SELECT A WORD TO VIEW THE COMPLETE DEFINITION:
n. legal slang for temporary restraining order.
n. in a criminal trial, information which has been obtained by illegal means or has been traced through evidence acquired by illegal search and/or seizure. This evidence is called "fruit of the poisonous tree" and is not admissible in court.
v. to gain or obtain possession, including the receipt of a legacy from an estate, getting title to real property or stealing an object.
taking the Fifth
n. the refusal to testify on the ground that the testimony might tend to incriminate the witness in a crime, based on the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution, which provides that "No person…shall be compelled to be a witness against himself," applied to state courts by the 14th Amendment. The term b...
n. physical articles (things) as distinguished from "incorporeal" assets such as rights, patents, copyrights and franchises. Commonly tangible property is called "personalty."
n. a governmental assessment (charge) upon property value, transactions (transfers and sales), licenses granting a right and/or income. These include federal and state income taxes, county and city taxes on real property, state and/or local sales tax based on a percentage of each retail transaction,...
n. a motion to contest a claim for court costs submitted by a prevailing party in a lawsuit. It is called a "Motion to Tax Costs" and asks the judge to deny or reduce claimed costs. Example: a winning party claims a right to have his/her attorneys' fees and telephone bills paid by the loser, even th...
n. a federal agency with courts in major cities which hear taxpayers' appeals from decisions of the Internal Revenue Service. Tax court hears the appeal de novo (as a trial rather than an appeal) and does not require payment of the amount claimed by the IRS before hearing the case. Tax court decisio...
n. intentional and fraudulent attempt to escape payment of taxes in whole or in part. If proved to be intentional and not just an error or difference of opinion, tax evasion can be a chargeable federal crime. Evasion is distinguished from attempts to use interpretation of tax laws and/or imaginative...
n. the form to be filed with a taxing authority by a taxpayer which details his/her/their income, expenses, exemptions, deductions and calculation of taxes which are chargeable to the taxpayer.
n. an auction sale of a taxpayer's property conducted by the federal government to collect unpaid taxes.
n. a court order prohibiting an action by a party to a lawsuit until there has been a trial or other court action. A temporary injunction differs from a "temporary restraining order" which is a short-term, stop-gap injunction issued pending a hearing, at which time a temporary injunction may be orde...
n. in a criminal prosecution, a defense by the accused that he/she was briefly insane at the time the crime was committed and therefore was incapable of knowing the nature of his/her alleged criminal act. Temporary insanity is claimed as a defense whether or not the accused is mentally stable at the...
n. the right to occupy real property permanently, for a time which may terminate upon a certain event, for a specific term, for a series of periods until cancelled (such as month-to-month), or at will (which may be terminated at any time). Some tenancy is for occupancy only as in a landlord-tenant s...
tenancy at sufferance
n. a "hold-over" tenancy after a lease has expired but before the landlord has demanded that the tenant quit (vacate) the premises. During a tenancy at sufferance the tenant is bound by the terms of the lease (including payment of rent) which existed before it expired. The only difference between a ...
tenancy at will
n. occupation of real property owned by another until such time as the landlord gives notice of termination of the tenancy (usually 30 days by state law or agreement), which may be given at any time. A tenancy at will is created by agreement between the tenant and the landlord, but it cannot be tran...
tenancy by the entirety
n. joint ownership of title by husband and wife, in which both have the right to the entire property, and, upon the death of one, the other has title (right of survivorship). Tenancy by the entirety is used in many states and is analogous to "community property" in the seven states which recognize t...
tenancy in common
n. title to property (usually real property, but it can apply to personal property) held by two or more persons, in which each has an "undivided interest" in the property and all have an equal right to use the property, even if the percentage of interests are not equal or the living spaces are diffe...
n. a person who occupies real property owned by another based upon an agreement between the person and the landlord/owner, almost always for rental payments.
1) v. to present to another person an unconditional offer to enter into a contract. 2) v. to present payment to another. 3) n. delivery, except that the recipient has the choice not to accept the tender. However, the act of tender completes the responsibility of the person making the tender.
n. 1) a term found in older deeds or in boiler-plate deed language which means any structure on real property. 2) old run-down urban apartment buildings with several floors reached by stairways.
n. a bank account deposited in the name of the depositor "in trust for" someone else, which is a tentative trust until the death of the depositor since the money can be withdrawn at any time.
n. 1) in real property, the right to possess the property. 2) in employment contracts, particularly of public employees like school teachers or professors, a guaranteed right to a job (barring substantial inability to perform or some wrongful act) once a probationary period has passed.
n. 1) in contracts or leases, a period of time, such as five years, in which a contract or lease is in force. 2) in contracts, a specified condition or proviso. 3) a period for which a court sits or a legislature is in session. 4) a word or phrase for something, as "tenancy" is one term for "occupan...
n. dying with a will (a testament). It is compared to "intestacy," which is dying without a will.
adj. pertaining to a will.
n. having the mental competency to execute a will at the time the will was signed and witnessed. To have testamentary capacity, the author of the will must understand the nature of making a will, have a general idea of what he/she possesses, and know who are members of the immediate family or other ...
n. how the terms of a will divide the testator's (will writer's) estate, including specific gifts to named beneficiaries.
n. a trust created by the terms of a will. Example: "The residue of my estate shall form the corpus (body) of a trust, with the executor as trustee, for my children's health and education, which shall terminate when the last child attains the age of 25, when the remaining corpus and any accumulated ...
n. a person who has written a will which is in effect at the time of his/her death.
n. female form of testator, although distinguishing between genders is falling out of fashion.
v. to give oral evidence under oath in answer to questions posed by attorneys either at trial or at a deposition (testimony under oath outside of court), with the opportunity for opposing attorneys to cross-examine the witness in regard to answers given.
n. oral evidence given under oath by a witness in answer to questions posed by attorneys at trial or at a deposition (questioning under oath outside of court).
n. the generic term for all crimes in which a person intentionally and fraudulently takes personal property of another without permission or consent and with the intent to convert it to the taker's use (including potential sale). In many states, if the value of the property taken is low (for example...
n. a person who is not a party to a contract or a transaction, but has an involvement (such as one who is a buyer from one of the parties, was present when the agreement was signed or made an offer that was rejected). The third party normally has no legal rights in the matter, unless the contract wa...
n. a person who is not a party to a contract but has legal rights to enforce the contract or share in proceeds because the contract was made for the third party's benefit. Example: Grandma enters into a contract with Oldfield to purchase a Jaguar automobile to be given to grandchild as a graduation ...
n. a notice by a landlord to a tenant on a month-to-month tenancy or a holdover tenant to leave the premises within 30 days. Such notice does not have to state any reason and is not based on failure to pay rent. The landlord's service of the notice and the tenant's failure to vacate at the end of 30...
three strikes, you're out
n. recent (beginning 1994) legislation enacted in several states (and proposed in many others, as well as possible federal law) which makes life terms (or extremely long terms without parole) mandatory for criminals who have been convicted of a third felony (as in California) or of three felonies in...
n. a notice to pay delinquent rent or quit (leave or vacate) the premises given by a landlord to a tenant, which in most states gives the tenant three days to pay or get out. Service of the notice and failure of the tenant to pay or vacate within three days provide the basis for a lawsuit for unlawf...
n. land between the high and low tides, which is uncovered each day by tidal action. This land belongs to the owner of the land which fronts on the sea at that point.
time is of the essence
n. a phrase often used in contracts which in effect says: the specified time and dates in this agreement are vital and thus mandatory, and "we mean it." Therefore any delay-reasonable or not, slight or not-will be grounds for cancelling the agreement.
n. the period a criminal defendant has been in jail, often while awaiting bail or awaiting trial. Often a judge will give a defendant "credit for time served," particularly when sentencing for misdemeanors. Example: Johnny Jumpstart was arrested for drunk driving and spent the night in jail before h...
adj. within the time required by statute, court rules or contract. Example: a notice of appeal is required to be filed within 60 days of the entry of judgment, so a notice filed on the 61st day is not "timely."
n. 1) ownership of real property or personal property, which stands against the right of anyone else to claim the property. In real property, title is evidenced by a deed, judgment of distribution from an estate or other appropriate document recorded in the public records of the county. Title to per...
n. a history of the chain of title.
n. a policy issued by an insurance company guaranteeing that the title to a parcel of real property is clear and properly in the name of the title owner and that the owner has the right to deed the property (convey or sell) to another. Should a problem later arise with the title (such as an inaccura...
n. the written analysis of the status of title to real property, including a property description, names of titleholders and how title is held (joint tenancy, etc.), tax rate, encumbrances (mortgages, liens, deeds of trusts, recorded judgments), and real property taxes due. A title report made when ...
n. the examination of county records for the property's title history by a title company, an abstractor, attorney or escrow officer to determine the "chain of title" and the current status of title, including owner, legal description, easements, property taxes due, encumbrances (mortgages or deeds o...
prep. that is to say. Example: "the passengers in the vehicle, to wit: Arlene Jones, Betty Bumgartner and Sherry Younger."
v. 1) to delay, suspend or hold off the effect of a statute. Examples: a) a minor is injured in an accident when he is 14 years old, and the state law (statute of limitations) allows a person hurt by negligence two years to file suit for damages. But for a minor the statute is "tolled" until he/she ...
n. a rare agreement among several persons who agree that each will invest in an annuity and the last to die will receive the remaining assets and profits.
tools of trade
n. in bankruptcy law, the equipment a person requires in order to pursue his occupation, which is exempt from claims of creditors. They are also generally exempt from attachment by judgment creditors since it is important for a person to earn an income to support the family and pay creditors.
n. from French for "wrong," a civil wrong or wrongful act, whether intentional or accidental, from which injury occurs to another. Torts include all negligence cases as well as intentional wrongs which result in harm. Therefore tort law is one of the major areas of law (along with contract, real pro...
tort claims act
n. a federal or state act which, under certain conditions, waives governmental immunity and allows lawsuits by people who claim they have been harmed by torts (wrongful acts), including negligence, by government agencies or their employees. These acts also establish the procedure by which such claim...
n. a person who commits a tort (civil wrong), either intentionally or through negligence.
adj. referring to an act which is a tort (civil wrong).
1) n. a business or occupation for profit, particularly in retail or wholesale sales or requiring special mechanical skill. 2) v. to exchange one thing for another, which includes money for goods, goods for goods and favors for goods or money.
n. a piece of equipment on or attached to the real estate which is used in a trade or business. Trade fixtures differ from other fixtures in that they may be removed from the real estate (even if attached) at the end of the tenancy of the business, while ordinary fixtures attached to the real estate...
n. a name of a business or one of its products which, by use of the name and public reputation, identifies the product as that of the business. A trade name belongs to the first business to use it, and the identification and reputation give it value and the right to protect the trade name against it...
n. a process, method, plan, formula or other information unique to a manufacturer, which gives it an advantage over competitors. Therefore the trade secret has value and may be protected by a court-ordered injunction against use or revelation of trade secrets by an employee, former employee or someo...
n. a distinctive design, picture, emblem, logo or wording (or combination) affixed to goods for sale to identify the manufacturer as the source of the product. Words that merely name the maker (but without particular lettering) or a generic name for the product are not trademarks. Trademarks may be ...
in U.S. income tax law, a person who deals in property as a business, making several purchases and sales within a year as distinguished from a few sales of assets held for investment. Thus a trader will lose the right to defer capital gains by "exchanging" for another property. The exact details req...
n. the written record of all proceedings, including testimony, in a trial, hearing or deposition (out-of-court testimony under oath). Jurisdictions vary as to whether the attorneys' final arguments are recorded, with the Federal Court Reporter Act, but not all states, requiring inclusion. A copy of ...
n. 1) the movement of property from one person or entity to another. 2) passage of title to property from the owner to another person. 3) a piece of paper given to allow a person or shipment to continue travel.
n. a person or company retained by a corporation to process transfers and registration of shares of stock (stock certificates). One difficulty is that the stock certificates do not always include the name and address of the current transfer agent, but the information can be obtained from the corpora...
transfer in contemplation of death
n. giving property under the belief of the giver that he/she is about to die or has a terminal illness. However, health recovery may result in cancellation of the gift. This is also called a "gift causa mortis."
n. in both criminal and tort (civil wrong) law, when an intent to cause harm to one person results in harm to another person instead of the intended target, the law transfers the intent to the actual harm. Examples: a) with malice aforethought Nate Nogood intends to shoot his girlfriend and misses h...
n. the crime of betraying one's country, defined in Article III, section 3 of the U.S. Constitution: "Treason against the United States shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort." Treason requires overt acts and includes the giving o...
n. a promissory note issued in multiples of $10,000 by the U.S. Treasury with a maturity date of not more than one year.
n. a long-term bond issued by the U.S. Treasury.
n. a promissory note issued by the U.S. Treasury, for a period of one to five years.
n. stock of a private corporation which was issued and then bought back by the corporation or otherwise reacquired by the corporation. Treasury stock held by a corporation earns dividends for the corporation, but the corporation may not cast votes in decision-making the way a regular shareholder wou...
n. a pact between nations which, if entered into by the United States through its Executive Branch, must be approved by "two-thirds of the Senators present," under Article II, section 2 of the Constitution, to become effective. Presidents sometimes get around the Senate by entering into "Executive A...
n. tripling damages allowed by state statute in certain types of cases, such as not making good on a bad check or intentionally refusing to pay rent. Federal antitrust violations also carry treble damage penalties.
n. entering another person's property without permission of the owner or his/her agent and without lawful authority (like that given to a health inspector) and causing any damage, no matter how slight. Any interference with the owner's (or a legal tenant's) use of the property is a sufficient showin...
n. the examination of facts and law presided over by a judge (or other magistrate, such as a commissioner or judge pro tem) with authority to hear the matter (jurisdiction). A trial begins with the calling of the parties to come and be heard and selection of a jury if one has been requested. Each pa...
n. the court which holds the original trial, as distinguished from a court of appeals.
trial de novo
n. a form of appeal in which the appeals court holds a trial as if no prior trial had been held. A trial de novo is common on appeals from small claims court judgments.
n. any court, judicial body or board which has quasi-judicial functions, such as a public utilities board which sets rates or a planning commission which can allow variances from zoning regulations.
trier of fact
n. the judge or jury responsible for deciding factual issues in a trial. If there is no jury the judge is the trier of fact as well as the trier of the law. In administrative hearings, an administrative law judge, a board, commission or referee may be the trier of fact.
triple net lease
n. a lease in which the lessee's (tenant's) rent includes a share of real property taxes, insurance and maintenance as well as the basic rent. A "triple-net-lease" is standard in leases of commercial property in shopping centers and malls.
n. the written decision of a Grand Jury (signed by the Grand Jury foreperson) that it has heard sufficient evidence from the prosecution to believe that an accused person probably committed a crime and should be indicted. Thus, the indictment is sent to the court.
n. an entity created to hold assets for the benefit of certain persons or entities, with a trustee managing the trust (and often holding title on behalf of the trust). Most trusts are founded by the persons (called trustors, settlors and/or donors) who execute a written declaration of trust which es...
n. another name for a deed of trust, a form of mortgage used in some states, in which title is transferred to a trustee to protect the lender (beneficiary) until the loan is paid back.
n. the principal (called the corpus) of a trust, made up of its assets and, sometimes, accumulated profits.
n. a person or entity who holds the assets (corpus) of a trustee for the benefit of the beneficiaries and manages the trust and its assets under the terms of the trust stated in the declaration of trust which created it. In many "living trusts" the creator of the trust (trustor, settlor) names himse...
trustee in bankruptcy
n. a person appointed by a bankruptcy court to supervise the affairs of a person or business which is in bankruptcy, determine both assets and debts, marshal (gather) and manage the assets if necessary, and report to the court. Most trustees in bankruptcy are full-time professionals and are paid fro...
n. the creator of a trust (who normally places the original assets into the trust), called a "settlor" or "donor" in many states. Trustor is a title used primarily in western states.
Truth in Lending Act
n. a federal statute which requires a commercial lender (bank, savings and loan, mortgage broker) to give a borrower exact information on interest rates and a three-day period in which the borrower may compare and consider competitive terms and cancel the loan agreement.
turn states' evidence
v. for a person accused of a crime to decide to give the prosecutor evidence about the crime, including facts about other participants in the crime (or other crimes) in return for lenient treatment, a plea bargain and/or a recommendation of a light sentence.
n. a claim by a criminal defendant that at the time of the crime he/she was of diminished mental capacity due to intake of too much sugar, as from eating "Twinkies," sugar-rich snacks. The defense was argued successfully by a defense psychiatrist in the notorious case of former San Francisco County ...