LAW DEFINITIONS A-L

 

ACCELERATION CLAUSE: If you skip payments or don’t pay at all (it depends on what the contract says) the loaner or lender can demand the whole amount!

AD HOC : Something used for only one thing or purpose.

ADJUDICATE:To determine or give a judgment on something.

AFFRAY: When a person starts fighting in a public area with a lot of people around (i.e. bar brawl)

ATTESTATION:To be a witness for someone or of something and swear that it happened.

ARRAIGNMENT: After a person has committed or is accused of committing a crime, the Judge tells them what they are being charged with and the person at that time enters a plea of guilty, not guilty or no contest.

BAIT And SWITCH:This is when a business lies to a customer about selling expensive items on sale but is actually giving the customer a cheap item.

BIFURCATION: When a court case is split into 2 parts instead of just one. On both cases there may be different judges.

CAVEAT EMPTOR (Latin Term meaning “LET THE BUYER BEWARE”): This is when a person doesn’t have to tell you what you are buying from them is no good! It is up to the buyer to check things out.

CHAMPERTY:This is when a person pays for a Lawyer for someone else but only if that person agrees to give them money (Like money from a Lawsuit the other person may win).

COMPARATIVE NEGLIGENCE: This is a legal term that means a person is somewhat at fault for their own accident or situation. An example would be if you were using the cell phone while driving and another car ran a red light and hit your car. Even though that car ran a red light, the judge could partially blame you because you were using your cell phone while driving.

CODICIL (Will): Adding something to a person’s will. This is not changing the will but only adding something to it.

COPYRIGHT: A COPYRIGHT is a legal document you get for something that you create such as a song, movie script, artwork, etc. If you copyright your work, it cannot be stolen by anyone and if someone does try to steal your work, you can sue them for everything they got!  

DEFEASANCE: To give or leave a person something (such as in a Will) but only if certain conditions are met. An example would be if someone put you in their Will but that Will states you must marry a certain person by a certain time period in order to get what is left to you.

DE MINIMIS NON CURAT LEX (Latin term meaning “ABOUT MINIMAL THINGS”): This is when you waste the Court System’s time with small law suits.

DEPONENT: A person that testifies or gives evidence for someone who needs it in court.

DETINUE: Getting back goods or possessions that were stolen or obtained in a way that is against the law.

DICTA OR DICTUM: This is when a judge gives their own opinion about a court case but what they said has nothing to do with the case.

DOMICILE: Where you live and intend to keep living.

EIGHTH AMENDMENT: This is a U.S. Law that says the Court System cannot make you pay an expensive bail. This law also means the Government cannot give you a cruel or weird punishment for a crime you have committed. The only thing that doesn’t apply to this law is the death penalty for a person that has committed murder.

EMOLUMENT: Getting a paycheck for working.

EJUSDEM OR EJUSDEM GENERIS (Latin Term meaning “OF THE SAME KIND“): Laws or Contracts written about the same thing. An example would be if a Contract was written about Houses, Apartments or Condos, it would not include Hotels because a Hotel is not somewhere a person lives in permanently.

EMINENT DOMAIN: When the government can take over a person’s private property or land.

ENCUMBRANCE: When the owner of land not only charges you the price for the land but interest too.

EXECUTORY CONTRACT: Something you pay on each month such as a car note, property rent or a credit card.

EX PARTE (Latin Term meaning “ONE SIDED“): In court, when someone speaks to someone else about you without you or your Lawyer there, this is one sided because you are not there to defend yourself.

EXPROPRIATION: This is when the government takes over a person’s property or land and gives the reason why as: “BECAUSE WE ARE THE GOVERNMENT AND WE CAN”.

EXPUNGE: This means destroy. For example, when people file for bankruptcy, after a certain amount of years their bankruptcy record is Expunged or destroyed.

EX TURPI CAUSA NON ORITUR ACTIO (Latin Term meaning “FROM A DISHONORABLE CAUSE AN ACTION DOES NOT ARISE“): This means if a person does something illegal and hurts themselves while doing the illegal act, they cannot sue or take it to court.

EXTRINSIC EVIDENCE: Any extra information that is not written inside a contract.  An example would be if someone says something about a contract but what they say is not WRITTEN INSIDE THE CONTRACT.

FLOATING EASEMENT: A right to use another person’s property without owning it.

FORBEARANCE: Choosing NOT TO DO SOMETHING that you have the right to do by your own choice.

FRAUDULENT TRANSFER: This is when a person transfers their money into another person’s account so that creditors won’t find out they have money.

FULL DISCLOSURE: In real estate this means you must tell the buyer of the home EVERYTHING ABOUT THE HOME. This includes any problems the home might have such as plumbing problems, asbestos, termites, etc…

FULL FAITH AND CREDIT: This is when the government has to respect the laws of other States. For example, if you get a driving license in Idaho, you are still able to drive with that same license if you move to Texas. Under the FULL FAITH AND CREDIT ACT each state much respect the laws of other states.

GENERAL DAMAGES: This is another word for “PAIN AND SUFFERING”. This is when a person sues someone for their negligence. They may also try to get extra money for any new injuries that might have come up.

GENERATION SKIPPING TRANSFER TAX: If a Grandparent leaves Property to their Grand Kids, then the Grand Kids will have to pay those Property Taxes.

GOODS AND CHATTELS: Material things owned by people such as cars, jewelry, homes, etc…

GOLDEN RULE ARGUMENT: This means due on to others as you want them to do onto you.

GOOD CAUSE: Having a good solid reason to do something or not do something. An example would be if a person was fired on their job because they liked to eat fast food on their lunch break! That has nothing to do with their work, so they were fired without “GOOD CAUSE“.

GOOD TITLE (also called JUST TITLE or CLEAR TITLE): This means a property is clear of any lawsuits or liens against it.

GOVERNING LAW:This is when you state in a contract which Country will govern that contract. For example, if you live in California but you are making a Contract for a person that lives in Canada, then you must state which Country will govern or rule that contract, either The United States or Canada.

GRATUITOUS: When someone gives you something and you don’t have to pay it back.

GROSS LEASE: Paying your rent to the property owner per month. If something breaks or needs fixing, the property owner either repairs it or buys something for the property with HIS OWN MONEY and NOT YOURS.

GROSS NEGLIGENCE: This is when someone does not take the time to make something safe because they are lazy. An example would be if a business owner knows their floor is slippery but is too cheap or doesn’t care if someone slips.

GOVERNMENTAL IMMUNITY: This is when a High Official or a Public Employee of the Government hurts or kills someone while doing their job, but they cannot be sued or taken to court because they are under “SOVEREIGN/ GOVERNMENT IMMUNITY“.

HABEAS CORPUS: If a person gets locked up in prison they have a right to be seen by a judge right away to determine if they are being locked up by their jailer legally.

HALLIDAY ORDER: This is when a lawyer goes over documents that are needed for a person’s trial but only uses the documents that are related to the trial and not personal letters.

HOLDING OVER: When a person stays in a house or apartment after their lease is up. When this happens, the Landlord can either set up a new lease or evict the person.

HOSTILE POSSESSION: When someone lives on a piece of land that is not theirs and refuses to leave. They do this even though they know the owner of that land has the deed and can legally kick them off the land.

HOSTILE WITNESS: This is when a person is called to be a witness for someone but when they get on the stand, they say things AGAINST THAT PERSON.  That is what makes them “HOSTILE”.

HOTCHPOT: This is a Law that means you have to combine your piece of the property with others (“PUT IN THE POT” sort of speak) in order for the court to give you your share. The court system does this so that no one is left out and everyone gets an equal amount of property. 

IRREVOCABLE TRUST: A trust that cannot be changed by anyone or anything.

ILLUSORY PROMISE: A statement that does not stand up in court because it is not real or  possible.  For example, a person might borrow money from someone and to pay them back they may tell them “I WILL WASH YOUR CAR FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE” as payment. 

INDEMNIFY: This is an Insurance for businesses to protect them against anyone lawsuits. For example, if a person goes to an Amusement park and hurts their foot on one of the rides, the Amusement Park has INDEMNIFY INSURANCE that will pay for the lawsuit.

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY: Anything created by the mind or thought process such as art, songs, poetry, books, and movie scripts.

INSOLVENCY: This is when you are too broke to pay a debtor or when you’re debts become bigger than your income.

INTERIM ORDERS: This is when a judge makes a temporary order for the time being.

INTESTATE: When a person dies without making a will of some sort they are called dying “INTERSTATE“.

IPSO FACTO (Latin term meaning “THE FACT IS PROOF”): This means SOMETHING CAN HAPPEN, IF IT DOES HAPPEN. For example, if it rains, then by IPSO FACTO or by fact, it will be wet.

JOINT AND SEVERAL: This is when two or more people can be sued because of not paying something back. For example, if two or more people had a joint credit card but overcharged on it, then the creditor can take all of them to court to get payment. The judge can also make a decision on how much each person will have to pay the creditor.

JOINDER: When people put more than one case together because they are the same legal issue. An example would be a person harassed on a job and decides to sue the company. That person’s fellow workmates are also being harassed and would also like to sue. To combine both cases, they file a “JOINDER” so there will only be one lawsuit.

JURISDICTION: This is when a Judge ONLY HAS AUTHORITY OVER A CERTAIN MATTER or IN CERTAIN TOWNS OR CITIES. For example, a Judge may have the right to practice court in California, but not in New York. Another example would be if a Judge has the right to deal with bankruptcy cases but not Murder cases.

JURISDICTION: This is when a Judge ONLY HAS AUTHORITY OVER A CERTAIN MATTER or IN CERTAIN TOWNS OR CITIES. For example, a Judge may have the right to practice court in California, but not in New York. Another example would be if a Judge has the right to deal with bankruptcy cases but not Murder cases.

JUS NATURAL OR NATURAL LAW: Laws that apply to all human beings. For example, being able to breathe air, being able to live anywhere you want and things like that.

JUST CAUSE: This means you must have a Legal Right to do something. For example, A Landlord must have “JUST CAUSE” to evict someone.

KANGAROO COURT: This is when a court does things that are not legal. A Kangaroo Court does not follow Laws or any form of Justice.

LETTER ROGATORY: Getting Evidence from another country for a court case. For example, if you live in the United States and you want to sue a person from another country, then your Lawyer must send a “LETTER ROGATORY” to the foreign country to release the evidence that is needed for the lawsuit.

LIBEL: Talking smack or untrue statements about someone to make them look bad.

LIQUIDATED DAMAGES: The amount of money that must be paid if someone does not keep their half of a contract.

LIVING TRUST: This when a person who is still alive, creates a trust for someone. An example would be your father is still living but creates a trust for you and your brothers and sisters.

LIVING WILL: A legal document that states what a person wants done if they cannot talk or think for themselves. An example would be if a person was in a coma and they had a living will, then whoever is on the living will has the right to make decisions for that person.

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