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A declaration in writing. A document listing separate items. An itemized account of charges or costs. In EQUITY practice, the first PLEADING in the action, the paper in which the plaintiff sets out his or her case and demands relief from the defendant.

Many states require that laws must be passed by their state legislatures in the form of a bill. For example, the Texas Constitution requires that "no law shall be passed, except by bill, and no bill shall be so amended in its passage through either House, as to violent change its original purpose." Tex. Const. art. III, § 30. Likewise, the California Constitution may not make any law except by statute and may not make any statute except by bill. Cal. Const. art. IV, § 8(b). In some instances, however, a joint resolution that is enacted in the same manner as a bill may have the same force of law as a statute enacted through the passage of a bill.

A bill of indictment is a formal written document accusing someone of having committed a crime. It is presented to a GRAND JURY for its consideration and decision whether to act on it. A BILL OF RIGHTS is a formal declaration that the people have certain rights and liberties. Rights are often asserted when there is a change in government, and a bill of rights has been included in the federal and many state constitutions in the United States.

A bill of particulars itemizes all the facts making up a claim asserted in a lawsuit. It is delivered to the opposing party in order to sharpen the issues in dispute. A bill of review lists errors alleged to have been made by a trial court. It is presented to a court that has jurisdiction to correct those errors or reverse the decision.

A bill of costs is a certified, itemized statement of expenses incurred by the successful party in a lawsuit. Courts are generally empowered to order the losing party to reimburse the winning party for some or all of these expenses. A bill of sale is a writing that lists property exchanged in a bargain for money or something else of value.

A bill corresponds to the declaration made by the plaintiff when beginning a common-law action. Modern rules of pleading have merged the procedures for handling cases at law and in equity, and the modern equivalent of both the bill in equity and the declaration at law is the complaint.

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Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationFree Legal Encyclopedia: Autopsy to Bill of Lading