It means ‘from the very beginning’. If a person omits to do something which he ought to do, then it is non-feasance, whereas doing a lawful act in an unlawful and improper way, so as to cause harm to another is misfeasance. A defendant is said to be guilty either if he admits that he has committed a crime or the finding by a judge or jury that the defendant has committed the crime. If it is proved before a court that the interest rates on a loan is higher than the legally allowed one, the court may order the person to pay the principal amount only and makes the interest due void. The Constitution of United States defines this law term as any act that imposes war on the state or aid or comfort given to its enemies. An arraignment is meant to inform the accused of the charges against him/her, and the person is required to enter a plea whether he/she is guilty or not. Joinder: When various lawsuits or various parties are joined together in one lawsuit, because the factual conditions or issues are the same for all the parties it is called a joinder. U.S. College Campuses with the Coolest Amenities, 3 Tips for Choosing Your Major in College, 3 First Week of College Tips You Need to Know, 5 Ways to Balance Academics and Social Life in College. There are different types of partnerships: general partnerships, limited partnerships, and limited liability partnerships. Prima Facie: The term prima facie is derived from a Latin word meaning ‘at first look’ or ‘on its face’. Eviction: Any wrongful act of a permanent nature done by the landlord with the intention of depriving the tenant of enjoyment of the premises. The relationship between the principal and the agent is termed as an agency. He need not share anything with the real owner of the property, but cannot alter or destroy anything in it and should not dispose it. Hypothecation: The act of pledging a thing as a security for a debt or demand without parting with the possession. Guardian ad Litem: Where the defendant is a minor, the court shall appoint a proper person to be his/her guardian,who protects the interests of the child during the course of legal proceedings. Grace Period: The period of time beyond a particular date, during which a debtor not paying his debt will not be charged a fee. The act of pledging a thing as a security for a debt or demand without parting with the possession. Devastavit: When a personal representative in accepting the office accepts the duties of the office, and becomes a trustee in the sense that he is personally liable for all the breaches of the ordinary trust, which in courts of equity are considered to arise from his office. Usually, the executive head of the government is vested with this power. Negotiable Instrument: A written instrument signed by the maker for the purpose of unconditional payment of a fixed amount of money, at a specified future date or on demand, to the payee or to his order or to the bearer. This term is mainly used to denote gifts, which are given by a person who is expecting death. Paralegal: A paralegal is a person who performs substantive and procedural legal work as authorized by law, without a law license, which would have been performed by an attorney in the absence of the paralegal. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. Eminent Domain: Government’s power of compulsory acquisition of private property for public use is called an eminent domain. In case of recovery of the donor, such gifts can be revoked. Eighth Amendment: The Eighth Amendment to the constitution of the United States prohibits the Federal Government from imposing excessive bail, fines or cruel punishments. Marriage: A contract made under law, between a man and a woman to become a husband and wife. This writ is issued to order a governmental agency, individual or administrative tribunal to perform an action, required by law, in case of failure to do that act, or to correct a prior illegal action, or if the official has earlier refused to do that act. Bankruptcy: The inability of an individual or an organization to pay off the debts to the creditors. Pillory: A medieval punishment and constraining device made of mobile and adjustable boards through which a prisoner’s head or limbs were pinned. Caveat Emptor: A common law rule, which is a Latin term meaning, “let the buyer beware”. Sign up to receive the latest and greatest articles from our site automatically each week (give or take)...right to your inbox. However, canon suggests in nonreligious use a principle or rule of behavior or procedure commonly accepted as a valid guide. Acknowledgment: The term used for the certification given by an authorized official, that the person who has executed the document has appeared before him and declared under oath that the document and the signature in it are genuine. Generally used to denote those rules, which are passed for the governance of a corporation or other entity. Preamble: The term is particularly applied to an introductory statement, a preliminary explanation of a statute or contract, which summarizes the intention of the legislature in passing the measure. Beneficiary: An individual or an organization entitled to some assets or profits, through some legal device like a will, trust, insurance policy, etc. An affirmation is equivalent to oath, as the witness may have no religious belief or he cannot take an oath, as per his religious beliefs. Full Faith and Credit: A doctrine contained in the US Constitution that requires all states to respect the records, judicial proceedings, and public acts of all other states. Deceit: It is a false and fraudulent representation as to a matter of fact, made in order to induce a person to act thereon. In short, even if some parts are held unenforceable, the rest of the contract is still valid and binding. Please email us with your comments. Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words? The person who grants a lien is called a lienor, and the one who receives it is termed as the lienee. The term ‘attorney’ is mainly used in the United States to denote a practitioner in a court of law. Omnibus Hearing: A criminal pretrial hearing soon after a defendant’s arraignment (the accused is brought before the court to formally read the complaint against him). Family: Family includes a group of persons related by blood, marriage or adoption, who live together under common household authority. It is breach of contract, when a party to a contract fails to perform the terms or violates the terms of the contract. In common parlance, turbary refers to an area of peat land from which mat of grass and grass roots (turf) or any other material can be extracted to be used as fuel. Affirmation in Law: A solemn statement by a person that the evidence he or she is giving is true. Endorsement: Endorsement is to inscribe or sign one’s name on the back of a check in order to obtain cash or credit represented on the face of it. Estate: An estate denotes all the property which a person owns, including personal property, real property, stocks, bonds, bank accounts, etc., at the time of his death. These laws make an act which was legal when committed, illegal after committing it. Adverse Possession: Acquisition of rights to a particular property belonging to another, by possessing it for a statutory period (usually 12 years). The same applies in case of examining a witness staying in another country. Having two spouses at the same time is a criminal offense. A trust that once made, cannot be revoked or changed. Nuisance violates the right of another person to use and enjoy his/her property and may lead to a lawsuit for damages or injunction. An agreement can be in a written form or verbal. Bifurcation: The process of dividing the trial into two parts – a liability phase and a penalty phase. The main objective of the hearing is to determine the admissibility of evidence which includes testimony and evidences seized at the time of arrest. Such records regarding properties are maintained by a registry office or civil law notary. Delict: Delicts are small offenses, where a person by fraud or deceit causes damage or tort to someone. Act of God: A natural calamity (like earthquake, tornado and flood), which cannot be prevented by anyone. Abandonment: The voluntary relinquishment of a right by express words or by action. Such contracts are made exclusively for the benefit of the management and not the workers. A person who was actually present at an event and saw the event, usually a crime and testifies in court is called an eyewitness. This is a legal doctrine, which presumes negligence on the part of a person who causes injury to another, when the former was in exclusive control of whatever caused the injury, and it is almost impossible for such an accident to occur without the negligence of such person. Or sometimes, it is used to give a comprehensive description that includes what is obvious, what is uncertain and what is in the ordinary sense impossible. Legacy: The term legacy refers to a gift of money or personal property by will. Chain of Title: The legal term used to denote the history of transfers of title to property from the present owner to the original owner. Forgery: Whoever marks any false document or part of a document, with the intent to cause damage or injury to any other person, or to deceive someone into believing something is real, commits forgery. Constitutional law definition, the body of law that evolves from a constitution, setting out the fundamental principles according to which a state is governed and defining the relationship between the various branches of government within the state. This term is commonly used as ‘Ad hoc’ committees, which are created for specific purposes. Debt: A sum of money due from one person to another. Such borrowing of laws or enactment of new laws, after getting inspired by some foreign examples is called legal transplant, which is otherwise known as legal diffusion too. Mens Rea is one of the two factors that are necessary to constitute a crime. The bank has to pay the specified amount to the bearer of the instrument (check/cheque) or the person named therein. 1. It also includes a display of force to frighten the victim and make him believe that the former is capable of causing bodily harm. Occupational Crime: A crime committed by a person during the course of legal employment like misuse of an employer’s property, theft of employer’s property, or misuse of sensitive information for personal gains. Title (property): It is the legal term for ownership. Arson: The willful burning of the house or other structures belonging to others without any legal authority is called arson. Unlike a first degree murder which is pre-meditated and intentional or results from a crime, like arson, rape, robbery, etc., a second degree murder lacks premeditation, and is done with malice afterthought. It is mostly applicable to marine matters and stevedores. Double Jeopardy: Double jeopardy is based on the principle that no person can be punished more than once for the same offense. Award: The term used to denote the final decision of a court in some lawsuits. Application: Filing of the requisite court form to initiate a legal proceeding or a request made to a court. This is a legal principle that determines the actual value of goods exchanged or services rendered. A person is said to have absconded, when he deliberately leaves the jurisdiction to avoid arrest or other such legal proceedings. Charging a person with interest rates more than what is allowed by the law is called usury. These are common in cases regarding family matters. Liquidated Damages: A clause commonly found to be incorporated in contracts, wherein the parties agree to pay a fixed sum, in case of violation of the provisions of the contract. Bill: A draft of a proposed law which has been presented before a legislative body for approval. Offer: An offer is an explicit proposal to an agreement, which, if accepted, completes the agreement and ties both the person who made the offer and the person accepting the offer to the terms of the agreement. Point of Law: a question regarding a law or legal issue as opposed to a question regarding the facts involved in a legal proceeding; a term often used in determining whether an appeal can be taken of a decision. Absolute liability makes a person held liable for his action and no defense is available. Articles of Confederation: The first constitution made the original thirteen states of the United States of America, and came into force on March 1, 1781. Testimony: Testimony is a law term that refers to the statement made by a witness under oath in a legal proceeding. Appeal bond is a guaranty by the party who files the appeal to the effect that the court costs will be paid and the appeal will be filed within the statutory time limit (appeal period). The set of laws adopted and enforced by a local authority. Ombudsman: It is an official appointed by the government or parliament to safeguard rights of citizens by receiving, investigating or addressing complaints against the government services or policies. Nuisance violates the right of another person to use and enjoy his/her property and may lead to a lawsuit for damages or injunction. It also includes illegal violence against a person that may cause harm to the victim. Certified Copy: A copy of a document, which is attested by the concerned authority to be the true copy of its original. Harassment: Employment discrimination consisting of unwelcome verbal or physical conduct that is so severe or pervasive, that it affects the terms and conditions of the victims employment. A person who has no interests in a lawsuit, offers assistance to one of the litigants to conduct the legal proceedings, on condition that the former receives a portion of the judicial award. A right to bring an action or a right to address a court on a matter before it. Attachment: The process of legally seizing a property in order to force the person to appear before the court or to ensure that the owner of the said property complies with the decision of the court in a pending suit. Malice: A legal term, which refers to a person’s intention to commit a wrongful act, which will result in injury or harm to another. Champerty: A practice of sharing the benefits of a lawsuit, by a person who is not a party to that lawsuit. The terms Ex Works (EXW), Cost, Insurance and Freight (CIF), Cost and Insurance Paid to (CIP), Delivered Duty Paid (DDP), and other trade terms used to describe the obligations of the parties, shall be governed by the rules prescribed in the current edition of the International Commercial Terms (INCOTERMS) published by the International Chamber of Commerce, Paris. Remainder: A legal term, which refers to a future interest, held by a person in a real property of another person. nomine tenus nominetenus : as far as the meaning of the word extends. It proves that the statement made was based on facts and was not made with dishonorable motives. Unlawful Assembly: A gathering or three or more persons, with an intention to commit a crime, to disturb the peace or that creates a fear in the mind of the observers that some unlawful action, which involves violence will result. An injured person can sue the wrongdoer for the tort and claim damages as well. A criminal action is prosecuted by the state against a person, who is charged with a public offense. Hedeveloped a radically empiricist theory of the meaning of words, whichsupported his utilitarianism and his legal theory. Bar: A collective term used to denote all attorneys or lawyers who are permitted to practice in a particular jurisdiction. A legal doctrine that is used to protect state and federal officials from liability of civil damages, in case of violation of an individual’s federal constitutional rights, of which a reasonable person would have known. Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible). It is generally given by a judge, if he feels that the plaintiff has failed to offer the minimum amount of evidence necessary to prove his case. Guilty: A defendant is said to be guilty either if he admits that he has committed a crime or the finding by a judge or jury that the defendant has committed the crime. Usufruct: The right to use and enjoy the property of another for a stipulated time period or for life. As per the law of procedure, amendments must be authorized by the court and the amended document supersedes the original one. Rebuttable Presumption: A presumption of fact, which is accepted by a court of law, until it is proved to the contrary. Usually most credit card companies give a grace period of 20 days before interest is charged. There are different types of juries, and grand juries do not decide whether a person is guilty or not, they only decide whether a person should stand trial. 'Nip it in the butt' or 'Nip it in the bud'. Agent: A person who is authorized by another to act for the latter (known as principal). In case of land, appurtenances include easement and right to way. It is also referred to as M.O., which can be used to identify the person who has committed a crime, in case of repeated criminal acts, which have a particular pattern of performance. Remittitur: A legal term, which has different meanings as per the context. It is designed to afford immediate relief from illegal confinement or restraint. It is also used as a collective term for all judges in a court. Next Friend: A term used to denote a person, who appears for another in litigation without any official appointment. This is done with the approval of the court. A Priori: Latin term, which means that ‘from the cause to the effect’. Burglary: Breaking into a building or illegal entry into the building with the intention of committing a crime. In a more technical meaning, it is a duty to do something agreeably to the laws and customs of the country in which the obligation is made. The meanings of regulation and law largely overlap; however, regulation implies prescription by authority in order to control an organization or system. Brief: A document stating the facts of a case and the legal arguments which is supported by relevant statutes and precedents. Stare Decisis: A Latin term, which means, “to stand by things decided”. Attorneys: An attorney, who is otherwise called a lawyer, barrister or solicitor, is a person authorized by the state to practice law. The person, who is the recipient of the rights is called an assignee, and the one who had transferred the rights is called an assignor. Redirect Examination: Examination of a witness, after the cross examination, in order to question him about the matters, which were brought up during the cross examination. Overrule may also refer to the appeals court overthrowing a previous ruling on a legal issue, so that the prior decision is no longer a valid precedent on that legal question. A beneficiary may also be the equitable named person under a trust, where the legal owner is the trustee Foreign Laws: The system of laws prevailing in a geographical area outside the country. Fraud: Deceit, trickery or intentional perversion of truth in order to induce another to part with something of value, or to surrender a legal right. This amount is calculated when a claim is made by the true owner of the property to recover the profits made by the illegal tenant. This term is mainly used to save higher officials from the blame of committing a mistake in a document, and putting the blame on the clerical staff. (as if previous partial or complete decision had not been made). It is the inner drive, which induces the person to act in such a way, so as to commit a crime. Change your default dictionary to American English. Causa Mortis: A Latin term which means, “in expectation of the approaching death”. Ad hoc: For a specific purpose. Family Court: A court that has jurisdiction over family related or domestic matters which include divorce, alimony, adoption, maintenance, child custody etc. Oligarchy: The term ‘oligarchy’ means “rule by a few”. The reason behind this is that a person who is dying and knows it, generally will not tell a lie. Circumstantial Evidence: As compared to direct evidence, like the testimony of the eyewitness, circumstantial evidence can be considered as indirect evidence or facts which are inferred from the proven facts. Writ: A court order signed by the issuing judge, making a command to the person to whom it is addressed, to perform a specific act. 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