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Definition of Adjudicated
How It Works & Who Is Involved?

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C.L. Mike Schmidt Published by C.L. Mike Schmidt

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Adjudication comes from the Latin adjūdicāre, which translates to "to judge." The term is used in many different industries, such as law, each with its specific definition. However, in law jargon, adjudication also means a few other things.

As a legal attorney, I will explain what adjudication is and how it is used within the legal system.

Quick Summary

  • Adjudication is a court-like process determining parties' legal rights in a dispute or case.
  • Adjudication is a trial without a jury or judge and can be used in civil and criminal law cases.
  • Money-related disputes and non-violent infractions are typically the types of cases that are heard in an adjudication setting.

What Is Adjudication?

An attorney talking to a client explaining adjudicationAn adjudication is a legal ruling, judgment, or decision. It can also refer to settling a legal case or claim through the state court system [1].

More often than not, adjudication is the last word on a case that will show what needs to happen next regarding the matter.

Beyond legal procedures, though, adjudication can also refer more generally to other formal decision-making processes, such as when an insurance company upholds or denies a claim.

In an adjudication setting, the type of cases that are typically heard revolve around disputes concerning money or non-violent infractions.

Regardless of the legal matter, all decisions rendered in the adjudication process will ultimately settle the distribution of rights and obligations for the parties involved.

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The Adjudication Process

Specific regulations direct the process in which an initiating party, or trier, informs others of the facts involved in a case and defines any laws applicable to said case [2]

This notice also usually includes information on the disagreement between parties, for example, recounting where and when it started and what is desired based on law.

Even though this is typically how a notice of adjudication looks, there are no mandatory requirements for such notices.

An adjudicator is appointed to preside over the case to adjudicate claims made against the individual, and a notice is sent to the defendant notifying them of the impending hearing. 

The defense can then submit their arguments for why they should not have to pay the sum specified by the plaintiff. After both parties have had a chance to present their arguments, the adjudicator will pass judgment on the case to settle the dispute conclusively.

Who Is Involved In The Adjudication Process?

Two attorneys discussing who is involved in adjudicationThe person involved in the adjudication process is a neutral individual, judge, or jury who needs to make a solemn, official decision and is in charge of looking at evidence or facts to give a judgment that will be upheld by law.

In most instances, adjudication is binding and does not necessitate a jury to decide in a civil court trial. During the adjudication process, once all the proof has been given to the presiding official, then the judge will adjudicate the case. 

Many people prefer this legal method since it is much quicker and less costly than going to state courts.

An adjudicator will likely settle disagreements between people involved in an adjudicatory process. Adjudicative proceedings are usually cheaper and shorter, but they aren't always as fair. 

"To adjudicate also refers to the judicial decision itself. The doctrine of former adjudication determines the effects of a judgment. Under this doctrine, a final judgment in a prior action serves to bar re-litigation of the issues relevant to that determination"
- Legal Information Institute

This is because the facts are looked at less carefully and without as much compassion when compared to a court trial by judge and jury.

A mediator will mainly help warring parties find a middle ground, but they can't make either side comply or compromise.

On the other hand, the legal adjudication process and any settlements or punishments it reaches are binding by law, meaning both sides have to follow what is decided.

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Adjudicate Disputes

An attorney writing about adjudicate disputes

Adjudicate disputes typically arise when one party claims to be wronged in an adjudicated decision and seeks justice. The case is brought in front of a judge. 

The judge will adjudicate if the other person broke any rules from the original agreement. If they did, the judge will also adjudicate how much money the first person should get as a settlement.

Some examples of claim disputes that can be handled or resolved through adjudication are as follows:

  • The conflict between private entities, such as single persons, businesses, or corporations
  • Conflicts between private individuals and public officials
  • Disagreements between people in positions of power

To fully adjudicate a case, all interested parties must be given notice and an opportunity to present their evidence and arguments.

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What Is the Purpose of the Adjudication Process?

The purpose of the adjudication process is to resolve a dispute or decide a case. Courts determine current parties' rights by analyzing the legal rights and wrongs of their actions when they took place.

Where Does the Word Adjudicate Come From?

The word adjudicate comes from the past participle of the Latin word adjūdicāre, to award something to someone, and jūdicāre to act as a judge from jūdex judge.

What Does It Mean When A Claim Is Adjudicated?

When a claim is adjudicated, it means that a court or other third-party body has judged the claim's merits. The adjudication results in a final judgment; this judgment may involve a monetary award, dismissal of the claim, or other legal action. 

The Bottom Line

If you believe that your case is ripe for adjudication, don't hesitate to contact Schmidt & Clark, LLP

During your free consultation, you will speak to an experienced attorney who can provide guidance and advice regarding your case. Our attorneys are experienced in adjudication, making them well-suited to help you with your situation.