SELECT A WORD TO VIEW THE COMPLETE DEFINITION:
(hay-bee-us core-puss) n. Latin for "you have the body," it is a writ (court order) which directs the law enforcement officials (prison administrators, police or sheriff) who have custody of a prisoner to appear in court with the prisoner to help the judge determine whether the prisoner is lawfully ...
adj. referring to a residence that is safe and can be occupied in reasonable comfort. Although standards vary by region, the premises should be closed in against the weather, provide running water, access to decent toilets and bathing facilities, heating, and electricity. Particularly in multi-dwell...
n. under the statutes of many states, a person who has been convicted of either two or three felonies (or of numerous misdemeanors), a fact which may increase punishment for any further criminal convictions.
1) adj. sharing one parent only. 2) n. a half brother or half sister. "Half blood" should not be confused with "half breed," which was a pejorative expression for a person born of parents of two races, particularly Native American and white.
(either harris or huh-rass) v. systematic and/or continual unwanted and annoying pestering, which often includes threats and demands. This can include lewd or offensive remarks, sexual advances, threatening telephone calls from collection agencies, hassling by police officers or bringing criminal ch...
(either harris-meant or huh-rass-meant) n. the act of systematic and/or continued unwanted and annoying actions of one party or a group, including threats and demands. The purposes may vary, including racial prejudice, personal malice, an attempt to force someone to quit a job or grant sexual favors...
n. an error by a judge in the conduct of a trial which an appellate court finds is not sufficient for it to reverse or modify the lower court's judgment at trial. Harmless error would include: a technical error which has no bearing on the outcome of the trial, an error that was corrected (such as al...
head of household
n. 1) in federal income tax law, the person filing a tax return who manages the household which has dependents such as children and/or other dependent relatives living in the home, but does not file on a joint return with a spouse. The calculation of taxes is somewhat more favorable to a head of hou...
n. the summary of the key legal points determined by an appeals court, which appears just above each decision in published reports of cases. Headnotes are useful for a quick scan of the judgment, but they are the editor's remarks and not the court's.
n. any proceeding before a judge or other magistrate (such as a hearing officer or court commissioner) without a jury in which evidence and/or argument is presented to determine some issue of fact or both issues of fact and law. While technically a trial with a judge sitting without a jury fits the ...
n. 1) second-hand evidence in which the witness is not telling what he/she knows personally, but what others have said to him/her. 2) a common objection made by the opposing lawyer to testimony when it appears the witness has violated the hearsay rule. 3) scuttlebutt or gossip.
n. the basic rule that testimony or documents which quote persons not in court are not admissible. Because the person who supposedly knew the facts is not in court to state his/her exact words, the trier of fact cannot judge the demeanor and credibility of the alleged first-hand witness, and the oth...
heat of passion
n. in a criminal case, when the accused was in an uncontrollable rage at the time of commission of the alleged crime. If so, it may reduce the charge, indictment or judgment down from murder to manslaughter, since the passion precluded the defendant having premeditation or being fully mentally capab...
n. one who acquires property upon the death of another, based on the rules of descent and distribution, namely, being the child, descendant or other closest relative of the dear departed. It also has come to mean anyone who "takes" (receives something) by the terms of the will. An heir cannot be det...
n. the person who is expected to receive a share of the estate of a family member if he/she lives longer, or is not specifically disinherited by will.
n. feminine heir, often used to denote a woman who has received a large amount upon the death of a rich relative, as in the "department store heiress."
heirs of the body
n. descendants of one's bloodline, such as children or grandchildren until such time as there are no direct descendants. If the bloodline runs out, the property will "revert" to the nearest relative traced back to the original owner.
v. decided or ruled, as "the court held that the contract was valid."
n. any kind of property which can be inherited. This is old-fashioned language still found in some wills and deeds.
n. an item of value which does not show on the books of a business, often excluded for some improper purpose such as escaping taxation or hiding it from a bankruptcy trustee. However, there may be a legitimate business reason for not including all assets on a profit and loss statement.
n. any public street, road, turnpike or canal which any member of the public has the right to use, provided he/she/it follows the laws governing its use, such as having a driver's license if operating a vehicle. Thus, the use is really a privilege and not an absolute right.
hit and run
n. the crime of a driver of a vehicle who is involved in a collision with another vehicle, property or human being, who knowingly fails to stop to give his/her name, license number and other information as required by statute to the injured party, a witness or law enforcement officers. If there is o...
n. in income tax, a loss from a business activity engaged in more for enjoyment than for profit, which can be deducted against annual income only.
n. a promise to pay any costs or claims which may result from an agreement. Quite often this is part of a settlement agreement, in which one party is concerned that there might be unknown lawsuits or claims stemming from the situation, so the other party agrees to cover them.
n. a general term for anyone in possession of property, but usually referring to anyone holding a promissory note, check, bond or other paper, either handed to the holder (delivery) or signed over by endorsement, for which he/she/it is entitled to receive payment as stated in the document.
holder in due course
n. one holding a check or promissory note, received for value (he/she paid for it) in good faith and with no suspicion that it might be no good, claimed by another, overdue or previously dishonored (a bank had refused to pay since the account was overdrawn). Such a holder is entitled to payment by t...
1) n. any ruling or decision of a court. 2) n. any real property to which one has title. 3) n. investment in a business. 4) v. keeping in one's possession.
n. a company, usually a corporation, which is created to own the stock of other corporations, thereby often controlling the management and policies of all of them.
n. the situation when a tenant of real estate continues to occupy the premises without the owner's agreement after the original lease or rental agreement between the owner (landlord) and the tenant has expired. The tenant is responsible for payment of the monthly rental at the existing rate and term...
n. a will entirely handwritten, dated and signed by the testator (the person making the will), but not signed by required witnesses. Under those conditions it is valid in about half the states despite the lack of witnesses. A letter which has all the elements of a will can be a holographic will, as ...
n. the power of a local city or county to set up its own system of governing and local ordinances without receiving a charter from the state which comes with certain requirements and limitations. The concept has become popular with so-called libertarians, survivalists and others who would like to di...
1) n. the house and lot of a homeowner which the head of the household (usually either spouse) can declare in writing to be the principal dwelling of the family, record that declaration of homestead with the County Recorder or Recorder of Deeds and thereby exempt part of its value (based on state st...
adv. legalese for a lawyer or client suffering discrimination by a local judge who seems to favor local parties and/or attorneys over those from out of town.
n. the killing of a human being due to the act or omission of another. Included among homicides are murder and manslaughter, but not all homicides are a crime, particularly when there is a lack of criminal intent. Non-criminal homicides include killing in self-defense, a misadventure like a hunting ...
n. lawyer lingo for a fundamental and well-accepted legal principle that does not require any further explanation, since a hornbook is a primer of basics.
n. occupancy of a piece of real property coupled with a claim of ownership (which may be implied by actions, such as putting in a fence) over anyone, including the holder of recorded title. It may be an element of gaining title through long-term adverse possession or claiming real estate which has n...
n. technically an "adverse witness" in a trial who is found by the judge to be hostile (adverse) to the position of the party whose attorney is questioning the witness, even though the attorney called the witness to testify on behalf of his/her client. When the attorney calling the witness finds tha...
n. when a law enforcement officer is so close behind the alleged criminal that he/she may continue the chase into another jurisdiction without stopping or seeking a warrant for an arrest in the other county or state. It is equivalent to fresh pursuit.
n. the putting together, blending or mixing of various properties in order to achieve equal division among beneficiaries or heirs. There may be cash, securities, personal belongings, and even real estate which are part of the residue of an estate to be given to "my children, share and share alike." ...
n. any attorney who works only for a particular business.
n. a family living together, all of whom need not be related.
n. slang for a hopelessly deadlocked jury in a criminal case, in which neither side is able to prevail. Usually it means there is no unanimous verdict (although in Oregon and Louisiana 10 of 12 jurors can convict or acquit). If the jury is hung the trial judge will declare a mistrial. A new trial fr...
v. from Greek for "pledge," a generic term for using property to secure payment of a loan, which includes mortgages, pledges and putting up collateral, while the borrower retains possession.