A lawsuit; all or some part of a cause heard and determined by a court, an ADMINISTRATIVE AGENCY, or other judicial authority. Any legal step or action taken at the direction of, or by the authority of, a court or agency; any measures necessary to prosecute or defend an action.
The word proceeding may be used for all actions or it may be used for something other than the usual type of lawsuit. For example, a special proceeding may be a particular procedure for handling a certain type of dispute. Special proceedings may be commenced by a petition or motion even when no full-fledged lawsuit is pending. They usually are confined to disputes that were not recognized under the COMMON LAW or in EQUITY. For example, a proceeding to challenge decisions made by administrative agencies may be a special proceeding.
A summary proceeding is governed by accelerated methods that produce a quick decision. This is done by elimination of a jury, a presentment, or indictment, or other elements that are allowed in regular proceedings. Summary proceedings are available only for certain types of cases, such as small claims, or in certain courts, such as a conciliation or SMALL CLAIMS COURT.
Supplementary proceedings are separate from the original action. They help a successful party collect what is owed on a judgment by summoning the defendant-debtor, requiring that individual to disclose what he or she owns, and ordering that it be delivered in order to satisfy the judgment.