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Legal explanations - Law terms
Category: Legal
Date & country: 25/02/2010, SG
Words: 2570


Gravamen
(n) Gravamen is the fundamental, basic or relevant cause on which a claim or complaint or activity is based or developed. Eg. Gravamen in a motor accident claim is the negligence of the driver. Latin word means 'to weigh down'.

Green Card
A card used for identification purposes that enables non-citizens to reside permanently and work in the United States.

Greenmail
Forcing a company to buy back a large block of stock at a higher price than purchased by threatening the company with a hostile takeover.

Grievance
An employee's formal complaint regarding working conditions or failure by management to stick to its contract with the employee.

Gross Estate
"Before calculating liabilities, debts, and taxes, the total value of a person's assets upon death.

Gross Income
(n) Gross income is the total of all income of a person or entity during a period which is subject to tax after considering the allowable deductions and relief applicable to such income or person.

Gross Lease
A lease that the landlord pays operating expenses with the tenant paying a flat monthly rent.

Gross Negligence
(n) Gross Negligence is the state of doing an activity where in the safety and security of other connected persons and property are knowingly disregarded. Gross negligence is a way of violating others rights. An oversight cannot be a gross negligence.

Guarantee
(v) Guarantee is the act of assuming responsibility for the performance of an action or obligation of another person or entity, by agreeing to compensate the beneficiary in the event of such non performance.

Guarantor
(n) Guarantor is the person assuming responsibility for the performance of an action or obligation of another person or entity, by agreeing to compensate the beneficiary in the event of such non performance contained in the guarantee agreement.

Guaranty
(n) Guarantee is the agreement by which a guarantor assumes the responsibility for the performance of an action or obligation of another person or entity, by agreeing to compensate the beneficiary in the event of such non performance.

Guardian
(n) Guardian is the person who is legally responsible for caring and otherwise managing the affairs of a minor child or incompetent adult as per the order issued by a competent Court.

Guardian Ad Litem
(n). Guardian Ad Litem is the person appointed by the court entrusted with the powers to initiate legal proceeding on behalf of a minor or an incompetent adult to safe guard their interest and represent them in law suits and legal formalities.

Guest
(n) Guest is the person utilizing the facilities available at a place, not being a person using them by virtue of his ownership, vocation or employment, whether for a price or not.

Guest Statute
(n) Guest Statute is the law containing the provision regulating the activities and standards required while dealing and providing guest accommodation in cabs and taxi services

Guilty
(adj) Guilty is the person who was convicted for any criminal or illegitimate activities or admitted or otherwise found by the court as the person who has done any criminal or illegal activities.

Habeas Corpus
( n) Habeas Corpus is the Court order directing the law enforcement authorities to produce a prisoner supposed to be in custody of them, in the designated court , in person. The Latin word means 'you have the body' means the physical presence of the person before the court.

Habeas Corpus Ad Subjiciendum
Refer to the definition for habeas corpus.

Habitability
A building's rating that indicates that its occupiers have adequate living conditions.

Habitable
(adj) Habitable is the residence which can be used for living by having the reasonable facility and comfort necessary for the human being to stay. Eg. A building protecting from weather having facility for running water, access to public road and toilets with reasonable accessories can be called as habitual place

Habitual Criminal
(n) Habitual criminal is the person involved in multiple and continued criminal activities and does intentional crime as a habit. A habitual criminal does felonies as a part of his life or habit.

Half Blood
(adj) Half Blood is the relationship between two person, when they have one common parent. Eg. Two brothers born to different fathers. Or the kids of a man born to different mothers.

Harass
(v) Harass is the act of inflicting difficulties to a person, and continuous annoying stopping him from leading a peaceful life, by resorting unfair activities . Harassment happens when the person effected cannot respond and there is no truth in the stand of the person resorting harassment.

Harassment
(n) Harassment is the systematic and preplanned inflicting difficulties and hardships to a person or group of person, by resorting unfair activities like threats, estoppels, influences etc with an intention to cause trouble.

Harmless Error
(n) Harmless error is the error entered in a legal proceeding which was not significant to influence the outcome or opinion from the opinion arrived if the mistake was not there. Harmless errors when detected may not influence a higher court to reverse the opinion of the lower court

Head Of Household
(n) Head Of Household is the person who manage the affairs of the house comprising the dependents and relatives living along with him. Head of Household is authorized to file the Income Tax Returns of the family.

Headnote
(n) Headnote is the caption, keywords, shortened legal points, summery etc appearing at the top of a published report. Headnote helps the readers by providing summarized information at a glance

Healthcare Directives
Legal document expressing someone's wishes regarding their medical care and who will ensure that the wishes are carried out. Also referred to as a living will.

Healthcare Proxy
"A person who was appointed by another to make that person's decisions if he/she become incapacitated by illness or injury. Typically, a living will names this person.

Hearing
(n) Hearing is the legal proceedings in a court of law where evidences or arguments are presented before a judge in order to form a decision or determine an issue of fact. Hearings are sessions of the court where a particular issue or question is tried.

Hearsay
(n) Hearsay is the evidence or witness provided by a person in a legal proceedings based on the information he collected from others, gathered of his own without knowing it personally or without being an eye witness.

Hearsay Rule
(n) Hearsay Rule is the practice followed by the Court to disregard the evidence presented in a court without the personnel presentation of the person giving such evidences or witnesses. This rule underlines the fact that, truth worthiness or credibility of a statement can be arrived on hearing such person

Heat Of Passion
(n) Heat Of Passion is the situation of uncontrollable rage to which an accused was subjected to at the time of crime, resulting out of a situation or event which may have influenced him to do the crime. A criminal activity done in heat of passion shows absence of predetermination and hence may not attract sever punishment.

Heir
(n) A Heir is the person eligible by the law of land or customary practice prevailing in the land to acquire or receive the property of a deceased person on his death. Eg , spouse, kith and kin, adopted child etc.

Heir Apparent
(n) Heir Apparent is the person expected to inherit a property of a person on his death by being his or her legal heir, when he survives after the death of the owner

Heiress
(n) Heiress is the female who has inherited or otherwise received the wealth or a part of it, being a legal heir of the owner of the property on his death

Heirs Of The Body
(n) Heirs Of The Body is the linear descendents of a person who are blood related and originated from him or her. Heirs of the body comprises of children and grand children and their children

Held
(v) Held is the reaching of a decision, ruling, answer or observation on the matters under consideration or on the question that arises on the subject matter under consideration.

Hereditament
(n) Hereditament is the condition or state of a property which is transferable by inheritance to the legal heirs of the owner of the property.

Hidden Asset
(n) Hidden Assets are the property held by a person which has not been recorded in the accounts of the person or legal entity with an intention or purpose to hide them from the authorities, creditors etc

High Seas
Ocean territory that is outside of any one country's jurisdiction and is open to peaceful purposes.

Highway
(n) Highway is the public road, street or pathway owned and maintained by the State or local authority for the use of public as per the rules regulations and restrictions made by the authorities for using the same.

Hit And Run
(n) Hit And Run is the situation where a driver instrumental to an accident escape the scene of accident without giving his identity to the affected persons or law enforcing officers with an intention to avoid claim for damage and punishments

Hobby Loss
(n) Hobby Loss is the deficit occurred in any activity connected to a business or person when the intention of such activity was mainly to provide entertainment and enjoyment rather than accumulating wealth or earning income.

Hold Harmless
(n) Hold Harmless is the condition or provision agreed by a person accepting all future responsibilities, cost and claim that may arise from the transaction, activity, event or agreement. This provision is generally included in the settlements where future liability may arise

Holder
(n) Holder is the person who possess a property being the owner of the property or as a holder in due course. The term is generally used with financial instrument representing the present possession and right in the instrument

Holder In Due Course
(n) Holder In Due Course is the person holding a property or instrument or right without being the actual owner or right holder of such property in the process of conveyance of them to the correct owner. Eg. A finder of loss property is a holder in due course until he find the real owner and handover the property to him

Holding
(n) Holding is the process by which a decision, opinion, finding, title etc are made valid, effective and binding, by the persons or entity authorized to do them

Holding Company
(n) Holding Company is the body corporate which holds or otherwise owns and control of all or majority of the equity share capital of another body corporate and fully controls the management of the later.

Holdover Tenancy
(n) Holdover Tenancy is the situation in which a tenant of a real property continue to occupy the property rented by him after the expiry of the tenancy period but without any extension, fresh agreement or consent from the landlord

Holographic Will
(n) Holographic Will is the hand written document prepared by a person without authenticating it by a witness while signing the document as the will of the person to deal his estates. Holographic Wills are generally accepted by the courts unless proving the contrary

Home Rule
(n) Home rule is the regulatory mechanism adopted by a local authority to govern the local jurisdiction of such authority within the statutory powers held by them and requirements and limitations under the State Charter

Homeowners' Association
(n) Homeowners Association is the association of persons formed by the residents of a housing locality to address their common problems and issues connected with their residence and living in that area. Such associations generally does crime watch, entertainment, sanitary activities etc were a collective action is required

Homestead
(n) Homestead is the residential unit used by a family, which has been declared as the main dwelling place of that family by the head of the house hold in writing to the County Recorder or Recorder of Deeds. A homestead is exempted from bankruptcy proceedings and judgment creditors

Hometowned
(adv) Hometowned is used to represent a person or authority which favors a person or entity belonging to the same local area over another person or entity of a deferent area, by virtue of their place of residence

Homicide
(n) Homicide is the unnatural ending of the life of a person by an act or omission of another person or persons knowingly or otherwise. A homicide becomes a criminal act when it was done with a motive or intention to harm or with a reckless disregard of the safety of others. Suicide is a self executed homicide

Hornbook Law
(n) Hornbook Law is the rule which establish that a principle, provision, references, inference, observation etc may not require further explanation or clarification when the very nature of them shows that they are basic and elementary in nature

Hostile Possession
(n) Hostile Possession is the holding of a real property with a claim on it, over any other person who has a claim on such property including the recorded title holder. A person may get hostile possession when he was holding the property for long time when there is no known owner

Hostile Witness
(n) Hostile Witness is the person who was included as the witness of a party to a law suit who turned against them changing his or her stand and the judge determines them as hostile to the position of the party.

Hot Pursuit
(n) Hot Pursuit is the chasing of a suspect when they escape the scene of crime or flees away to avoid legal actions from Law enforcement authority. In Hot Pursuit a suspect can be arrested even without a warrant

Hotchpot
(n) Hotchpot is the process of collecting all related or connected properties together with a purpose of distributing them to the beneficiaries of the property. Hotchpot is used to represent equitable distribution of the property

House Closing
(n) The term 'House Closing' is used to represent the conclusion of the dealing of transferring a house property whereby the seller closes all his right in the property and transfers the house to the buyer

House Counsel
(n) House Counsel is the Attorney who represents a person or entity in a particular case or legal process in the court and does the work connected to that specific issue. A House Counsel is not an employee of the entity like a General Counsel.

Household
(n) Household is the collection of persons whether related or not, joined together for getting the comfort of living together. Generally the term is used to represent a family living in a house

Housing And Urban Development
(HUD) "Federal agency that enforces the Fair Housing Act which is a federal mandate that prohibits housing discrimination on the basis of color, race, sex, nationality, religion, or disability.

Hung Jury
(n) Hung Jury is the situation when the jury cannot reach a unanimous or enforceable decision in a criminal case due to a deadlocking of the affairs among the juries and none of the side could prevail the situation

Hypothecate
(v) Hypothecate is the act by which a person or entity theoretically transfer the property owned by him, without physically transferring them, to a lender of loan as security for repayment of the loan. The Greek word means 'pledge'

I.E.
prep. Abbreviation for id est. Latin meaning "that is," or "that is to say." Used to explain or expand a general term and should not be confused with "e.g." which refers to "for example."

Illegal
(adj) Illegal are the actions which are not in accordance with the rules, regulations, ordinance, law, statute etc prevailing the land at the time of doing such activity. Eg. Holding a weapon without sanction. All illegal actions need not be a criminal activity.

Illegal Immigrant
(n) Illegal Immigrant is the person not being a citizen of the country entered in to a that country without a valid sanction or continue to stay in a country after the expiry .of his valid stay in that country

Illicit
Refer to the definition for illegal.

Illusory Promise
(n) An Illusory Promise is the assurance given by a person or entity to another r person or entity to do or executes an action or activity which is unclear and unspecific or impossible to execute. Eg. Promise to predict the future perfectly in advance.

Immaterial
(adj) The adjective 'Immaterial' is used to qualify an article, material, action, event etc which cannot or does not influence in any way the subject matter under consideration. A material can be immaterial even though it is related to the subject because of the difference in the magnitude

Immediately
(adv) The word 'Immediately' is used represent the time frame of an activity from another incident, event, action or reference. The time gap accepted to represent to events as immediate depends on the magnitude and duration of the events.

Immigrant Visa
Document required in order to receive a Green Card that enables someone to permanently live and work in the United States. Several different types of immigrant visas exist.

Immunity
It refers to act of exemption from performing normal duties or attending office. It also refers to the exemption from attending the legal hearings, be involved in Legal prosecution, penality or liability. It is granted mainly to witness in exchage of testimony, diplomats who are on missions, Government officials who have have made certain decisons ...

Impanel
It refers to the act of the clerk of the court to take steps to process the selection of the Jury and installing the same for the particular trial.

Impaneling
It is the process of selecting the jury. Normally 6-12 Jurors are selected who would be questioned by the Judges and lawyers from both sides and will also be heard for their excuses. The potential jurors will also have to face challenges from the Judges and lawyers and finally selected.

Impeach
To sue, accuse or dispute. Contradicting the statement of the the witness by providing another statement by someone or bringing in the evidence of happening outside the court. It also refers to the punishment in form of removal from the duty of government official for a public crime commited.

Impeachment
It is the act of sueing, accusing or disputing. Normally the act of claiming that the witness is lying or that the statement is contradicting. It also refers to the act of charging the government official and removing him/her from duty for their public offence.

Impleader
A third party is brought into the lawsuit who will be liable for the plaintiff's claim and would be fulfilling the same. This is the process or procedure taken up by the defendant when he knows that this third party can payoff the plaintiffs claim for him. This third party is the impleader. usually the insurance companies with whom certain third pa...

Implicate
To verify someone's connection to a crime.

Implied
Somethings which are assumed to be so by the way of statements, circumstances, behaviour of individuals etc. Legally, its something which is known indirectly and understood from the expression.

Implied Consent
When a consent is conveyed through facts, actions, or even by silence and which is understood by a man of reasonable mind, that the consent is inferred, it is known as implied consent. Such consents are not spoken or written, but is expected to be agreed as in case where a person bound by contract is supposed to behave or act in response in certain...

Implied Contract
It refers to an agreement which should have been formed formally in writing,and was not formed but still stands as a contract. Such implied contracts are taken into effect by the court so as to safeguard ones payment, money or services which the other party is enjoying by unfair means. For instance is a person A gives the money to person B to give ...

Implied Warranty
In a common law, it is assumed and assursed that in a contract of sale, the goods sold and purchased are reasonably fit for its use and is merchantible (tradeable). Such assurance or warranties are implied. The goods have an implied warranty for the purpose of its use and fitmess of the goods to be used. The court takes this implied warranty whena ...

Implied Warranty Of Habitability
Requirement that landlords provide habitable rental property to tenants.

Impossibility
A reason for the breach of contract or termination of the contract presented to the court of law, that its impossible to abide by the contract due to some unforeseen event or natural disaster or physical disability.

Impotence
Inability of the male to sustain penial erection or copulation. It can be a ground for ending a marriage too.

Impound
It refers to collection of the money as an installments for the repayment of the loan along with some extra funds to pay the property tax and the insurance of the property against which the borrower has borrowed the money This helps the lender meet the expenses of paying the insurance and taxes incase he/she has to sell the property on account of n...

Imprison
To place someone in jail.

Improvement
The act of making a condition or place better. On making a permanent structure on the land or planting trees around the property, known as improements, it increases the value of the property.

Impute
It refers to relating or referring to a particular cause or source of such happening thereby holding them responsible. Such as imputing business success to the employees. It also means to assigning or ascribing or credit to as in child and parents, employers and employees or any relation where such relation becomes the cause of responsibility.

In Absentia
The latin word meaning" in absence of" . It refers to a term used in court to declare something in absence of , usually the defendant or accused, who may have escaped or not attended the trial of the court during its progress.

In Camera
It refers to a secret and private discussion and trials held with the judge in his private chambers or in the courtroom without any public or jurors. Normally sensitive matters and matters of national security is tried or discussed privately which may or may not be recorded.

In Chambers
Discussions or hearings which are held in the privacy of the judge's office.It is done for matters which are to be kept confidential and cannot be discussed in front of public.It is also called "in camera".

In Extremis
It is a term which defines condition prior to death.

In Fee Simple
refers to an absolute and complete ownership of a real property which the owner has right to do anything from using it to disposing it at his/her will. If the owner dies without a will, it is passed on to the heir of the owner.In short the owner of afee simple propery can do whatever he/she wishes to do with the property they hold.

In Forma Pauperis
Latin word meaning " in form of a pauper or poor man". The legal term used by the judge to allow somene who has to file a legal case or defend oneself in ongoing trial, and who has no money to fund the trials, to file a case or appoint a counsel free of cost or without paying majority of charges. Such waiver is done via an affidavit stati...

In Haec Verba
In latin it means" In these words". It refers to incorporating the same wordings in the complain or pleading as mentioned in a deed or agreemnt which is in question or cause of dispute. It is done so instead of attaching a copy of the same with the pleading or complaint.