decree

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decree, in law, decision of a suit in a court of equity. It is the counterpart in equity of the judgment in a court of law, although in those jurisdictions where law and equity have merged, judgment is sometimes used to include both. The difference between the two, however, is fundamental. A judgment must be unconditionally for one party or another, but a decree is adaptable to the peculiar necessities of each case and may include rights and duties of both parties. A decree may impose conditions on its enforcement upon either party. The decree may act against the person of the defendant; it is not restricted to the award of money damages. It may contain an injunction against the performance of certain acts. One of the most familiar of the decrees given by courts of equity is the decree of divorce, adjudicating the dissolution of a marriage and awarding alimony. Decrees are enforced by proceedings for contempt of court.

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de·cree / diˈkrē/ • n. an official order issued by a legal authority. ∎  the issuing of such an order. the king ruled by decree. ∎  a judgment or decision of certain courts of law. • v. (-crees , -creed , -cree·ing ) [tr.] order (something) by decree.

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DECREE

A judgment of a court that announces the legal consequences of the facts found in a case and orders that the court's decision be carried out. A decree inequityis a sentence or order of the court, pronounced on hearing and understanding all the points in issue, and determining the rights of all the parties to the suit, according to equity and good conscience. It is a declaration of the court announcing the legal consequences of the facts found. With the procedural merger of law and equity in the federal and most state courts under the Rules of Civil Procedure, the term judgment has generally replaced decree.

A divorce decree sets out the conclusions of the court relating to the facts asserted as grounds for the divorce, and it subsequently dissolves the marriage.

Decree is sometimes used interchangeably with determination and order.

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decree ordinance, edict. XIV. OF. decré, var. of decret — L. dēcrētum, sb. use of n. of dēcrētus, pp. of dēcernere, f. DE- 2 + cernere separate, distinguish, decide.
So decree vb. XIV.