1: a draft of a law presented to a legislature for enactment;
also: the law itself
the GI bill
: a bill providing money for government expenses and programs
Note:Appropriations bills originate in the House of Representatives.
—bill of attainder
1: a legislative act formerly permitted that attainted a person and imposed a sentence of death without benefit of a judicial trial — see also attainder — compare bill of pains and penalties in this entry
2: a legislative act that imposes any punishment on a named or implied individual or group without a trial
Note:Bills of attainder are prohibited by Article I of the U.S. Constitution.
—bill of pains and penalties
: a legislative act formerly permitted that imposed a punishment less severe than death without benefit of a judicial trial — compare bill of attainder in this entry
Note:The term bill of attainder is often used to include bills of pains and penalties. Bills of pains and penalties are included in the constitutional ban on bills of attainder.
: a bill in its form as amended and newly introduced to the legislature by a legislative committee
: a bill printed in the form in which it was passed by one chamber of Congress and certified by the appropriate legislative official
: a copy of a bill in the form in which it is passed in the legislature including all changes introduced before enactment that is kept as evidence of the law
: a bill originating in the House of Representatives
: revenue bill in this entry
: a bill that includes a number of miscellaneous provisions or appropriations
: a bill affecting a particular person, organization, or locality as distinguished from all the people or the whole area of a political unit
: a bill affecting the community (as a nation or state) at large
: a bill (as for imposing a tax) for raising money for any public purpose —called alsomoney bill
Note:The U.S. Constitution requires all bills for raising revenue to originate in the House of Representatives.
2: the pleading used to begin a suit in equity that sets forth the basis for one's claim against another —called alsobill in equity
3 a: a form or device of procedure used in civil actions
—bill in the nature of a bill of review
: an equitable bill seeking to have a court decree set aside that is brought by someone who was not a party to the original suit usually before the decree is entered in the record — compare bill of review in this entry
Note:Bills in the nature of a bill of review were abolished in federal practice by Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(e).
—bill in the nature of interpleader
: a bill of interpleader in which the plaintiff is allowed to claim an interest in the subject matter of the suit — compare bill of interpleader in this entry — interpleader
Note:In federal practice, bills in the nature of interpleader have been abandoned in favor of interpleader as described in Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 22.
: a bill setting forth the expenses in connection with a suit that a party seeks to have paid by an opposing party
—bill of exceptions
: a bill setting forth the exceptions and objections to rulings made at trial and the evidence relevant to them for the purpose of appeal or other review
Note:Bills of exceptions are no longer required in federal practice under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, but they are still used in some state courts.
—bill of interpleader
: a bill brought by a plaintiff who seeks a court determination of the conflicting claims of two or more defendants to the subject matter of the suit (as money owed by the plaintiff) and who has no interest in the subject matter and no preference as to which defendant prevails —called alsostrict bill of interpleader; compare bill in the nature of interpleader in this entry — interpleader
Note:Under most modern rules of procedure, the requirements for interpleader have been relaxed and the distinction between a bill of interpleader and a bill in the nature of interpleader no longer exists.
—bill of particulars\-pər-ˈti-kyə-lərz\
: a bill containing a detailed listing and explanation of the claims made by the plaintiff
Note:Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12, bills of particulars have been abandoned in favor of the expanded rules for discovery and the motion for a more definite statement.
—bill of peace
: an equitable bill used to settle the rights of parties in one suit and avoid repeated litigation
—bill of review
: an equitable bill used to start a suit to have the final judgment of a previous suit set aside — compare bill in the nature of a bill of review in this entry
Note:Bills of review are used when another device for review, such as appeal, is not available, as when the period to bring it has expired. Bills of review are abolished in federal practice by Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(e).
: an equitable bill by which a creditor who has won a court judgment against a debtor can compel payment from the debtor out of the property that is not otherwise reachable by legal process
: an equitable bill by which a party to a suit can bring a claim against any other party
Note:Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 13, cross bills are replaced by counterclaims and cross-claims.
—strict bill of interpleader
: bill of interpleader in this entry
b: a device or instrument used in criminal procedure
—bill of indictment
: an instrument that contains the charges against a defendant and that is presented to a grand jury for determination after a preliminary hearing whether there is enough evidence to issue an indictment —called alsoindictment; compare no bill and true bill in this entry
: a bill that a defendant may request in which the prosecution sets out in detail the facts forming the basis for the criminal charges against the defendant
: a bill returned by a grand jury that has determined the evidence in a bill of indictment to be insufficient to warrant prosecution;
also: the finding of the grand jury that the evidence is insufficient —called alsoignoramus, no true bill
: a bill returned by a grand jury that has found the evidence in a bill of indictment sufficient to warrant prosecution : indictment
4: an itemized account of goods sold, services performed, or work done
5: a written instrument setting out the terms of a transaction involving goods: as