DECISION

Definition of DECISION in Black's Law Dictionary 4th Edition – Legal dictionary – Glossary of legal terms.

Definition of DECISION

A popular rather than technical or legal word; a comprehensive term having no fixed, legal meaning. It may be employed as referring to ministerial acts as well as to those that are judicial or of a judicial character, Palmer Pub. Co. v. Smith, 130 Tex. 346, 109 S.W.2d 158, 159; such as decision of architects, Independent School Dist. No. 35, St. Louis County, v. A. Hedenberg & Co., 214 Minn. 82, 7 N.W.2d 511, 515; of county commissioners, Houser v. Olmstead, 57 S.D. 41, 230 N.W. 224, 225; or of industrial commission, Rosenquist v. O'Neil & Preston, 187 Minn. 375, 245 N.W. 621.

A judgment or decree pronounced by a court in settlement of a controversy submitted to it and by way of authoritative answer to the questions raised before it. Adams v. Railroad Co., 77 Miss. 194, 24 So. 317, 60 L.R.A. 33; Board of Education v. State, 7 Kan.App. 620, 52 P. 466.

A judgment given by a competent' tribunal. Eastman Kodak Co. v. Richards, 123 Misc. 83, 204 N.Y.S. 246, 248.

The findings of fact and conclusions of law which must be in writing and filed with the clerk. Stewart Mining Co. v. Ontario Mining Co., 23 Idaho, 724, 132 P. 787, 791; Wilcox v. Sway, 69 Cal.App.2d 141, 160 P.2d 154, 156.

A finding, as by a court, upon either a question of law or fact arising in a case. Vermont Marble Co. v. Eastman, 91 Vt. 425, 101 A. 151, 160. The court's finding or findings. Volderauer v. State, 195 Ind. 415, 143 N.E. 674, 676; Chambers v. Farnham, 39 Cal.App. 17, 179 P. 423, 424.

A determination of a judicial or quasi judicial nature. Codington County v. Board of Com'rs of Codington County, 51 S.D. 131, 212 N.W. 626, 628.

Statement by trial justice after trial before court without jury does not constitute "decision." Shaul v. Fidelity & Deposit Co. of Maryland, 131 Misc. 401, 227 N.Y.S. 163, 1.68. A "decision" involves reaching a conclusion. Lambros v. Young, 145 F.2d 341, 343, 79 U.S.App.D.C. 247.

The term is broad enough to cover both final judgments and interlocutory orders. Stout v. Stout, 68 Ind.App. 278, 131 N.E. 245, 246. And though sometimes limited to the sense of judgment; Industrial Commission of Ohio v. Musselli, 102 Ohio St. 10, 130 N.E. 32, 33; the term is at other times understood as meaning simply the first step leading to a judgment; Dorney v. Ives, 36 R.I. 276, 90 A. 164, 165; or as an order for judgment; Collins v. Belland, 37 Cal. App. 139, 173 P. 601, 602. The word may also include various rulings, as well as orders. U. S. v. Thompson, 251 U. S. 407, 40 S.Ct. 289, 291, 64 L.Ed. 333; Marr v. Marr, 194 Cal. 332, 228 P. 534, 535.

The words "decision" and judgment" may be used interchangeably, but in the abstract there is a shade of difference between the two. Smith v. State, 196 Ga. 595, 27 S.E.2d 369, 373.

"Decision" is not necessarily synonymous with "opinion." A decision of the court is its judgment; the opinion is the reasons given for that judgment, or the expression of the views of the judge. Craig v. Bennett, 158 Ind. 9, 62 N.E. 273; But the two words are sometimes used interchangeably. Pierce v. State, 109 Ind. 535, 10 N.E. 302; Keller v. Summers, 262 Mo. 324, 171 S.W. 336, 337.

The French lawyers call the opinions which they give on questions propounded to them, decisions. See Inst. 1, 2, 8; Dig. 1, 2, 2.

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