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A decision issued by a court or authoritative body. This includes final and non-final orders issued by a court. Also known as court order or judicial order. Outside of judicial orders, the executive branch has the power to issue executive orders

For a court to issue an order, they must have jurisdiction over the parties. Orders issued by a lower level court may be appealed to an appellate court. For example, in federal court, a party may appeal a district court’s order to a circuit court. Also in federal court, magistrate judges may issue non-dispositive orders. See 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1).

Courts may issue, among others, the following types of orders: 

  • Cease and desist order 
  • Restraining order
  • Temporary restraining order
  • Interim order
  • Order to show cause 
  • Order of examination
  • Emergency protective order 
  • Writ
  • Visitation order 
  • Stayaway order 
  • Gag order
  • Money order

[Last updated in August of 2020 by the Wex Definitions Team]