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

    A judgment of an equity or admiralty court.

  • Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition

    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 of the 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. 986; Wooster v. Handy (C. C.) 23 Fed. 56; Rowley v. Van Benthuysen, 16 Wend. (N. Y.) 383; Vance v. Rockwell, 3 Co.lo. 248; Halbert v. Alford (Tex.) 16 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 older 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. Co.rtain acts of the legislature or of the sovereign which have the force 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. Hoag, 7 Paige (N. Y.) 19, 31 Am. Dee, 271; Core v. Strlckler, 24 W. Va. 689; 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. Fr. 326, 327. Teaff v. Hewitt, 1 Ohio St. 520, 59 Am. Dec. 634; Wooster v. Handy (C. C.) 23 Fed. 56; Beebe-v. Russell, 19 How. 283, 15 L. Ed. 668; Jenkins v. Wild, 14 Wend. (N. Y.) 543.
    —Consent decree. One entered by consent of the parties; it is not properly a judicial sentence, but la in the nature of a solemn contract or agreement of the parties, made under the sanction of the court, and in effect an admission by them that the decree ik a just determination of their rights upon the reni facts of the case, if such facts bad been proved. Allen v. Richardson. 9 Rich. Eq. (S. C.) 53; Kelly v. Milan (a C.) 21 Fed. 842; Schmidt v. Mining Co.., 28 Or. 9, 40 Pac/ 1014, 52 Am. St. Rep. 759.
    —Decree dative. In Scotch law. An order of a probate court appointing an administrator.
    —Decree nisi. A provisional decree, which will be made absolute on motion unless cause be shown against it. In English practice, it is the order made by the court for divorce, on satisfactory proof being given in support of a petition for dissolution of marriage ; it remnins imperfect for at least six months, (which period may be shortened by the court down to three,) and then, unless sufficient cause be shown, it is made absolute on motion, and the dissolution takes effect, subject to appeal. Wharton.
    —Decree of constitution. In Scotch practice. A decree by which a debt is ascertained. Bell. In technical language, a decree which is requisite to found a title in the. person of the creditor, whether that necessity arises from the death of the debtor or of the creditor. Id.
    —Decree of forthcoming. In Scotch law. A decree made after an arrestment (g. v.) ordering the debt to be paid or the effects of the debtor to be delivered to the arresting creditor. Bell.
    —Decree of insolvency. One entered in a probate court, declaring the estate in question to be insolvent, that is, that the assets are not sufficient to pay the debts in full. Bush v. Coleman, 12l Ala. 548, 25 South. 569; Walker v. Newton, 85 Me. 458, 27 Atl. 347.
    —Decree of locality. In Scotch law. The decree of a teind court allocating stipend upon different heritors. It is equivnient to the apportionment of a tithe rent-charge.
    — Decree of modification. In Scotch law. A decree of the teind court modifying or fixing a stipend.
    —Decree of nnllity. One entered in a suit for the annullment of a marriage, and adjudging the marriage to have been null and void ab initio See Nullity.
    —Decree of registration. In Scotch law. A proceeding giving immediate execution to the creditor; similar to a warrant of attorney to confess judgment.
    —Decree pro confesso. One entered in a court of equity in favor of the complainant where the defendant has made no answer to the bill and its allegations are consequently taken "as confessed." Ohio Cent. R. Co. v. Central Trust Co. , 133 U. S. 83, 10 Sup. Ct. 235, 33 In Ed. 561.