Personal recognizance - In criminal proceedings, the pre-trial release of a defendant without bail upon his or her promise to return to court.
Personal representative - The person who administers an estate. If named in a will, that person's title is an executor. If there is no valid will, that person's title is an administrator.
Person in need of supervision - Juvenile found to have committed a "status offence" rather than a crime that would provide a basis for a finding of delinquency.
Petit jury - The ordinary jury of twelve (or fewer) persons for the trial of a civil or criminal case. So called to distinguish it from the grand jury.
Petitioner - The person filing an action in a court of original jurisdiction. Also, the person who appeals the judgment of a lower court.
Plaintiff - A person who brings an action; the party who complains or sues in a civil action.
Plea - The first pleading by a criminal defendant, the defendant's declaration in open court that he or she is guilty or not guilty. The defendant's answer to the charges made in the indictment or information.
Plea bargaining - Process where the accused and the prosecutor in a criminal case work out a satisfactory disposition of the case, usually by the accused agreeing to plead guilty to a lesser offence. Such bargains are not binding on the court. Also referred to as plea negotiating.
Source: Jurist International.