimer, 12 N. Y. 596; Gebhard v. Sat-tler, 40 Iowa, 156.
    —Cases and controversies. This term, as used in the constitution of the United States, embraces claims or contentions of litigants brought before the court for adjudication by regular proceedings established for the protection or enforcement of rights, or the prevention, redress, or punishment of wrongs; and whenever the claim or contention of a party takes such a form that the judicial power is capable of acting upon it, it has become a case or controversy. Interstate Commerce Co.m'n v. Brim-son. 154 U. S. 447, 14 Sup. Ct. 1125, 38 In Ed. 1047; Smith v. Adame, 130 U. S. 167, 9 Sup. Ct. 566, 32 In Ed. 895; In re Railway Com'n (C. C.) 32 Fed. 255. But these two terms are to be distinguished ; for there may be a "separable controversy" within a "case," which may be removed from a state court to a federal court, though the case as a whole is not removable. Snow v. Smith (C. Ct) 88 Fed. 658.
    2. A statement of the facts involved in a transaction or series of transactions, drawn up in writing in a technical form, for submission to a court or judge for decision or opinion. Under this meaning of the term are included a "case made" for a motion for new trial, a "case reserved" on the trial of a cause, an "agreed case" for decision without trial, etc.
    —Case agreed ou, A formal written enumeration of the facts in a case, assented to by both parties as correct and complete, and submitted to the court by their agreement, in order that a decision may be rendered without a trial, upon the court's conclusions of law upon the facts as stated.
    —Case for motion. In English divorce and probate practice, when a party desires to make a motion, he must file, among other papers, a case for motion, containing an abstract of the proceedings in the suit or action, a statement of the circumstances on which the motion is founded, and the prayer, or nature of the decree or order desired. Browne, Div. 251; Browne, Prob. Pr. 295.
    —Case ou appeal. In American practice. Before the argument in the appellate court of a case brought there for review, the appellant's counsel prepares a document or brief, bearing this name, for the information of the court, detailing the testimony and the proceedings below. In English practice. The "case on appeal" is a printed statement prepared by each of the parties to an appeal to the house of lords or the privy council, setting out methodically the facts which make up his case, with appropriate references to the evidence printed in the "appendix." The term also denotes a written statement, prepared and transmitted by an inferior court or judge raising a question of law for the opinion of a superior court.
    —Case reserved. A statement in writing of the facts proved on the trial of a cause, drawn up and settled by the attorneys and counsel for the respective parties under the supervision of the judge, for the purpose of having certain points of law, which arose at the trial and could not then be satisfactorily decided, determined upon full argument before the court in banc. This is otherwise called a "special case ;" and it is usual for the parties, where the law of the case is doubtful, to agree that the jury shall find a general verdict for the plaintiff, subject to the opinion of the court upon such a case to be made, instead of obtaining from the jury a specini verdict. 3 Bl. Comm. 378; 3 Steph. Comm. 621; Steph. PI. 92, 93; 1 Burrill, Pr. 242, 463.
    —Case stated. In practice. An agreement in writing, between a plaintiff and defendant, that the facis in dispute between them are as therein agreed upon and set forth. Diehl v. Ihrie, 3 Whart. (Pa.) 143. A case agreed upon.
    —Case to move for new trial. In practice. A case prepared by the party against whom a verdict has been given, upon which to move the court to set aside the verdict and grant a new trial.
    3. A form of action which lies to recover damages for injuries for which the more ancient forms of action will not lle. Steph. PI. 15. An abbreviated form of the title "trespass on the case," q. v. Munal v. Brown (C. C.) 70 Fed. 968.