Cite Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Cite, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Cite?

1\. It is an act of referring to previous court decisions, statutes and legal books on the basis of which the present trial can be based and arguments be made 2. It also refers to the notice given by the court to the party of the lawsuit to appear in the court during the trial. It can be either for a petty offence, or civil cases or criminal cases. On getting such notice, it is essential for the party to appear in the court, failing which the court can release an arrest warrant. 3. Quoting words already quoted earlier by someone or somewhere.

History and Meaning of Cite

Cite (short for citation) is a legal term with a long history dating back to the Roman Empire. It refers to the act of referencing legal authorities and sources of law, such as court decisions, statutes, and legal treatises, when making arguments in court. Citing previous cases is an important legal practice because it enables judges to uphold consistency and predictability in the application of the law.

Citation is also used to refer to the formal notice given to a party of a lawsuit to appear in court. Failure to appear can result in sanctions or fines, and even an arrest warrant in some cases.

The term citation also applies beyond the legal field and is commonly used in academic and scientific research to give credit to sources that have been used.

Examples of Cite

  1. During the trial, the defense lawyer cited a previous case with similar facts to bolster his argument.

  2. The judge ordered the plaintiff to provide citations for each of the legal authorities she cited in her brief.

  3. The summons to appear in court was specifically cited in the notice sent to the defendant.

Legal Terms Similar to Cite

  1. Precedent: a legal principle established by a court decision that must be followed in similar cases in the future.

  2. Brief: a written document submitted to a court that summarizes the legal arguments and cites legal authorities to support a party's position.

  3. Case law: the collection of opinions written by judges in past cases that are used as legal authority in current cases.