Black's Law Dictionary
Fifth Edition, 1979
By Henry Campbell Black, M.A. / West Publishing Co., St Paul Minn.
(Some few citations here may be specifically noted as being from Black's 4th edition)
(Last up-dated: January-2017)
(See "Words & Phrases" Citations, for many valuable Other-Definitions.)

Accusatory Procedure: System of American jurisprudence in which the government accuses and bears the burden of proving the guilt of a person for a crime; to be distinguished from inquisitorial system.

Actus Reus: A wrongful deed, which renders the actor criminally liable when combined with mens rea, a guilty mind.

Adversary System: The jurisprudential network of laws, rules and procedures characterized by opposing parties who contend against each other for a result favorable to themselves.
In such system, the judge acts as an independent magistrate rather than prosecutor; distinguished from inquisatorial system.

Advocacy: The act of pleading for, supporting, or recommending acvtive espousal. ...

Advocare: To defend, to call to ones aid; to vouch, to warrant.

Advocate: v. To speak in favor of or defend by argument. To support, vindicate or recommend publicly.

Advocate: n. One who assists, defends, or pleads for another.
One who renders legal advice and aid and pleads the cause of another before a court or a tribunal, a counselor.
A person learned in the law, and duly admitted to practice, who assists his client with advice, and pleads for him in open court.
An assistant, adviser; a pleader of causes.

Advocati Ecclesie: Advocates of the church. A term used in the ecclesiastical law to denote the patrons of the churches who presented to the living on an avoidance. This term was also applied to those who were retained to argue the cases of the church. These were of two sorts: those retained as pleaders to argue the cases of the church and to attend to its law matters; and advocates, or patrons of the advowson

Advocatus: A pleader; a narrator. In the civil law, an advocate; one who managed or assisted in managing another's cause before a judicial tribunal. ...

Advocatus Diaboli: In ecclesiastical law, the devils advocate; (the advocate who argues against the canonization of a saint).

Advowson: In English ecclesiastical law, the right of presentation to a church or ecclesiastical benefice; the right of presenting a fit person to the bishop; to be by him admitted and instituted to a certain benefice within the diocese, which has become vacant. The person employing this right is called the patron, (patronous) of the church, and was formerly termed advocatus, the advocate or defender, or in English, advowee. When there is no patron or he neglects to exercise his right within six months, it is called lapse; and a title is given to the ordinary to collate to the church: when a presentation is made by one who has no right, it is called a usurpation.

Afforce the Assize: In old English practice, a method of securing a verdict, where the jury disagreed, either by confining them without meat and drink, or, more anciently, by adding other jurors to the panel, to a limited extent, until twelve could be found who were unanimous.

Agency: ... The consensual relation existing between two persons, by virtue of which one is subject to the other's control. ... Agency is the fiduciary relation which results from the manifestation of consent (by one person to another) that the other shall act (on his behalf and) subject to his control, (and consent by the other so to act). Restatement, Second, Agency ss 1

Agency by Estoppel; One created by operation of law, and established by proof of such acts of the principle as reasonably lead to the conclusion of its existence. Arises where principal, by negligence in failing to supervise agents affairs, allows agent to exercise power not granted to him, thus justifying others in believing agent possesses requisite authority.

Ostensible Agency: One which exists where the principal, intentionally, or by want of ordinary care, causes a third person to believe another to be his agent who is not really employed by him.

Agency Relationship: An employment for purpose of representation in establishing legal-relations between principal and third person.

Agent; A person authorized by another to act for him, one intrusted with another's business. ...

Apparent Agent or ostensible agent: One whom the principal either intentionally or by want of ordinary care, induces third persons to believe to be his agent, though he has not, either expressly or by implication, confered authority on him. A person who, whether or not authorized, reasonably appears to third person, because of manifestations of another, to be authorized to act as agent for such other. Resteatement, Second, Agence SS 8.

Managing Agent: A person who is invested with general power involving the exercise of judgement and discretion, as distinguished from an ordinary agent or employee, who acts in an inferior capacity, and under the direction and control of superior authority, buth in regard to the extent of the work and the manner of executing the same. ...

Public Agent: An agent of the public, the state, or the government; a person appointed to act for the public in some matter pertaining to the administration of governmental or public business.

Aggressor: One who first employ's hostile force. Penn v. Henderson, 174 Or. 1. 146 P .2d 760 766.
The party who first offers violence or offense. He who begins quarrel or dispute, either by threatening or striking another.

Allegiance: Obligation of fidelity and obedience to government in consideration for protection that government gives. U.S. v. Kuhn, D.C.N.Y. 49 F.Supp. 407,414

Local or Actual Allegiance: is the measure of obedience due from a subject of one government to another government, within whose territory he is temporarily resident. From this are expected foreign sovereigns and their representatives, naval and armed forces when permitted to remain in or to pass through the country or its waters.

Natural Allegiance: In English law, that kind of allegiance which is due from all men born within the kings dominion immediately upon their birth, which is intrinsic and perpetual, and cannot be divested by any act of their own. In American law, the allegiance due from citizens of the United States to their native country, and also from naturalized citizens, and which cannot be renounced without the permission of government, to be declared by law.

Amercement: A money penalty in the nature of a fine imposed upon an officer for some or neglect of duty. ... At common law, it was assessed by the peers of the delinquent, or ... .

American Bar Association: A National association of lawyers, a primary purpose of which is the improvement of lawyers and the administration of justice. Membership in the ABA is open to any lawyer who is in good standing in his or her state.

American Bar Foundation: An outgrowth of the American Bar Asscociation given to sponsoring and funding projects in legal research, education, and social studies.

American Law Institute: Group of American legal scholars who are responsible for the Restatements in the various disciplines of the law, and who, jointly with the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws, prepare some of the Uniform State Laws, e.g. Uniform Commercial Code.

Anarchy: Absence of government, state of society where there is no law or supreme power, lawlessness or political disorder; destructive of and confusion in government.

Apex Juris: The summit of the law; a legal subtlety; a nice or cunning point of law; close technicality; a rule of law carried to an extremen point, either of severity or refinement. A term used to denote a stricter application of the rules of law than is indicated by the phrase summum jus.

Arbitrary: Means in an arbitrary manner, as fixed or done capriciously or at pleasure. Without adequate determining principle, not founded in the nature of things; nonrational; not done or acting according to reason or judgement; depending on the will alone; absolutely in power; capriciously; tyrannical; despotic; Without fair, solid, and substantial cause; that is, without cause based upon the law, not governed by any fixed rules or standard.
Ordinarily, arbitrary is synonymous with bad faith or failure to exercise honest judgement and an arbitrary act would be one performed without adequate determination of principle and one not found in the nature of things.

Arbitration: The reference of a dispute to an impartial (third) person chosen by the parties to the dispute who agree in advance to abide by the arbitrator's award issued after a hearing at which both parties have an opportunity to be heard.
An arrangement for taking and abiding by the judgement of selected persons in some disputed manner,
instead of carrying it to established tribunals of justice, and intended to avoid the formalities, the delay, the expense and vexation of ordinary litigation.

Artificial: As opposed to "Natural", means created or produced by man. ... Created by Art, ... Human Contrived.. ...

Artificial Person: Persons created and derived by human laws, for purposes of (civil) society and government, as distinguished from natural persons. Corporations are examples of artificial persons.

Assembly: The concourse of meeting together of a considerable number of persons at the same place. Also, the persons so gathered.

Political Assemblies: are those required by the constitution and laws: for example the general assembly.
The lower or more numerous branch of the legislature in many of the states is also called the Assembly or house of Assembly. See also House of Representatives.

Popular Assemblies: are those where the people meet to deliberate upon their rights; these are guaranteed by the Constitution. See Assembly, right of.

Assembly, right of: Right guaranteed by First Amendment, US Constitution, allowing people to meet for any purpose connected with government;
it encompasses meeting to protest governmental policies and actions, and the promotion of ideas. See Unlawful assembly.

Assembly, unlawful: The congregating of people which results in anti-social behavior of the group, e.g. blocking a sidewalk, obstructing traffic, littering streets; but, a law which makes such congregating a crime because people may be annoyed is violative of the right of free assembly. See Unlawful assembly.

Assize: or assise: An ancient species of court consisting of a certian number of men, usually twelve, who were summoned together to try a disputed cause, performing the functions of a jury, except that they gave a verdict from their own investigation and knowledge and not upon evidence adduced. From the fact that they sat together (assideo), they were called the assize.
A court composed of an assembly of knighs and other substantial men, with the barron or justice, in a certian place, at an appointed time.
The verdict or judgement of the jurors or recognitors of assise. 3 Bl.Comm. 57, 59.
In later English law, the name "assises" or assizes" was given to the court, time, or place where the judges of assise and nisi prius, who were sent by special commissions from the crown on circuits through the kingdom, proceeded to take indictments, and to try such disputed causes issuing out of the courts of Westminster as were then ready for trial, with the assistence of a jury from the particular county. ... These courts were accordingly abolished.
Anything reduced to a certianty, in respect to time, number, quantity, quality, weight, measure, etc.
A species of writ or real action, ... having for its object to determine the right of possession of lands, and to recover the possession. 3 Bl.Comm. 184, 185.
The whole proceedings in court upon a writ of assise. The verdict or findings of the jury upon such a writ. 3 Bl.Comm. 57.

Assiser: An assessor; juror; an officer who has the care and oversight of weights and measures.

Assissors: In Scotch law, jurors; the persons who formed that kind of court which in Scottland was called an "assise", for the purpose of inquiring into and judging divers civil causes, ..., and other matters, like jurors in England.

Assist: To help; aid; succor; lend countenance or encouragement to; participate in as an auxilkiary. To contribute effort in the complete acciomplishment of the ultimate purpose intended to be effected by those engaged.

Attainder: At common law, that extinction of civil rights and capacities which took place when ever a person who had committed treason or felony received sentence of death for his crime.
The effect of attainder upon such felon was in general terms, that all his estate, real and personal, was forfeited.
At common law, attainder resulted in three ways, viz: by confession, by verdict, and by process of outlawry.
The first case was where the prisoner pleaded guilty at the bar, or having fled to sanctuary, confessed his guilt and abjured abjured the realm to save his life.
The second was where the prisoner pleaded not guilty at the bar, and the jury brought in a verdict against him.
The third, when the person accused made his escape and was outlawed.
In the United States, the doctrine of attainder is now scarcely known, although during and shortly after the Revolution acts of attainder were passed by several of the states.

Bill of Attainder: Such special acts of the legislature as inflict capital punishments upon persons suppose to be guilty of capital offenses such as treason and felony without any conviction in the ordinary course of judicial proceedings. If an act inflicts a milder degree of punishment than death, it is called a bill of pains and penalties,but both are included in the prohibition in the Constitution Art. 1 Sec 9.

Attaint: Attained, stained, or blackened. In old English practice, a writ which lay to inquire whether a jury of twelve men had given a false verdict, in order that the judgement might be reversed. 3 Bl.Comm. 402. This inquiry was made by grand assise or jury of twenty-four persons, usually knights, and, if they found the verdict a false one, the judgement was that the jurors should become infamous, should forfeit their goods, and the profits of their lands, should themselves be imprisoned, and their wives and children thrust out of doors, should have their houses raised, their trees extirpated, and their meadows plowed up, and that the plaintiff should be restored to all that he lost by reason of the unjust verdict. 3 Bl.Comm. 404.

Attorney General: The Attorney General, as head of the Department of Justice and chief law officer of the Federal Government, represents the United States in legal matters generally and gives advise and opinions to the President and to the heads of the executive departments of the government when so requested.
The Attorney General appears in person to represent the Government in the U.S. Supreme Court in cases of exceptional gravity or importance. See also Solicitor General.
In each state there is also an attorney general, who is the chief law officer of the state. He gives advice and opinions to the governor and executive an administrative departments or agencies. In England, the principle law officer of the Crown, and head of the bar of England.

Autonomy: The political independence of a nation; the right (and the condition) of the power of self-government. The negation of a state of political influence from without or from foreign powers.





Bill of Attainder:

Bill / Commercial Paper / Bill of Exchange: I three party instrument in which first party draws an order for the payment of a sum certain on a second party for payment to a third party at a definite future time. Same as draft under U.C.C. A check is a demand bill of exchange. ...

Bill of Pains and Penalties: Statutory provision for punishment without judicial determination of guilt similar to bill of attainder except that punishment is less severe. Prohibited by U.S. Constitution, Article 1 ss 9 clause 3 (Congress), ss 10 (States).

Body Politic of Corporate: A social compact by which the whole people covenants with each citizen, each citizen with the whole people, that all shall be governed by certain laws for the common good. Uricich.v. Kolesar, 54 Ohio App. 309, 7 N.E.2d 413, 414. Also a term applied to a municipal corporation, school district, county or city. State or nation or public associations . ...
(Black's 4th has case-law citations: Bazzoli v. Larson, 40 Ohio App. 321, 178 N.E. N.E. 331, 332; Lindburg v. Bennett, 177 Neb. 66, 219 N.W. 851, 855.)

Bona Vacana: Vacant goods; unclaimed property. Generally, personal property which eschets to the state, because no owner, heuir, or next of kin claims it. Now includesd real as well as personal property and passes to the state as an incident of sovereignty.



Bones gents: In old English law, good men (of the jury).

Boni homines: In old European law, good men; a name given in early European jurisprudence to the tenants of the lord, who judged each other in the lord's courts. 3 Bl.Comm 349.

Breach of the Peace: A violation or disturbance of the public tranquility and order. State v. Boles, 5 Conn. Cir. 22, 240 A.2d 920, 927. The offense of breaking or disturbing the public peace by any riotous, forcible, or unlawful proceeding. Breach of the peace is a generic term, and includes all violations of public peace or order and acts tending to the disturbance there-of. State v. Poinsett, 250 S.C. 293, 157 S.E.2d 570, 571, 572.

Burden of Proof:

Capital: Accumulated goods, possessions, and assets, used for the production of profits and wealth. ... there are several meanings ... ...

Capitalist: One exclusively dependent on accumulated property, whether denoting a person of large wealth or one having income from investments. And individual who owns all or part of an income producing asset.


Center of Gravity Doctrine:


Certificate: A written assurance * * * that some act has or has not been done, or some event occurred, or some legal formality has been complied with. A document certifying that one has fulfilled the requirements of and may practice in a field.

Chilling Effect:

Choice of Law:

Church Courts:

Citizen: One who, under the Constitution and Laws of ... a particular state, is a member of the political community ... ... Citizens are members of a political community who, in their associated capacity, have established or submitted themselves to the dominion of a government for the promotion of their general welfare and the protection of their individual as well as their collective rights. Herriott v. City of Seattle, 81 Wash.2d 48, 500 P.2d 101, 109 . "


Citizens Arrest:

Civil Action: Action brought to enforce, redress, or protect private rights. In general, all types of actions other than criminal proceedings. N.C. 710, 104 S.E.2d 861, 863. The term includes all actions, both those formerly known as equitable actions & those known as legal actions, or, in other phraseology, both suits in equity and actions at law. ...

Civil Law: That body of law which every particular nation, commonwealth, or city has established peculiarly for itself; more properly called municipal law, to distinguish it from the law of nature, and from international law. Laws concerned with civil or private rights and remedies, as contrasted with criminal laws. The system of jurisprudence held and administered in the Roman empire, particularly as set forth in the compilation of Justinian, and his successors, - compromising the Institutes, Code, Digest, and Novels, and collectively denominated the Corpus Juris Civilus,- as distinguished from the common law of England and the canon law. ...

Civil Liberties: Personal natural rights guaranteed and protected by Constitution; eg freedom of speech, press, freedom from discrimination, etc. Body of law dealing with natural liberties, shorn of excesses which invade equal rights of others. Constitutionally, they are restrictions on government.


Civil Responsibility:

Clayton Act:

Claim of Ownership, Right and Title: As regards adverse possession, claim of land as one's own to hold it for oneself.
Claim of right, claim of title and claim of ownership are synonymous. Color of title and claim of title are synonymous. ...

Clean Hands Doctrine:

Clear and Present Danger Doctrine: Doctrine in constitutional law, first formulated in Schneck vs U.S., providing that government restrictions on freedom of speech and press will be upheld if necessary to prevent grave and immediate danger to interests which government may lawfully protect. Speech which incites unlawful action falls out-side the protections of the First Amendment where there is a direct connection between the speech and violation of the law; this is the clear and present danger test. People vs Winston ...

Clergy Privilege:



Clerk of the Peace:

Clipped Sovereignty: In the relations of the several states of the United States to other nations, the states have what is termed a clipped sovereignty. Anderson v. N. V. Transandine Handlemaatschappij, Sup., 28 N.Y.S.2d 547, 552.

Coercion: Compulsion; constraint; compelling by force of arms or threat. ... It may be actual, direct, or positive, as where physical force is used to compel act against ones will, or implied, legal or constructive, as where one party is constrained by subjugation to other to do what his free will would refuse. ...
A person is guilty of criminal coercion if, with purpose to unlawfully restrict another's freedom of action to his detriment, he threatens to: (a) commit any criminal offence; or (b) accuse anyone of a criminal offence; or (c) expose any secret tending to subject any person to hatred, contempt, or ridicule, or to impair his credit or business repute; or (d) to take or withhold action as an official, or cause an official to take or withhold action. Model penal code, ss 212.5

Cognative: The mental process of comprehension, judgement, memory and reasoning, as opposed to emotional and volitional process.

Cognator: In Roman law, an advocate or defender in a private cause; one who defended a person who was present.

Cognizable: Capable of being tried or examined before a designated tribunal; within jurisdiction of court or power given to court to adjudicate controversy.

Cognizance: Jurisdiction, or the exercise of jurisdiction, or power to try and determine causes; judicial examination of a matter, or power and authority to make it. Judicial notice or knowledge; the judicial hearing of a cause; acknowledgement, confession, recognition.

Cognomen: a name descriptive of the family. ... The first name (praenomen) was the proper name of the individual, the second (nomen) indicated the gens or tribe to which he belonged; while the third (cognomen) denoted his family or house.

Collateral attack: With respect to a judicial proceeding, an attempt to avoid, defeat, or evade it, or deny its force and effect, in some incidental proceeding not provided by law for the express purpose of attacking it. May v. Casker, 188 Okl.448, 110 P.2d 287, 289. An attack on a Judgement in any manner other than by action or proceeding, whose very purpose is to impeach or overturn the judgement; or, stated affirmatively, a collateral attack on a judgement is an attack made by or in an action or proceeding that has an independent purpose other than impeaching or overturning the judgement. Travis v. Travis Estate, 79 Wyo. 320, 334 P.2d 508, 510.

Collateral: adj. By the side; at the side; attached upon the side. Not lineal; but upon a parallel or diverging line. Additional or auxiliary; supplementary; co-operating; accompanying as a secondary fact, or acting as a secondary agent. ...

Comitas: Courtesy; civility; comity. An indulgence or favor granted another nation, as a mere matter of indulgence, without any claim of right made. ... comity between communities or nations; ... .

Comitatus: In old English law, a county or shire, the body of a county. ...
The county court, a court of great antiquity and of great dignity in early times. Also, the retinue or train of a prince or high governmental official. ... The personal following of professional warriors.

Comites: Counts or earls. Attendants or followers. Persons composing the retinue of a high functionary. Persons who are attached to the suite of a public minister.

Comites Paleys: Counts or earls palatine; those who had the government of a county palatine.

Comity: Courtesy; complaisance; respect; a willingness to grant a privilege, not as a matter of right, but out of deference and good will.
Recognition that one sovereignty allows within its territory to the legislative, executive, or judicial act of another sovereignty, having due regard to rights of its own citizens. ...
In general, principle of "comity" is that courts of one state or jurisdiction will give effect to laws and judicial decisions of another state or jurisdiction, not as a matter of obligation but out of deference and mutual respect. ... See also full faith and credit clause.

Comity of Nations: The recognition which one nation allows within its territory to the legislative, executive, and judicial acts of another nation, having due regard both to international duty and convenience, and to the rights of its own citizens or other persons who are under the protection of its laws.

Judicial Comity: The principle in accordance with which the courts of one state or jurisdiction will give effect to the laws and judicial decisions of another, not as a matter of obligation, but out of deference and respect.

Commission: A warrant or authority or letters patent, issuing from the government, or one of its departments, or a court,
empowering a person or persons named to do certian acts, or to exercise the authority of an office.
The authority or instruction under which one person transacts business or negotiates for another. ...

Commission Del Credere: In commercial law, exists where an agent of a seller undertakes to guranty to his principal the payment of the debt due by the buyer.
The phrase "del credere" is borrowed from the Italian language, in which its signification is equivalent to our word "guaranty" ot "warranty".

Commissioner: A person to whom a commission is directed by the government or a court. A person with a commission.
An officer who is charged with the administration of the laws relating to some particular subject-matter, or the management or the management of some bureau or agency of the government. Member of a commission or board. Specially appointed officer of court. ...
In the commission form of municipal government, the term is applied to any of the several officers constituting the commission. ...

Commission Government: A method of municipal governing in which the legislative power is in the hands of a few persons.

Common Law: As distinguished from law created by the enactment of legislatures, the common law comprises the body of those principles and rules of action, relating to the government and security of persons and property, which derive their authority solely from usages and customs of immemorial antiquity, or from the judgements and decrees of the courts recognizing, affirming, and enforcing such usages and customs; and in this sense particularly the ancient unwritten law of England.
The "common law" is all the statutory and case law background of England and the American colonies before the American Revolution.
"Common law" consists of those principles, usage and rules of action applicable to government and security of persons and property which do not rest for their authority upon any express and positive declaration of the will of the legislature. As distinguished from ecclesiastical law, it is the system of jurisprudence administered by the purely secular tribunals. ... In a broad sense, "common law" may designate all that part of the positive law, juristic theory, and ancient custom of any state or nation which is of general and universal application, thus marking off special or local rules or customs."

Common-Law Courts: In England; those administering the common law.

Common-Law Crime: One punishable by the force of the common law, as distinguished from crimes created by statute.

Common-Law Dedication: A "statutory dedication" is in nature of grant based on substantial compliance with terms of applicable statute, while "common law dedication" is generally held to rest upon doctrine of estoppel in pas.

Common-Law Extortion: Corrupt collection of unlawful fee by an office under color of office.

Common-Law Jurisdiction: Jurisdiction of a court to try and decide such cases as were cognizable by the courts of law under the English common law.
The jurisdiction of those courts which exercise their judicial powers according to the course of the common law.

Common-Law Lien: One known to or granted by the common law, as distinguished from statutory, equitable, and maritime liens; also one arising by implication of law, as distinguished from onecreated by the agreement of the parties. It is a right extended to a person to retain that which is in his possession belonging to another, until the demand or charge of the person in possession is paid or satisfied.

Common-Law Marriage: One not solemnized in the ordinary way (i.e. non-ceremonial) but created by agreement to marry, followed by cohabitation. ... )

Common-Law Trust: A business trust which has certain characteristics in common with corporations and in which trustees hold the property & manage the business and the shareholders are the beneficiaries of cestui que trust; sometimes known as a Massachusetts trust.

Common Lawyer: A lawyer learned in the common law. ...

Common Right: Right derivative from common law. ... Right peculiar to certain people is not a common right. ...

Commonwealth: The public or common weal or welfare. ... a republican frame of government, -- one in which the welfare and rights of the entire mass of the people are the main consideration, rather than the privileges of a class or the will of a monarch; or it may designate the body of citizens living under such government.
Sometimes it may denote the corporate entity, or the government, of a jural society (or state) possessing powers of self-government in respect to its immediate concerns, but forming an integral part of a larger government (or nation). ...
Any of the individual States of the United States and the body of people constituting the state or politically organized community, a body politic, hence, a state, especially one constituted by a number of persons united by compact or tacit agreement under one form of government and system of laws.

Communism: ... communalism, any theory or system of social organization involving common ownership of agents of production of industry. ...
A system by which the state controls the means of production and the distribution and consumption of industrial products.

Communis Opinio: Common Opinion; ... . According to Lord Coke (who places it on the footing of observance and usage), common opinion is good authority in law.

Communitas Regni Anglie: The general assembly of the kingdom of England. One of the ancient names of the English parliament. 1 Bl.Comm 148.

Community: Neighborhood, vicinity, synonymous with locality. ... People who reside in a locality in more or less proximity.
A society or body of people living in the same place, under the same laws and regulations, who have common rights, privileges, or interests. ...
It connotes a congries of common interests arising from associations - social, business, religious, governmental, scholastic, recreational.

Community of Interest: ... mixture or identity of interest in venture wherein each and all are reciprocally concerned and from which each and all derive mutual benefit and sustain mutual responsibility.

Compact: n: An agreement or contract between persons, nations, or states. Commonly applied to working agreements between and among states concerning matters of mutual concern. A contract between parties, ... in their distinct and independent characters. See also ... Confederacy, ... Treaty.

Compact: adj: Closely or firmly united or packed, as the particles of firm bodies, ... arranged so as to economize space, having a small surface or border in proportion to components or bulk; close, as a compact estate, or a compact order or formation of troops.

Competition: Contest between two rivals. ... It is the struggle between rivals for the same trade at the same time; the act of seeking or endeavoring to gain what another is endeavoring to gain at the same time. ...

Competitors: Persons endeavoring to do the same thing, and each offering to perform the act, furnish the merchandise, or render the service better or cheaper than his rival.

Complaint: ... In criminal law, a charge, preferred before a magistrate having jurisdiction, that a person named (or an unknown person) has committed a specified offense, with an offer to prove the fact, to the end that prosecution may be instituted. ... The complaint is a written statement of the essential acts constituting the offense charged. It shall be made upon oath before a magistrate. Fed R. Crim. P. 3. If it appears form the complaint that probable cause exists that the person named in the complaint committed the alleged crime, a warrant for his arrest will be issued. Fed R. Crim. P. 4.

Compounding Crime:

Compurgator: One of several neighbors of a person accused of a crime, or charged as a defendant in a civil action, who appeared and swore that they believed him on his oath.

Comte: A count or earl; In the ancient French law, the comte was an officer having jurisdiction over a particular district or territory, with functions partly military and partly judicial.

Confederacy: The association or banding together of two or more persons for the purpose of commiting an act or furthering an enterprise which is forbidden by law, or which, though lawful in itself, becomes unlawful when made the object of the confederacy. More commonly called a "conspiracy."
A league or agreement between two or more independent states, whereby they unite for their mutual welfare and for the furtherance of their common aims. ... more commonly used to denote that species of political connection between two or more independent states, by which central government is created, invested with certain powers of sovereignty, and acting upon the several component states as its units, which, however retain their sovereign powers for domestic purposes and some others.
See Compact, Confederated States, Federal Government.

Confederation: A league or compact for mutual support, particularly of nations, Such was the colonial government during the revolution. See Confederacy. Confession:4e

Confusion of rights: the effect is, generally, to extinguish the debt.

Congregate: To come together; to assemble, to meet.

Congregation: An assembly or gathering; specifically, an assembly or society of persons who together constitute the principle supporters of a particular parish, or habitually meet at the same church for religious exercises.

Congress: Formal meeting of delegates or representatives. The Congress of the United States was created by ....



Conservators of the Peace: Officers authorized to preserve and maintain the public peace. In England, these officers were locally elected by the people until the reign of Edward III, when their appointment was vested in the king. Their duties were to prevent and arrest breaches of the peace, but they had no power to arraign and try the offender until about 1360, when this authority was given to them by act of parliament, and then they acquired the more honorable appellation of justices of the peace.. 1 Bl. Comm. 351.

Consider: To fix the mind on, with a view to careful examination; to examine; to inspect.
To deliberate about and ponder over. To entertain or give head to.

Consideration: ... Some right, interest, profit or benefit accruing in one party,
or some forbearance, detriment, loss, or responsibility, given, suffered or undertaken the other.

Legal consideration: One recognized or permitted by the law as valid and lawful; as distinguished from such as are illegal or immoral.
The term is also sometimes used as equivalent to 'good' or 'sufficient' consideration.

Considered: Deemed, determined, adjudged, reasonably regarded.
For example, evidence may be said to have been 'considered' when it has been reviewed by a court to determine whether any probative force should be given it.

Constable: An officer ... (usually elected) whose duties are similar to those of the sheriff, though ... his jurisdiction is smaller.
He is to preserve the public peace, execute the process of ... courts, ... attend the sessions of criminal courts, have the custody of juries,
and discharge other functions sometimes assigned to him by local law ... . Powers and duties of constables have generally been replaced by sheriffs.
In English Law ... there were formerly high, petty, and special constables. In England, the functions of these special constables have been take over by police forces.
In Medieval law, high functionary under the French and English kings, the dignity and importance of whose office was second only to that of the monarch.
He was in general the leader of the royal armies, and had cognizance of all matters pertaining to war and arms, exercising both civil and military jurisdiction.
He was also charged with conservation of the peace of the nation.

Constant: Fixed or invariable, uniform. Continually recurring, regular, steady.

Constantly: In a constant manner, continuously.

Constat: It is clear or evident; it appears; it is certain, there is no doubt.

Constate: To establish, constitute, or ordain. 'Constituting instruments' of a corporation are its charter, organic law, or the grant of powers to it.

Constituency: The inhabitants of an electoral district.

Constituent: He who gives authority to another to act for him. The term is used as a correlative to 'attorney', to denote one who constitutes another his agent or invests the other with authority to act for him. It is also used in the language of politics as a correlative to 'representative', the constituents of a legislator being those whom he represents and whose interests he is to care for in public affairs; usually the electors of his district.

Constitution: The organic and fundamental law of a nation or state, which may be written or un-written, establishing the character and conception of it's government, laying the basic principles to which its internal life is to be conformed, organizing the government, and regulating, distributing, and limiting the functions of the different departments, and prescribing the extent and manner of the exercise of sovereign powers.
A charter of government deriving its whole authority from the governed.
The written instrument agreed upon by the people of the Union or of a particular state, as the absolute rule of action and decision for all departments and officers of the government in respect to points covered by it, which must control until it shall be changed by the authority which established it, and in opposition to which any act or ordinance of any such department or officer is null and void.
In a more general sense, any fundamental or important law or edict; as the Novel Constitutions of Justinian; the Constitutions of Clarendon.

Constitutional Law: (1) That branch of the public law of a nation or state which treats of the organization, powers and frame of government, the distribution of political and governmental authorities and functions, the fundamental principles which are to regulate the relations of government and citizen, and which prescribes generally the plan and method according to which the public affairs of the nation or state are to be administered.
(2) That department of the science of law which treats of constitutions, their establishment, construction, and interpretation, and of the validity of legal enactments as tested by the criterion of conformity to the fundamental law.
(3) A constitutional law is one which is consonant to , and agrees with, the constitution; one which is not in violation of any provision of the constitution of the particular state.

Constitutional Questions: Those legal issues which require an interpretation of the Constitution; for their resolution as distinguished from those of a statutory nature.

Constructive Notice:

Constructive Trust: Trust created by operation of law, against one who, by actual or constructive fraud, by duress, or by abuse of confidence, or by commission of wrong, or by any other form of unconscionable conduct, or other questionable means, has obtained or holds legal right to property which he should not in equity and good conscience.


Cooperation: An artificial person or legal entity created by or under the authority of the (civil) laws of a state or nation, composed, in some rare instances, of a single person and his successors, being the incumbents of a particular office, but ordinarily consisting of an association of numerous individuals.
Such entity subsists as a body-politic under a special denomination, which is regarded in law as having a personality and existence distinct from that of its several members, and which is, by the same authority, vested with the capacity of continuous succession, irrespective of changes in its membership, either in perpetuity or for a limited term of years, and of acting as a unit or single individual in matters relating to the common purpose of the association, within the scope of the powers and authorities conferred upon such bodies by law. ...


Cooperative Apartment:

Cooperative Corporation:

Cooperative Federalism:


Private Corporation:

Public Corporation:


Corpus: ...

Corpus Delicti: The body of a crime. The body (material substance) upon which a crime has been committed, e.g., the corpse of a murdered man, the charred remains of a house burned down. In the derivative sense, the substance or foundation of a crime; the substantial fact that a crime has been committed. The corpus delicti of a crime is the body or substance of the crime, which ordinarily includes two elements: the substance of the crime, and the act and the criminal agency of the act. State v. Edwards, 49 Ohio St.2d 31, 358 N.E.2d 1051, 1055.

County: The largest territorial division for local government in a State. Its powers and importance vary from state to state. In certain New England states, it exists mainly for judicial administration. ...

County courts: The powers and jurisdiction of such courts are governed by state constitutions or statutes ... some with only criminal jurisdiction ... some with exclusive jurisdictions ... .

County officers: Those ... whose duties apply only to that county, and through whom the county preforms its normal political functions. Public officers ... selected by the county to represent it continuously and as part of the regular and permanent administration of public power in carrying out certain acts with the performance of which it is charged on behalf of the public.

County palatine: A term bestowed upon certain counties in England, the lords of which in former times enjoyed especial privileges.
They might pardon treasons, murders, and felonies. All writs and indictments ran in their names; as in other counties in the king's; and all offenses were said to be done against their peace ... these privileges have in modern times nearly disappeared. .

Court: A space which is uncovered ... . ... A legislative assembly. Parliament is called in the old books a court of the king, nobility, and commons assembled.
This meaning of the word has also been retained in the titles of some deliberative bodies, such as the General Court of Massachusetts, i.e., the legislature. ...
The person and suit of the sovereign, the place where the sovereign soujourns with his regal retinue, whereever that may be.
The English government is spoken of in diplomacy as the court of St. James, because the palace of of St James is the official palace.
An organ of government, belonging to the Judicial Department, whose functions is the application of laws to controversies brought before it and the public administration of justice.
The presence of a sufficient number of the members of such a body regularly convened in an authorized place at an appointed time, engaged in the full and regular performance of its functions.
A body in the government to which the administration of justice is delegated.
A body organized to administer justice, and including both judge and jury.

Civil and Criminal Courts: The former being such as are established for the adjudication of controversies between individual parties,
or the ascertainment, enforcement, and redress of private rights;
the latter, such as are charged with the administration of the criminal laws, and the punishment of wrongs to the public. ...

Court of General Jurisdiction: A court having unlimited trial jurisdiction, both civil and criminal, though its judgements and decrees are subject to appellate review.
A superior court, a court having full jurisdiction within its own jurisdictional area.

Court of Record: A court that is required to keep a record of its proceedings, and that may fine or imprison.
Such record imports verity and cannot be collaterially attacked.

De facto Court: One established, organized, & exercising its judicial functions under authority of a statute apparently valid, though such statute may be in fact unconstitutional and may be afterward so adjudged; or a court acting under the authority of a de facto government.

Equity and Law Courts: The former being such as possess the jurisdiction of a chancellor, apply the rules and principles of chancery (i.e. equity) law, and follow the procedure in equity;
the latter, such as have no equitable powers, but administer justice according to the rules and practices of the common law. ...

Court of Law: In a wide sense, any duly constituted tribunal administering the laws of the state or nation;
in a narrower sense, a court proceeding according to the rules of the common law and governed by its rules and principles.

Court of Star Chamber:

Credit Union:


Criminal Intent: The intent to commit a crime; malice, as evidenced by a criminal act ... . ... See Mens Rea, Specific Intent.

Decanatus: A deaconry. A company of ten persons. Also a town or tithing consisting originally of ten families of freeholders. Ten tithings compose a hundred.

Decanus: In Ecclesiastical & old European law, an officer having supervision over ten, a dean. A term applied not only to ecclesiastical, but to civil and military, officers. An officer among the Saxons who presided over a friborg, tithing, decannary, or association of ten inhabitants; otherwise called a tithing man or borsholder, his duties being those of an inferior judicial officer.
Decanus militarius; a military officer having command of ten soldiers. In Roman law, an officer having the command of a company ... of ten soldiers.

Dedicate: To appropriate and set apart one's private property to some public use; as to make a private way public by acts evincing an intention to do so.

Dedication: The appropriation of land, or an easement therein, by the owner, for the use of the public, and accepted for such use by or on behalf of the public.
Such dedication may be express where the appropriation is formally declared, or by implication arising by operation of law from the owners conduct and the facts of the case. Varallo v. Metropolitian Government of Nashville & Davidson County, Tenn.App. 508 S.W. 2d 342, 346.
A deliberate appropriation of land by its owner for any general and public uses, reserving to himself no other than such as are compatible with the full exercise and enjoyment of the public uses to which the property has been devoted.
Longley v. City of Worchester, 304 Mass. 580, 24 N.E.2d 533, 537; Consolidated Realty Co. V. Richmond Hotel & Building Co., 253 Ky. 463, 69 S.W.2d 985.

De facto: In fact, in deed, actually. This phrase is used to characterize an officer, a government, a past action, or a state of affairs which must be accepted for all practical purposes, but is illegal or illegitimate. Thus an office, position or status existing under a claim or color of right such as a de facto corporation. In this sense, it is the contrary of de jure, which means rightful, legitimate, just or constitutional. Thus an officer, king, or government de facto is one who is in actual possession of the office or supreme power, but by usurpation, or without lawful title; while an officer, king, or government de jure is one who has just claim and rightful title to the office or power; but has never had plenary possession of it, or is not in actual possession. ...

De facto Court: See Court

De facto government: One that maintains itself by a display of force against the will of the rightful legal government and is successful, at least temporarily, in overturning the institutions of the rightful legal government by setting up its own in lieu thereof.

De facto judge: A judge who functions under color of authority but whose authority is defective in some procedural form.

De facto officer: One who, while in actual possession of an office, is not holding such in a manner prescribed by law.

Defendere unica manu:

Defender of the Faith:


De jure: Description of a condition in which there has been total compliance with all requirements of law.
Of right; legitimate; lawful; by right and just title. In this sense, it is the contrary of de facto.
It may also be contrasted with de grata, in which case it means as a matter of right,as de grata means by grace or favor.
Again, it may be contrasted with de equitate; here meaning by law, as the latter means by equity.

Delict: Criminal offense, tort, or wrong. crimes or misdemeanors.



Delinquency charges:

Delinquent: n. He who has been guilty of some crime, offense, or failure of duty or obligation.

Delinquent: adj.

Democracy: A form of government in which the sovereign power resides in and is exercised by the whole body of free citizens directly or indirectly through a system of representation, as distinguished from a monarchy, aristocracy, or oligarchy.

Defendere unica manu: To wage law; a denial of an accusation upon oath. See Wager of Law.

Defender of the Faith:. A peculiar title belonging to the soverei9gn of England, as that of Catholic to the king of Spain, and that of Most Christian to the king of France.
These titles were originally given by the popes of Rome; and that of Defensor Fidei was first conferred by Pope Leo X on King Henery VII, as a reward for writing against Martin Luther; ...

Dialectics: That branch of logic which teaches the rules and modes of reasoning.

Dialiage: A rhetorical figure in which arguments are placed in various points of view, and then turned to one point.

Dianatic: A logical reasoning in a progressive manner, proceeding from one subject to another.

Dicast: An officer in ancient Greece, answering in some respects to our juryman, but combining, on trials had before them, the functions of both judge and jury. The dicasts sat together in numbers varying, according to the importance of the case, from one to five hundred.

Direct Attack: A direct attack on a Judgement or decree is an attempt, for sufficient cause, to have it annulled, reversed, vacated, corrected, declared void, or enjoined, in a proceeding instituted for that specific purpose, such as an appeal, writ of error, bill of review, or injunction to restrain its execution; distinguished from a collateral attack, which is an attempt to impeach the validity or binding force of the judgement or decree as a side issue or in a proceeding instituted for some other purpose. Ernell v. O'Fiel, Tex.Civ.App., 441 S.W.2d 653, 655.
A direct attack on a judicial proceeding is an attempt to void or correct it in some manner provided by law.


District Attorney: Under the state governments, the prosecuting officer who represents the state in each of its judicial districts.
Also, the prosecuting officer of the United States government in each of the federal judicial districts. In some states, where the territory is divided, for judicial purposes, into sections called by some other name than districts, the same officer is denominated prosecuting attorney,county attorney, or state's attorney.
See also United States Attorney.

Domus dei: The house of God; a name applied to many hospitals and religious houses.

Domus sua cuique est tutissimum refugium: To every man his own house is his safest refuge. The house of every one is to him as his castle and fortress, as well for his defense against injury, and violence as for his repose. A man's dwellinghouse is his castle, not for his own personal protection merely, but also for the protection of his family and his property there-in.


Due Course of Law: This phrase is synonymous with due process of law, or the law of the land, and the general definition thereof is law in its regular course of administration through courts of justice.

Due Process of Law: Law in its regular course of administration through courts of justice. Due process of law in each particular case means such an exercise of the powers of the government as the settled maxims of law permit and sanction, and under such safeguards for the protection of individual rights as those maxims prescribe for the class of cases to which the one in question belongs.
A course of legal proceedings according to those rules and principles which have been established in our systems of jurisprudence for the enforcement and protection of private rights.
To give such proceedings any validity there must be a tribunal competent by its constitution - that is by the law of its creation - to pass upon the subject matter of the suit ... .
Due process of law implies the right of the person affected thereby to be present before the tribunal which pronounces judgement upon the question of life, liberty, or property, in its most comprehensive sense; to be heard, by testimony or otherwise, and to have the right of controverting, by proof, every material fact which bears on the question of right in the matter involved.
If any question of fact or liability be conclusively presumed against him, this is not due process of law. ... Aside from all else, due process means fundamental fairness.

Duty: ... a thing due; that which is due from another person; that which a person owes to another. A obligation to do a thing. A word of more extensive signification than debt, ...
Those obligations of performance, care, or observance which rest upon a person in an official or fiduciary capacity, as the duty of an executor, trustee, manager, etc. ...
The word duty is used throughout the Restatement of Torts to denote the fact that the actor is required to conduct himself in a particular manner at the risk that if he does not do so he becomes subject to liability to another to whom the duty is owed for any injury sustained by such other, of which that actor's conduct is a legal cause.
In use in jurisprudence, this word is correlative of right.
Thus, whenever there exists a right in one person, there also rests a corresponding duty upon some other person or upon all persons generally.

Elector: A duly qualified voter; one who has a vote in the choice of any officer; a constituent. One who has the general right to vote, and the right to vote for public officers.

Electoral college: The college or body of electors of a state also, the whole body of such electors, composed of the electoral colleges of the several states.

Elisors: Electors or choosers. Persons appointed by the court to execute writs of venire, in cases where both the sheriff and the coroner are are disqualified from acting, and whose duty it is to chose; that is, name and return; the jury. 3. Bl.Comm. 355.
Persons appointed to execute any writ, in default of the sheriff and coroner, are also called elisors.
An elisor may be appointed to take charge of a jury retiring to deliberate on a verdict, when both sheriff and coroner are dis-qualified or unable to act.

Emergency Doctrine:

Emergency Employment Doctrine:

Eminent Domain:


Ens Legis: A creature of the law, an artificial being, as contrasted with a natural person. Applied to corporations, considered as deriving their existence entirely from the law.

Entitlement: Right to benefits, income or property which may not be abridged without due process of law.

Establish: This word occurs frequently in the Constitution of the United States, and it is there used in different meanings (1) to settle firmly, to fix unalterably; as to establish justice, which is the avowed object of the Constitution.
To settle or fix firmly; place on a permanent footing; found; create; put beyond doubt or dispute; prove; convince..."

Estoppel: "Estoppel" means that party is prevented by his own acts from claiming a right to detriment of other party who was entitled to rely on such conduct and has acted accordingly. ...

Estoppel by judgement:

Estoppel in pas: The doctrine by which a person may be precluded by his act or conduct or silence when it is his duty to speak, from asserting a right which he otherwise would have had.


Ex facto jus oritur: The law arises out of the fact. A rule of law continues in abstraction and theory, until an act is done on which it can attach and assume as it were a body and shape.

Expulsion: A putting or driving out. Ejectment; banishment; a cutting off from the privileges of an institution or society permanently. The act of depriving a member of a corporation, legislative body, assembly, society, commercial organization, etc., of his membership in the same, by legal vote of the body itself.


Exclusive Jurisdiction: That power which a court or other tribunal exercises over an action or over a person to the exclusion of all other courts.
That forum in which an action must be commenced because no other forum has the jurisdiction to hear and determine the action. ...

Ex Rel: See: Ex Relatione:

Ex Relatione: Upon relation or information. Legal proceedings which are instituted by the attorney general (or other proper person) in the name and behalf of the state, but on the information and at the instigation of an individual who has a private interest in the matter, are said to be on the relation (ex relatione) of such person, who is usually called the realtor. Such a cause is usually entitled thus: State ex rel. Doe v Roe.

Ex Rigore Juris: According to the rigor or strictness of law; in strictness of law.

Fasting Men: Approved men, who were strong armed; habentes homines or rich men, men of substance; pledges or bondsmen, who, by Saxon custom, were bound to answer for each other's good behavior.


Fair and Impartial Jury: Means that every member of the jury must be a fair and impartial juror.

Fair and impartial trial: One where accused's legal rights are safeguarded and respected. A fair and impartial trial by a jury of one's peers contemplates council to look after one's defense, ... and a reasonable time in the light of all prevailing circumstances to investigate, properly prepare, and present the defense. One wherein defendant is permitted to be represented by counsel and neither witnesses nor counsel are intimidated. One wherein no undue advantage is taken by the district attorney or any one else. ... One wherein witnesses of litigants are permitted to testify under rules of court within proper bounds of judicial discretion, and under law governing testimony of witnesses with right in parties to testify, if qualified, and of counsel to be heard.
There must not only be fair and impartial jury, and learned and upright judge, but there should be atmosphere of calm in which witnesses can deliver their testimony without fear and intimidation, in which attorneys can assert accused's rights freely and fully, and in which the truth may be received and given credence without fear of violence.

Fair Hearing: One in which authority is fairly exercised; that is, consistent with the fundamental principles of justice embraced within the conception of due process of law. Contemplated in a fair hearing is the right to present evidence, to cross examine, and to have findings supported by the evidence. ...

Fair Trial: A proceeding before an impartial and disinterested tribunal; a proceeding which hears before it condemns, which proceeds upon inquiry and renders judgement only after trail consideration of evidence and facts as a whole. A basic constitutional guarantee ... . A legal trial or one conducted in all material things in substantial conformity to law. A trial which insures substantial justice. A trial without prejudice to the accused. An orderly trail before an impartial jury and judge whose neutrality is indifferent to every factor in trial but that of administering justice. One conducted according to due course of law. A trail before an impartial judge, and an impartial jury, and in an atmosphere of judicial calm. In such trial, the judge may not extend his activities so far as to become, in effect, either an assistant prosecutor, or a thirteenth juror.

Fair Credit Reporting Act:


False Judgement: In old English law, a writ which law when a false judgement had been pronounced in a court not of record, as a county court, court baron, etc.
In old French law, the defeated party in a suit had the privilege of accusing the judges of pronouncing a false or corrupted judgement, whereupon the issue was determined by his challenging them to combat or duellum. It was called the "appeal of false judgement".

False Token: In criminal law, a false document or sign of the existence of a fact, in general, used for the purpose of fraud. Device used to obtain money by false pretenses. See Counterfeit, False Weights.

Fauntleroy Doctrine:


Fealty: In feudal law, fidelity, allegiance, to the feudal lord of the manor, the feudal obligation resting upon the tenant or vassal by which he was bound to be faithful and true to his lord, and render him obedience service. Fealty signifies fidelity, the phrase feal and leal meaning simply faithful and loyal. (much more good text here)


Fecial law:

Federal: Belonging to the general government, or union of the states. ... Of or constituting a government in which power is distributed between a central authority (federal government) and a number of constituent territorial units (states). A league or compact between two or more states, to become united under one central government.

Federal Acts: Statutes enacted by Congress, relating to matters within authority delegated to federal government ... .

Federal Common Law:

Federal Government: The system of government administered in a nation formed by the union or confederation of several independent states. ... a confederation ... denotes a league or permanent alliance between several states, each of which is fully sovereign and independent, and each of which retains full dignity, organization and sovereignty, though yielding to the central authority a controlling power for a few limited purposes, such as external and diplomatic relations. In this case, the component states are the units, with respect to the confederation, and the central government acts upon them, not upon the individual citizens. ...

Fee Simple: Absolute: A fee simple absolute is an estate limited absolutely to a man and his heirs and assigns forever without limitation or condition. An absolute or fee simple estate is one in which the owner is entitled to the entire property, with unconditional power of disposition during his life, and descending to his heirs and legal representatives upon his death intestate. Such an estate is unlimited as to duration, disposition, and descendibility. Slayden v. Hardin, 257 Ky 685, 79 S.W.2d 11, 12.
The estate which a man has where lands are given to him and to his heirs absolutely without any end or limit put to his estate. 2 Bl.Comm. 106. The word fee used alone, is sufficient designation of this species of estate, and hence simple is not a necessary part of the title, but it is added as a means of clearly distinguishing this estate from a fee-tail or from any variety of conditional estates. Fee-simple signifies a pure fee; an absolute estate of inheritance clear of any condition or restriction to any particular heirs, being descendible to the heirs general, whether male or female, lineal or collateral. It is the largest estate and most extensive interest that can be enjoyed in land. (Further similarly very powerful under just the simple definition of Fee (subsection Estates))

Feud: An estate in land held of a superior on condition of rendering him services. 2 Bl.Comm 105. An inheritable right to the use and occupation of lands, held on condition of rendering services to the lord or proprietor ... .

Feudal Courts: In the 12th century, a lord qua lord had the right to hold a court for his tenants. ... The feudal principle, would have led to a series of courts, one above the other ... . The growth of the jurisdiction of the king's court removed the necessity of the feudal courts. All the incidents of the feudal system came to be regarded in a commercial spirit ... . ...

Feudalism: ... The social, political, and economic system that dominated the major European nations between the ninth and fifteenth centuries.
The system was based upon a servile relationship between a vassal and a lord. The vassal paid homage and service to the lord and the lord provided land and protection to the vassal.

Feudal System: The system of feuds. A political and social system which ... is suppose to have grown out of the particular usages and policy of the Teutonic nations ... . ... it may have existed in a rudimentary form among the Saxons before the Conquest. It formed the entire basis of real-property law of England in medieval times, and survivals of that system, in modern days, so modify and color that branch of jurisprudence, both in England and America, that many of it's principles require for their complete understanding a knowledge of the feudal system.
The feudal system originated in the relations of a military chieftain and his followers, or king and nobles, or lord and vassals, and especially their relation as determined by the bond established by a grant of land from the former to the latter.
From this it grew into a complete and intricate complex of rules for the tenure and transmition of real estate, and of correlated duties and services; while, by tying men to the land and to those holding above and below them, it created a close-knit hierarchy of persons, and developed an aggregate of social and political institutions.

Feudal Courts:

Fiat money: Paper Currency not backed by gold or silver.

Fiction of Law: An assumption or supposition of law that something which is or may be false is true, or that a state of facts exists which has never really taken place.
An assumption, for purposes of justice, of a fact which does not or may not exist.
A rule of law which assumes as true, and will not allow to be disproved, something which is false, ... .
Estoppels distinguished: ... an estoppel being the rule by which a person is precluded from asserting a fact by previous conduct inconsistent therewith on his own part or the part of those under whom he claims, or by an adjudication of his upon his rights which he cannot be allowed to question.
Presumption distinguished: Fictions are to be distinguished from presumptions of law. By the former, something known to be false or unreal is assumed as true; by the latter, an inference is set up, which may be and probably is true, but which, at any rate, the law will not permit to be controverted.
It may also be said that a presumption is a rule ... prescribed for the purpose of getting at a certain conclusion, though arbitrary,
where the subject is intrinsically liable to doubt from remoteness, discrepancy, or actual defect of proofs.

Fictitious: ... pretended, counterfeit. Feigned, imaginary, not real, false, not genuine, nonexistant. Arbitrarily invented and set up to accomplish an ulterior object.

Fictitious Action:

Fictitious Name:

Fictitious Plaintiff:





Fedelity and guarantee insurance:

Fedelity Bond:

Fidem Mentri: To betray faith or loyalty. A term used in feudal and old English law of a feudal tenant who does not keep that fealty which he has sworn to the lord.

Fide-Promissor: See Fide-Jussor.

Fides: Faith, honesty, confidence, trust, veracity, honor. Occurring in phrases bona fides (good faith), mala fides (bad faith), and umberrima fides (the utmost or most abundant good faith).

Fides est: A trust is an obligation of conscience of one to the will of another.

Fides Facta:

Fides Servanda est: ...

Fiduciary:  a trustee, ...

Fiduciary Capacity:

Field Reeve:

Fighting Words:

Folk Gemote:

Folk Right:


Force and Fear:

Forcible Detainer:

Forcible Entry:

Forcible Entry & Detainer:

Forcible Trespass:

Fraterna: In old records, a fraternity, brotherhood, or society of religious persons, who were mutually bound to pray for the good health and life ,etc., of their living brethren, and the souls of those that were dead.



Freeman: A person in the possession and enjoyment of all civil and political rights accorded to the people under a free government. In the Roman law, it denoted one who was either born free or emancipated, and was the opposite of slave.

Freeman's roll: A list of persons admitted as burgesses or freemen for the purposes of the rights reserved by the municipal corporations act. ...
The term was used, in early colonial history, in some of the American Colonies.

Free men: Before the Norman Conquest, a free man might be a man of small estate dependent on a lord. Every man not himself a lord, was bound to have a lord or be treated as unworthy of a free man's right. See Homo Liber.

Functional Obsolescence:


Fundamental Fairness Doctrine: Due process of law as applied to judicial procedure.

Fundamental Law: The law which determines the constitution of government in a nation or state, and prescribes the manner of its exercise. The organic law of a nation or state; its constitution.

Fundamental Right: Those which have their origin in the express terms of the Constitution or which are necessarily to be implied from those terms.

Future Interests: Interests in Land or other things in which the privilege of possession or of enjoyment is future and not present. An interest which will come into being at some future point in time. It is distinguished from present interest which is already in existence.

General: From Latin word genus. It relates to the whole kind, class, or order. Pertaining to or designating the genus or class, as distinguished from that which characterizes the species or individual; universal, not particularized, as opposed to special; principal or central, as opposed to local; open or available to all; as opposed to select; obtaining commonly, or recognized universally, as opposed to particular; universal or unbounded, as opposed to limited; comprehending the whole or directed to the whole, as distinguished from anything applying to or designated for a portion only. Extensive or common to many.

General Assembly: Title of the legislative body in many states. See legislature. The policy making body of the United Nations. It is composed of from one to five delegates from each member nation, although each member nation has but one vote. The highest judicatory body of the Presbyterian church,
representing in one body all of the particular churches of the denomination.

General Jurisdiction: Such as extends to all controversies that may be brought before a court within the legal bounds of rights & remedies; as opposed to special or limited jurisdiction, which covers only a particular class of cases, or cases where the amount in controversy is below a particular sum, or which is subject to specific exceptions. ...

General Law: A law that affects the community at large. A general law as contradistinguished from one that is special or local, is a law that embraces a class of subjects or places, and does not omit any subject or place naturally belonging to such class. A law, framed in general terms, restricted to no locality, and operating equally upon all of a group of objects, which, having regard to the purposes of the legislation, are distinguished by characteristics sufficiently marked and important to make them a class by themselves, is not a special or local law, but a general law. A law that relates to a subject of a general nature, or class, while one relating to particular persons or things of a class is a speciallaw.

Gerefa: In Saxon law, a greve, reve, or reeve, a ministerial officer of high antiquity, in England, answering to the grave or graf of the early continental nations. The term was applied to various grades of officers, from the shire-reve, who had charge of the county, (and whose title and office have been perpetuated in the modern sheriff) down to the ungerefa, or town reeve, and lower.


Govern: To direct or control the actions or conduct of, either by established laws or by arbitrary will.

Government: From the Latin gubernaculum. Signifies the instrument, the helm, whereby the ship to which the state was compared, was guided on its course by the gubernator or helmsman, & in that view, the government is but an agency of the state, distinguished as it must be in accurate thought from the scheme & machinery of government. ...
The system of polity in a state; that form of fundamental rules & principles by which a nation or state is governed, or by which individual members of a body politic are to regulate their social actions. A constitution, either written or unwritten, by which the rights & duties of citizens & public officers are prescribed & defined ...
The sovereign or supreme power in a state or nation. The machinery by which the sovereign power in a state expresses its will & exercises its functions; or the framework of political institutions, departments, & offices, by means of which the executive, judicial, legislative, & administrative business of the state is carried on. ...
The regulation, restraint, supervision or control which is exercised upon the individual members of an organized jural society by those invested with authority; or the act of exercising supreme political power or control.

Republican government: One in which the powers of sovereignty are vested in the people and are exercised by the people, either directly, or through representatives chosen by the people, to whom those powers are specially delegated. In re Duncan, 139 U.S. 449, 11, S.Ct. 35 L.Ed. 219; Minor v Happersett, 88 U.S. (21 Wall.) 162, 22 L.Ed. 627.

Governmental act: An act in exercise of police power or in exercise of constitutional, legislative, administrative, or judicial powers conferred on federal, state or government for benefit of public. A step physically taken by persons capable of exercising the sovereign authority of the foreign nation. Any action of the federal government, or of a state, within its constitutional power.

Governmental activity: A function of government in providing for its own support or in providing services to the public. ...
Generally, when a municipality's activity is for advantage of state as a whole, or is in performance of a duty imposed by sovereign power, activity is governmental.

Governmental agency: A subordinate creature of federal, state, or local government ... . ...

Governmental agents: Those performing services and duties of a public character for benefit of all citizens of the community.

Governmental duties: Those duties ... that have some reference to some part or element of the states sovereignty ... to be exercised for the benefit of the public, all other duties are "proprietary". Those duties that the framers of the Constitution intended each member of the states would assume in order to function under the form of government guaranteed by the Constitution.

Governmental functions: The functions of a municipality which are essential to its existence, in sense of serving public at large, and are to be distinguished from those which are private, ... When duty involves general public benefit (,) not in nature of corporate or business undertaking for corporate profit ... function is "governmental", whether duty be directly imposed or voluntarily assumed. Those ... promoting the public welfare generally. (State ex rel Gebhardt v. ...)

Governmental immunity:

Governmental interests:

Governmental powers: The totality of power which reposes in a government enabling it to carry out its proper function as a sovereign. General powers of federal government are enumerated in U.S. Constitution; powers of state governments in state constitutions, municipal governments in charters.

Governmental purpose: One which has for its objective the promotion of the public health, safety, morals, general welfare, security, prosperity and contentment of the inhabitants of a given political division.

Governmental secrets: In evidence, a privilege exists which protects the government from revealing military or diplomatic secrets or other information the disclosure of which would be contrary to the public interest.

Government de facto: A government of fact. A government actually exercising power and control, as opposed to the true and lawful government; a government not established according to the constitution of the nation, or not lawfully entitled to recognition or supremacy, but which has never the less supplanted or displaced the government de jure.
A government deemed unlawful or deemed wrongful or unjust, which, nevertheless, receives presently habitual obedience from the bulk of the community.
There are several degrees of what is called de facto government. Such a government, in its highest degree, assumes a character very closely resembling that of a lawful government. This is when the usurping government expels the regular authorities from their customary seats and functions, and establishes itself in their place, and so becomes the actual government of a country.
The distinguishing characteristic of such a government is that adherents to it in war against the government de jure do not incur the penalties of treason; and, under certain limitations, obligations assumed by it in behalf of the country or otherwise, in general, be respected by the government de jure when restored. Such a government might be more aptly denominated a government of paramount force,being maintained by active military power against the rightful authority of an established and lawful government; and obeyed in civil matters by private citizens. They are usually administered directly by military authority, but they may be administered, also, by civil authority , supported more or less by military force. Thorington v. Smith, 75 U.S. (8. Wall.) 1, 19 L.Ed. 361.

Governmental de jure: A government of right; the true and lawful government; a government established according to the constitution of the nation, and lawfully entitled to recognition and supremacy and administration of the nation, but which is actually cut off from power or control. A government deemed lawful, or deemed rightful or just, which, nevertheless, has been supplanted or displaced, that is to say, which receives not presently habitual obedience from the bulk of the community.

Government of Laws: Fundamental principle of American jurisprudence which requires decisions of courts to be based on laws, statutory and common law, irrespective of the character of the litigants and the personal predelictions of judges.

Government Tort:

Guardian: ... A general guardian is one who has the general care and control of the person and estate of his ward, while special guardian is one who has special or limited duties with respect to his ward. ...

Guardian of the Peace: A warden or conservator of the peace.

Gubernator: Lat. In Roman law, the pilot or steersman of a ship.




Hiothe: In Saxon law, an unlawful assembly from eight to thirty-five, inclusive.

Hoarding: Act of holding or acquiring goods in short supply beyond the reasonable needs of the person so holding.

Homage: In feudal law, a service (or the ceremony rendering it) which a tenant was bound to perform to his lord on receiving investiture of a fee, or succeeding to it as heir, in acknowledgment of the tenure. It is described as the most honorable service of reverence that a free tenant might do to his lord. The ceremony was as follows: The tenant, being ungirt and with bare head, knelt before the lord, the latter sitting, and held his hands extended and joined between the hands of the lord,and said:
"I become your man [homo] from this day foreward, of live and limb and earthly honor, and to you will be faithful and loyal, and bear you faith, for the tenements that i claim to hold of you, saving the faith that i owe unto our sovereign lord the king, so help me God." The tenant then received a kiss from the lord. Homage could be done only to the lord himself. "Homage" is to be distinguished from "fealty", another incident of feudalism, which consisted in the solemn oath of fidelity made by the vassal to the lord, whereas homage was merely an acknowledgment of tenure. If the homage was intended to include fealty, it was called "liege homage"; but otherwise it was called "simple homage".

Homage Jury: In feudal law, a jury in a court-baron, consisting of tenants that do homage, who are to inquire and make presentments of the death of tenants, surrenders, admittances, and the like.

Home Rule: Constitutional provision or type of legislative action whch results in providing local cities and towns with a measure of self government if such local government accepts termsof state legislation. See also Local Option.

Homines: in feudal law, men; feudatory tenants who claimed the privelage of having their causes, etc., tried only in their lord's court.

Hommes de fief: In feudal law, men of the fief, feudal tenants, the peers of the lords courts.

Homo Liber: A free man; a freeman lawfully competent to act as a juror. An allodial proprietor, as distinguished from a vassal or feudatory. This was the sense of the term in the laws of the barbarous nations of Europe.








Hue and Cry:

Hundred: Under the Saxon organization of England, each county or shire was composed of an indefinite number of hundreds, each hundred containing ten tithings, or groups of ten families of freeholders or frank-pledges.
The hundred was governed by a high constable, and had it's own court; but its most remarkable feature was the corporate responsibility of the whole for the crimes or defaults of the individual members.
The introduction of this plan of organization into England is commonly ascribed to Alfred, but the idea, as well of the collective liability as of the division, was probably known to the ancient German peoples, as we find the same thing established in the Frankish kingdom under Clothshire, and in Denmark. 1 Bl.Comm. 115; 4 Bl.Comm 411.

Hundredarius: In old English Law, a hundredary or hundredor. A name given to the chief officer of a hundred, as well as to the freeholders who composed it.

Hundredary: The chief or presiding officer of a hundred.

Hundred Court: In English law, a larger court-baron, being held for all the inhabitants of a particular hundred, instead of a manor.
The free suitors were the judges, and the steward the registrar, as in the case of a court-baron. It was not a court of record, and resembles a court-baron in all respects except that in point of territory it was of greater jurisdiction. These courts no longer exist. 3 Bl.Comm. 34, 35.

Hundreds Earldor, or hundreds man: The presiding officer in the hundred court.

Hundred-fecta: The performance of suit and service at the hundred court.

Hundred gemote: Among the Saxons, a meeting or court of the freeholders of a hundred court.
Persons impaneled or fit to be impaneled upon juries dwelling within the hundred where the cause of action arose.
It was formerly necessary to have some of these upon every panel of jurors. 3 Bl.Comm. 359 360.
The term "hundredor" was also used to signify the officer who had the jurisdiction of a hundred, and held the hundred court, and sometimes the bailiff of a hundred.

Hundred rolls: In England, rolls embodying the result of investigations made by the commissioners in 1274 into usurpations of the royal rights.

Hundred secta: The performance of suit and service at the hundred court.

Hundred setena: In Saxon law, the dwellers or inhabitants of a hundred.


Ignorantia Legis Neminem Excusat: Ignorance of Law excuses no one.

Inalienable: Not subject to alienation; the characteristic of those things which cannot be bought or sold or transferred from one person to another, such as rivers and public highways, and certain personal rights: e.g. liberty.

Infidel: One who does not believe in the existence of a God who will reward or punish in this world or in that which is to come. One who professes no religion that can bind his conscience to speak the truth.
One who does not recognize the inspiration or obligation of the Holy Scriptures, or generally recognized
features of the Christian Religion

Imparlance: In early practice ... The term signified leave given to the parties to talk together; i.e., with a view to settling their differences amicably.

In Propria Persona: In one's own proper person. It was formerly a rule of pleading that pleas to the jurisdiction of the court must be plead in propria persona, because if pleaded by attorney they admit the jurisdiction, as an attorney is an officer of the court, and he is presumed to plead after having obtained leave, which admits the jurisdiction.

Instrumentality Rile:


Insufficiency of Evidence to Support Verdict: It means that there is no evidence which ought reasonably to satisfy jury that fact to be proved is established.




Intendment of Law:

Issue of Law: An issue of law arises where evidence is undisputed and only one conclusion can be drawn there-from. Chaison v. Stark, Tex.Civ.App., 29 S.W.2d 500, 503. An issue of law arises upon a demur to the complaint or answer, or some part thereof. Calif.C.C.P. ss 589. In making motion for summary judgement, party must show that only issuers of law exist for court to consider; i.e. must show that there is no genuine issue of material facts.

Joinder: ... Compulsory joinder. A person must be joined in an action if complete relief cannot be afforded the parties without his joinder or if his interest is such that grave injustice will be done without him. Fed. R. Civ.P. 19(a). ...

Joinder of claims: Under rules of practice, a party asserting a claim, to relief as an original claim, counterclaim, cross claim or third party claim may join as many claims as he has against an opposing party whether they be legal or equitable. Fed. R. Civ.P. 18(a), New York C.P.L.R. ss 601.

Joint and Several Liability:

Judex Est Lex Loquens: A judge is the law speaking (the mouth of the law).

Judex Ordinarius: A select or selected judex or judge. In the civil law, an ordinary judge; one who had the right of hearing and determining causes as a matter of his own proper jurisdiction (ex propria jurisdictione), and not by virtue of a delegated authority. ...

Judge: An officer so named in his commission, who presides in some court; a public officer, appointed to preside and to administer the law in a court of justice, the chief member of a court, and charged with the the control of proceedings and the decision of questions of law or discretion. Todd v. u. s., 158 u.s. 278, 15 s.ct. 889, 39 l.ed. 982.
A public officer who, by virtue of his office, is clothed with judicial authority. State ex rel. Mayer v. city of Cincinnati, 60 Ohio app.2d 71, 120 p.2d 933, 937.
"Judge", "justice", and "court" are often used synonymously or interchangeably. See also Magistrate.

Judge DeFacto: One who holds and exercises the office of a judge under color of lawful authority and by a title valid on its face, though he has not full right to the office; as where he was appointed under an unconstitutional statute, or by an usurper of the appointing power, or has not taken the oath of office.

Judge-made law: a phrase used to indicate judicial decisions which construe away the meaning of statutes,
or find meanings in them the legislature never intended.
It is perhaps more commonly used as meaning, simply, the law established by judicial precedent and decisions. Laws having their source in judicial decisions as opposed to laws having their source in statutes or administrative regulations.

Judgement: A sense of knowledge sufficient to comprehend nature of transaction. ... The official and authentic declaration of a court of justice,
upon the respective rights and claims of the parties to an action or suit therein litigated and submitted to its determination.
The final decision of the court resolving the dispute and determining the rights and obligations of the parties.
The law's last word in a judicial controversy, it being the final determination by a court of the rights of the parties upon matters submitted to it in an action or proceeding. ...
Decision or sentence of the law pronounced by the court and entered upon its docket, minutes, or record. ...
Determination or sentence of the law, pronounced by a competent judge or court, as the result of an action or proceeding instituted in such court,
affirming that upon the matters submitted for its decision, a legal duty or liability does or does not exist.

Confession of Judgement: Judgement where a defendant gives the plaintiff a cognovit or written confession of the Action by virtue of which the plaintiff enters judgement.
The act of debtor in permitting judgement to be entered against him by his creditor, for a stipulated sum, by a written statement to that effect, or by warrant of attorney, without the institution of proceedings of any kind, voluntary submission to court's jurisdiction.
Such agreements for confession of judgement are void in many states.
The negotiability of an instrument is not affected by a term authorizing a confession of judgement if the instrument is not paid when due. U.C.C. ss 3-112. (See: Cognovit)

Default Judgement: A judgement rendered in consequence of the non-appearance of the defendant Fed R. Civil P. 55(a). One entered upon the failure of a party to appear or plead at the appointed time. The term is also applied to judgements entered under statutes or rules of court, or want of affidavit of defense, plea, answer, and the like, or for failure to take some required step in the cause.
Judgements rendered upon defendants default. Are : Judgement by default; Judgement by non sum informatus; judgement nihil dicit: Judgements rendered on plaintif's default are: Judgement non pros (from non prosequitur) and judgement for nonsuit (from non sequitur or ne suit pas).

Final Judgement: One which puts an end to an action at law by declaring that the plaintiff either has or has not entitled himself to recover the remedy he sues for. So distinguished from interlocutory judgements. A judgement which disposes of the subject-matter of the controversy or determines the litigation as to all parties on the merits. A judgement which terminates all litigation on the same right. Appeals in federal court s will only lie from final judgements. 28 U.S. C.A. SS n1291. See final decision.

Foreign Judgement: One rendered by the courts of a state or country politically and judicially distinct from that where the the judgement or its effects are brought into question. One pronounced by a tribunal of a foreign country or a sister state. ... Several states have adopted the Uniform Foreign Money Judgements Recognition Act, and also the Uniform Enforcement of Foreign Judgements Act.

Interlocutory Judgement: One given in the cause upon some plea, proceeding, or default, which is only intermediate, and doers not finally determine or complete the suit. One which determines some preliminary or subordinate point or plea, or settles some step, question, or default arising in the progress of the cause, but does not adjudicate the ultimate rights of the parties, or finally put the case out of court.

Merits, Judgement On: One rendered after argument and investigation, and when it is determined which party is in the right, as distinguished from a judgement rendered on some some preliminary or formal or merely technical point, or by default & without trial. A decision that was rendered on the basis of the evidence introduced. Normally, a judgement based solely on some procedural error is not a judgement on the merits. The latter kind of judgement is often referred to a dismissal without prejudice. A party who has been dismissed without prejudice can bring the same suit again, so long as the procedural errors are corrected in the later action.

Money Judgement: One which adjudges the payment of a sum of money, as distinguished from one directing an act to be done or property to be restored or transferred. A judgement or any part thereof, for a sum of money or directing the payment of a sum of money. For enforcement or satisfaction of money judgement, see Execution. Several states have adopted the Uniform Foreign Money Judgements Recognition Act.

Nil Dicit: Judgement By: Judgement for Plaintiff, rendered when defendant has appeared but failed to answer, or when answer has been withdrawn or abandoned, and no further defense is made. At common law, it may be taken against defendant who omits to plead or answer whole or any substantial part of the declaration. It amounts to judgement by confession with reference to cause of action states. Under current rules practice, such judgement is substantially identical with default judgement. See also: Nihil Dicit.

Judgement Creditor: One who has obtained a judgement against a debtor, under which he can enforce execution. A person in whose favor a money judgement is entered or a person who becomes entitled to enforce it. Owner of an unsatisfied judgement.

Judgement, Estoppel By: The estoppel raised by the rendition of a valid judgement by a court having jurisdiction. The essence of estoppel by judgement is that there has been judicial determination of a fact. ... It rests upon principles forbidding one to relitigate matters in dispute between parties which has been determined by a competent court, on ground that record of judgement imputes absolute veracity. Where subsequent proceeding is on same cause of action between same parties a former adjudication is conclusive. ... Ordinarily, estoppel of judgement does not extend to matters not expressly adjudicated.

Judicial: Belonging to the office of a Judge, as judicial authority. Relating to or connected with the the administration of justice, as a judicial officer. Having the character of judgement or formal legal procedure, as a judicial act. Proceeding from a court of justice; as a judicial writ, a judicial determination. Involving the exercise of judgement or discretion, as distinguished from ministerial.

Judicial Act: ... an act by a court or magistrate touching the rights of parties or property brought before it on voluntary appearance, or by prior action of ministerial officers. An act by member of judicial department in construing law or applying it to a particular set of facts. An act of administrative board if it goes to determination of some right protection of which is peculiar office of courts. ... an act which imposes burdens or confers privileges according to finding of some person or body whether a general rule is applicable or according to discretionary judgement as to propriety. An act which undertakes to determine a question of right or obligation or of property as foundation on which it proceeds. The action of a judge in trying a cause and rendering decision. Rendition or pronouncement of a judgement is a judicial act ... .

Judicial Action: An adjudication upon the rights of parties who in general appear or are brought before a tribunal by notice or process, and upon whose claims some decision or judgement is rendered. Action of a court upon a cause, by hearing it, and determining what shall be adjudged or decreed between the parties, and with which is the right of the case.

Judicial Activism: Judicial philosophy which motivates judges to depart from strict adherence to judicial precedent in favor o(f) progressive or new social policies which are not always consistent with the restraint expected of appellate judges. It is commonly marked by decisions calling for social engineering and occasionally these decisions represent intrusions into legislative or executive powers.

Judicial Comity: Principle in accordance with which courts of one state or jurisdiction give effect to laws and judicial decisions of another state out of deference and respect, not obligation. See also Full Faith and Credit Clause.

Judicial District: One of the circuits or precincts into which a state is commonly divided for judicial purposes;
a court of general jurisdiction being usually provided in each of such districts,
and the boundaries of the district marking the territorial limits of its authority;
or the district may include two or more counties, having separate and independent county courts, but in that case they are presided over by the same judge

Judicial Function:

Judicial Immunity:

Judicial Inquiry:

Judicial Legislation: See Judge Made Law.

Judicial Power: The authority exercised by that department of government which is charged with declaring what law is, and with its construction. The authority vested in courts and judges, as distinguished from the executive and legislative power.
Courts have general powers to decide and pronounce a judgement and carry it into effect between two persons and parties who bring a case before it for decision; and also such specific powers as contempt powers, power to control admission and disbarment of attorneys, power to adopt rules of court, etc.
A power involving exercise of judgement and discretion in determination of questions of right in specific cases affecting interests of persons or property, as distinguished from ministerial power involving no discretion. Inherent authority not only to decide, but to make binding orders and judgements. ...
Power to decide and pronounce a judgment and carry it into effect between persons and parties who bring a case before court for decision. Power that adjudicates upon and protects the rights and interests of persons and property and to that end declares, construes and applies the law.
The primary source of power of federal courts is provided in Art. III of U.S. Const., and Judiciary Act of 1789 (Title 28 of U.S. Code) See Judiciary Acts.

Judicium Deli: ... Judgement of God ...

Jura: Plural of "Jus". Rights, Laws.

Jura Eodm ... : Laws are abrogated by the same means [authority] by which they are made.

Jura In Re: In the civil law, rights to a thing;
rights which, being separated from the dominium, or right of property, exist independently of it, and are enjoyed by some other person than him who has the dominium.

Jural: Pertanining to narural or positive right; or to the doctrines of right and obligations; as 'Jural relations'.
Of or pertaining to jurisprudence, juristic, jurdicial.
Recognized or sanctioned by positive law; embraced within, or covered by, the rules and enactments of positive law.
Founded in law; organized upon the basis of fundamental law, and existing for the recognition and protection of rights.
The 'jural sphere' is to be distinguished from the 'moral sphere'; the latter denoting the whole scope or range of ethich or the science of conduct, the former embracing only such portions of the same as have been made the subject of legal sanction or recognition.
The term "jural society" is used as a synonym of "state" or 'organized jural community'.

Jural Cause: A matter or item involving law as contrasted with social obligations or ethics. A judicial matter.

Jurare est deum in testum vocare, et est actus divini cultus: To swear is to call God to witness, and is an act of religion.

Jura Majestatis: Rights of sovereignty or majesty; a term used in the civil law to designate certian rights which belong to each and every sovereignty and which are deemed essential to its existence.

Jura Mentae: Corporal Oaths.

Juramentum: In the civil law, an oath.

Juramentum Calumnie: In the civil and cammon law, an oath of calumny. An oath imposed on both parties to a suit, as a preliminary to its trial, to the effect that they are not influenced by malice or any sinister motives in prosecuting or defending the same, but by a belief in the justice of their cause. It was also required of the attorneys and proctors.

Jura Nature Sunt Immutabillia: The Laws of Nature are Unchangable.

Jura Novit Curia: The court knows the laws; the court recognizes rights.

Jura Personarum: Rights of persons; the rights of persons. Rights which concern and are annexed to the persons of men.

Jura Publica Anteferenda Privatis: Public rights are to be prefered to private.

Jura Publica Ex Privatio ...: Public rights ought not to be decided promiscuously with private.

Jurare Est Deum In Testum Vocare, Et Est Actus Divini Cultus: To swear is to call God to witness, and is an act of religion.

Jura Regalia: ... royal rights.

Jura Regia: ... royal rights, the perogatives of the crown.

Jurat: Certificate of officer or person before whom writing was sworn to. ... certificate of competent administering officer that writing was sworn to by person who signed it. ... The clause written at the foot of an affidavit, stating when, where, & before whom such affidavit was sworn.

Jurata: In old English law; a jury of twelve men sworn. Especially, a jury of the common law, ... .

Juration: The act of swearing; the administration of an oath.

Jurato Creditur in judicio: He who makes oath is to be believed in judgement.

Jurator: A juror; a compurgator.

Juratores Debent Esse Vicini, Sufficientes, Et Minus Suspecti: Jurors ought to be neighbors of sufficient estate, and free from suspicion.

Jure: By right, in right; by the law.

Jure Belli: By the right or law of war.

Jure divino: By divine right.

Jurisconsult: A jurist, a person skilled in the science of law, particularly of international law or public law.

Jure: By right, in right; by the law.

Jurisdiction: The word is of large and comprehensive import, and embraces every kind of judicial action. ...
It is the authority by which courts and judicial officers take cognizance of and decide cases. ... The legal right by which judges exercise their authority. ...
It exists when court has cognizance of class of cases involved, proper parties are present, and point to be dicided is within the powers of the court. ...
Power and authority of a court to hear and determine a judicial proceeding. ... Areas of authority; the geographical area in which the court has power, or types of cases it has power to hear.

Jurisdictional Dispute: ... There must be evidence of a threat of coercive action for the N.L.R.B. to conduct a hearing and make an assignment of the work.

Jurisdictional Facts: The matters of fact which must exist before the court can properly take jurisdiction of the particular case, as, that the defendant has properly been served with process, ...

Jurare est Deum in testum vocare, et est actus divini cultus: To swear is to call God to witness, and is an act of religion.

Juris Et Seisene Conjuctio: The union of seisin or possession and the right of possession forming the complete title. 2 Bl.Comm. 199, 311.

Juris Positivi: Of positive law; a regulation or requirement of positive law; as distinguished from natural or divine law.

Juris Publici: Of common right; of common or public use; of such things as, at least in their own use, are common to all the king's subjects; as common highways, common bridges, common rivers, and common ports.

Jus Precepta Sunt Haek; ... : These are the precepts of the law: To live honorably, to hurt nobody; to render to every one his due.

Jurisprudence: The philosophy of law, or the science which treats of the principles of positive law and legal relations.
In the proper sense of the word "Jurisprudence" is the science of law, namely, that science which has for its function to ascertain the principles on which legal rules are based so as not only to classify those rules in their proper order, and to show the relation in which they stand to one another, but also to settle the manner in which new or doubtful cases should be brought under the appropriate rules.
Jurisprudence is more a formal than a material science. It has no direct concern with questions of moral or political policy, for they fall under the province of ethics or legislation; but, when a new or doubtful case arrises to which two different rules seem, when taken literally, to be equally applicable, it may be, and often is, the function of jurisprudence to consider the ultimate effect which would be produced if each rule were applied to an indefinite number of similar cases, and to choose that rule which, when so applied, will produce the greatest advantage to the community.

Jurisprudentia Est Divinarum ... : In the civil and common law, jurisprudence, or legal science.

Juris Publici: Of common right; of common or public use; of such things as, at least in their own use, are common to all the king's subjects; as common highways, common bridges, common rivers, and common ports.

Jurist: One who is versed or skilled in law; ... . A legal scholar. The term is commonly applierd by those who have distinguished themselves by their writings on legal subjects or to judges.

Jury: A certain number of men and women selected according to law, and sworn (juriati) to inquire of certain matters of fact, and declare the truth upon evidence to be laid before them.
This definition embraces the various subdivisions of juries, as grand jury, petit jury,common jury, special jury, coroner's jury, sheriff's jury.
A jury is a body of persons temporarily selected from the citizens of a particular district, and invested with power to present or indict a person for a public offense or to try a question of fact. See trier of fact. ...

Fair and Impartial Jury: See Fair and Impartial Jury.

Foreign Jury: A jury obtained from a county or jurisdiction other than that in which the issue was joined.

Grand Jury: A jury ... who's duty it is to ... find bills of indictment in cases where they are satisfied a trial ought to be had. ...
At common law, a grand jury consisted of not less than twelve, nor more than twenty three. ...
Body of citizens, the number of whom vary from state to state, and whose duties consist in determining whether probable cause exists
that a crime has been committed
and whether an indictment (true bill) should be returned against one for such a crime. ...
It is an accusatory body, and its function does not include determining guilt.

Jury Size: ... at common law, and traditionally, a jury consisted of twelve members, ...

Inquest Jury: A jury of inquest is a body of persons summoned from a particular district before the sheriff, coroner, or other ministerial officers, to inquire of particular facts. See Inquest.

Special Jury: A jury ordered by the court, on the motion of either party, in cases of unusual importance or intricacy.
Called, from the manner in which it is constituted, a "struck jury".
At common law, a jury composed of persons above the rank of ordinary freeholders,
usually summoned to try questions of greater importance than those usually submitted to common juries.

Jury Wheel: Physical devise or electronic system for the storage and random selection of the names or identifying numbers of prospective jurors.
A machine containing the names of persons qualified to serve as grand and petit jurors, from which, in an order determined by the hazard of its revolutions, are drawn sufficient number of such names to make up the panels for a given term of court.

Jury Challenge:

(See "Words & Phrases" Citations for many other valuable insights concerning "Juries".)

Jus: ... right, justice, law; the whole body of law; also a right. ...
Jus means law,considered in the abstract; that is distinguished from any specific enactment,
the science or department of learning, or quasi personified factor in human history or conduct or social development, which we call in a general sense, the law. ...
a capacity residing in one person of controlling with the assent and assistance of the state, the actions of another. ...
Within the meaning of the maxim that ignorantia juris non excusat (ignorance of the law is no excuse), the word jus is used to denote the general law or ordinary law of the land, and not a private right.

Justice: ... Proper Administration of Laws.
In Jurisprudence, the constant and perpetual disposition of legal matters or disputes, to render to every man his due.
In Feudal law, jurisdiction: judicial cognizance of causes or offenses.
High justice was the jurisdiction or right of trying crimes of every kind, even the highest.
This was a privilege claimed and exercised by the great lords or barons of the middle ages.
Low justice was jurisdiction of petty offenses.

Jus belli:The law of war. The law of nations as applied to a state of war,
defining in particular the rights and duties of the belligerent powers themselves, and of neutral nations.
That which may be done without injustice with regard to an enemy.

Jus corone: In English law, the right of the crown, or to the crown; the right of succession to the throne.

Jus est ars boni et aequl: Law is the science of what is good and just.

Jus Gladi:

Jus Gentium:

Jus Necis: In Roman law, the right of death, or of putting to death. A right which a father anciently had over his children.

Jus non sacrum: In Roman law, that portion of the jus publicum which regulated the duties of magistrates.
Non-sacred law; that which dealt with the duties of civil magistrates, the preservation of public order, and the rights and duties of persons in their relation to the state. It was analogous to that which would
now be called
the police power.

Jus Possidendi:

Jus Privatum: Private law; the law regulating the rights, conduct, and affairs of individuals, as distinguished from public law, which relates to the constitution and functions of government and the administration of criminal justice.

Jus Publicum: Public law, or the law relating to the constitution and functions of government and its officers and and the administration of criminal justice.
It implies a right in a sovereign or public capacity to be exercised for the interest or benefit of the state or the public, as distinguished from the exercise in a proprietary capacity of a right of the sovereign or a right possessed by an individual in common with the public.
Sovereign's right of jurisdiction and dominion for governmental purposes over all lands and waters within its territorial limits.

Jus Sacrum: In Roman law; that portion of the public law which was concerned with matters relating to public worship, and including the regulation of sacrifices and the appointment of priests.
There was a general division in jus publicum between jus sacrum and jus non sacrum.

Justice: ... Proper Administration of Laws.
In Jurisprudence, the constant and perpetual disposition of legal matters or disputes, to render to every man his due.
In Feudal law, jurisdiction: judicial cognizance of causes or offenses.
High justice was the jurisdiction or right of trying crimes of every kind, even the highest. This was a privilege claimed and exercised by the great lords or barons of the middle ages. See also: Miscarriage of Justice; Obstructing Justice.

Justice of the Peace: A judicial magistrate (of English origin) of inferior rank, having (usually) jurisdiction limited to that prescribed by statute in civil matters (e.g. performance of marriages) and jurisdiction over minor criminal offenses, committing more serious crimes to higher courts.
Trend in most states has been to abolish office and courts of justice of the peace, transferring their powers and functions to other courts, e.g. municipal or district courts.

Justices of the Hundred: Hundredors, lords of the hundreds. In Old English law, they who had the jurisdiction of hundreds and held the hundred courts.

Justificators: A kind of compurgators, or those who by oath justified the innocence or oaths of others; as in the case of wager of law.

Justitia debet esse libera ... : Justice ought to be free, because nothing is more iniquitous than venal justice; full, because Justice ought not to halt; and speedy, because delay is a kind of denial.

Justitia est constas ... Justice is a steady and unceasing disposition to render to every man his due.

Justitia est virtus excellens et altissimo complacens: Justice is excellent virtue and pleasing to the most high.

Justitia firmatur solium: By justice is the throne established.

Justitia non est neganda non differenda: Justice is neither to be denied or delayed.

Justitia non novit ... : Justice knows not father nor mother; justice looks at truth alone.

Law Enforcement Officer: Those whose duty it is to preserve the peace. Frazier v. Elmore, 180 Tenn. 232, 173 S.W.2D 563, 565. See also police officer; sheriff.

Lawful Authorities: Those persons who have the right to exercise public power, to require obedience to their lawful commands, to command or act in the public name; e.g. Police.

Law of the Land: Due process of law. By the law of the land is most clearly intended the general law which hears before it condemns, which proceeds upon inquiry, and renders judgement only after trial. Deputy v. Tedora, 204 La. 560, 15 So. 2d 886, 891. The meaning is that every citizen shall hold his life liberty, property and immunities under the protections of the general rules which govern society. See Due process of law.

Legal: 1: Conforming to the law; according to law; ... good and effectual in law. 3: Cognizable in courts of law, as distinguished from courts of equity; construed or governed by the rules or principles of law, in contradistinction to the rules of equity. With the merger in most states of law and equity courts, this distinction generally no longer exists.

Legal Fiction: Assumption of fact made by a court as basis for deciding a legal question.
A situation contrived by the law to prmit a court to dispose of a matter, ... .

Legal Excuse:

Legal Fraud:

Legalis Homo:

Legalized Nuisance:

Legal Title: One cognizable or recognizable in a court of law, or one which is complete and perfect so far as regards the apparent right of ownership and possession, but which carries no beneficial interest in the property, another person being equitably entitled thereto; in either case, the antithesis of "equitable title". It may also mean appearance of title as distinguished from complete title.

Legem vadaire: In old English law, to wage law; to offer or to give pledge to make defense, by oath, with compurgators.

Leges: Laws. At Rome, the leges (the decrees of the people in a strict sense) were laws which were proposed by a magistrate presiding in the senate, and adopted by the Roman people in the comita centuriata.

Leges Angela: The laws of England, as distinguished from the civil law and other foreign systems.

Leges Nature Perfectissime ... : The laws of nature are most perfect and immutable; but the condition human law is an un-ending succession, and there is nothing in it which can continue perpetually. Human laws are born, live, and die.

Leges non scripta: In English law, unwritten or customary laws, including those ancient acts of parliament which were made before time of memory,

Legislation: ... the act of legislating; ... in contrast to court-made laws. ... Formulation of rule for the future.

Legislative Act: ... Law (i.e. statute) passed by legislature in contrast to court-made law. One which prescribes what the law shall be in future cases arising under it.

Leges vigilantibus non dormientibus, subveniunt: The laws aid the vigilant, not the negligent.

Legislature: The department, assembly, or body of persons that makes the statutory laws for a state or nation. At the federal level, and in most states, the legislature is bicameral in structure, usually consisting of two branches, i.e. upper house (Senate) and lower house (House of Representatives or Assembly). Legislative bodies at the local levels are variously called city councils, boards of aldermen, etc.

Legislative Act: Enactment of laws. Laws (i.e. statute) passed by legislature, in contrast to court-made law. One which prescribes what the law shall be for future cases arising under it .

Legislative Functions. The determination of legislative policy and its formation as rule of conduct. The formulation and determination of future rights and duties.

Legislative Power: The lawmaking powers of a legislative body, whose functions include the power to make, alter, amend and repeal laws. In essence, the legislature has the power to make laws, and such power is reposed exclusively in such body, though it may delegate rule making and regulatory powers to departments in the executive branch. It may not , however, delegate its lawmaking powers, nor is the judicial branch permitted to obtrude into its legislative powers. The enumerated powers of Congress are provided for in Article 1 of the U.S. Constitution.

Legitimate: That which is lawful, legal, recognized by law, or according to law; as legitimate children, legitimate authority, lawful power, legitimate sport or amusement.

Lex Ley de ... : The law of God and the law of the land are all one; and both preserve and favor the common and public good of the land.

Le ley est ... : The law is the highest inheretance that the king possesses, for by the law both he and all his subjects are ruled; and if there were no law, there would be neithr king nor inheretance.

Levy Court:

Levying War: In criminal law, the assembling of a body of men for the purpose of effecting by force a treasonable object; and all who perform any part, however minute, or however remote from the scene of action, and who are leagued in the general conspiracy, are considered as engaged in levying war within the meaning of the constitution.
The words include forcible opposition, as the result of a combination of individuals, to the execution of any public law of the United States; and to constitute treason within the meaning of the Federal Constitution, there must be a combination of individuals united for the common purpose of forcibly preventing the execution of some public law and the actual or threatened use of force by the combination to prevent its execution. ...


Lex Est Dictamen Rationis: Law is the dictate of reason. The common law will judge according to the law of nature and the public good.

Lex Est Norma Recti: Law is a rule of right.

Lex Non Scripta: The unwritten or common law, which included general and particular customs, and particular local laws.

Lex Scripta: Written law ; law deriving its force, not from usage, but from express legislative enactment, statute law.

Lex Terra: The law of the land. The common law, or the due course of the common law; the general law of the land. Equivalent to due process of law. In the strictest sense, trial by oath; the privilege of making oath.

Ley Gager:



Liberties: Privileged districts exempt from the sheriff's jurisdiction; as goal liberties. See Goal. In colonial times, laws or legal rights resting upon them. The early colonial ordinances in Massachusetts were termed laws & liberties, and the code of 1641 the Body of Liberties. ... Formerly, political subdivisions of Philadelphia; as, Northern Liberties. (Blacks 4th)

Liberty: Freedom; exemption from extraneous control. Freedom from all restraints except such as are justly imposed by law. Freedom from restraint, under conditions essential to the equal enjoyment of the same right by others; freedom regulated by law. The absence of arbitrary restraint, not immunity from reasonable regulations and prohibitions imposed in the interests of the community. Arnold v. Board of Barber Examiners, 45 N.M. 57, 109 P2d 779, 785. ... The word liberty includes & comprehends all personal rights & their enjoyment. ... It embraces ... freedom of occupation, Koos v. Saunders, 349 Ill. 442, 182 N.E. 415, 418; ... freedom of Religion ... right to carry on business, Mile. Reif, Inc., v. Randu, 166 Misc. 247, 1 N.Y.S.2d 515, 518; right to earl livelihood in any lawful calling, ... Committee for Industrial Organization v. Hague, D.C.N.J., 25 F.Supp. 127, 141; right to engage in a lawful business ... State board of Barber Examiners v. Cloud, 220 Ind. 552, 44 N.E.2d 972, 982; ... right to freely buy & sell as others may; right to live & work where one will, People v. Wood, 151 Misc, 66, 272 N.Y.S. 258 ... right to pursue chosen calling, People v. Cohen, 255 App.Div. 485, 8 N.Y.S.2d 70, 72 ... .

Liberty on its positive side, denotes the fullness of individual existence; on its negative side it denotes the necessary restraint on all, which is needed to promote the greatest possible amount of liberty for each. ... The word liberty as used in the state & federal constitutions means, in a negative sense, freedom from restraint, but in a positive sense, it involves the idea of freedom secured by the imposition of restraint, & it is in thispositive sense that the state, in the exercise of its police powers, promotes the freedom of all by the imposition upon particular persons of restraints which are deemed necessary for the general welfare. Fitzimmons v. New York State Athletic Commission, Sup., 146, N.Y.S. 117 121.

Term liberty as used in Constitution means more than freedom from arrest or restraint & includes freedom of action, freedom to own, control, & use property, freedom to pursue any lawful trade, business or calling, & freedom to make all proper contracts in relation thereto. State v. Nuss, 79 S.D. 522, 114 N.W.2d 633, 635.
Also, a franchise or privilege, being some part of the sovereign power vested in an individual, either by grant or by prescription. The term in the expression, rights, liberties, & franchises, as a word of the same general class & meaning with those words &privileges. This use of the term is said to have been strictly comfortable to its sense as used in Magna Charta & in English declarations of rights, statutes, grants, etc.
In the derivative sense, the place, district, or boundaries within which a special franchise is enjoyed, an immunity claimed, or a jurisdiction exercised. In this sense, the term is commonly used in the plural; as the liberties of the city.

Civil Liberty: The liberty of a member of society, being a man's natural liberty, so far as restrained by human laws and no further as is necessary and expedient for the general advantage of the public. 1 Bl.Comm 125. The power of doing whatever the laws permit. 1 Bl.Comm, 6.
The greatest amount of absolute liberty which can, in the nature of things, be equally possessed by every citizen in a state.
Guaranteed protection against interference with the interests and rights held dear; important by large classes of civilized men, or by all the members of a state, together with an effectual share in the making and administration of the laws, as the best apparatus to secure that protection. ...

Liberty of Conscience: Liberty for each individual to decide for himself what is to him religious. Gobitis v. Minersville School Dist., D.C. Pa., 21 F.Supp. 581, 584. See, also, Religious liberty as defined below.

Natural Liberty: The power of acting as one thinks fit, without any restraint or control, unless by the law of nature. The right which nature gives to all mankind of disposing of their persons & property after the manner they judge most consistent with their happiness, on condition of their acting within the limits of the law of nature, & so as not to interfere with the equal exercise of the same rights by other men. 1 Bl.Comm. 125

Religious Liberty: Freedom, as guaranteed by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, from dictation, constraint, or control in matters affecting the conscience, religious beliefs, & the practice of religion. Freedom to entertain & express any or no system of religious opinions, and to engage in or refrain from any form of religious observance or public or private religious worship, not inconsistent with the peace & good order of society & the general welfare. See also Religion; Religious Freedom.

Personal liberty: The right or power of locomotion; of changing situation , or moving one's person to whatsoever place one's own inclination may direct, without imprisonment or restraint, unless by due course of law. Civil Rights Cases, 109 U.S. 3, 3 S.Ct. 42, 27 L.Ed. 835.

Political Liberty: Liberty of the Citizen to participate in the operations of government, and particularly in the making and administration of the laws.

Liberty to Hold Pleas: The liberty of having a court of one's own. Thus certain lords had the privilege of holding pleas within their own manors. (Blacks 4th)

Liberum Servitum: Free Service. Service of a war-like sort by a feudatory tenant; also Servitium liberum. Service not unbecoming the character of a freeman and a soldier to perform; as to serve under the lord in his wars, to pay a sum of money, and the like. 2 Bl.Comm. 60.

License: The permission to do * * * an act which, without such permission, would be illegal, a trespass, or a tort. Permission to do something which without the license would not be allowable. Privilege from the state or sovereign. A permit * * * to pursue some occupation or to carry on some business subject to regulation under the police power. Authority to carry on some trade or business which would otherwise be unlawful. A license confers upon licensee neither contractual, nor vested rights. Nor does it create a property right.

Local Government: City, county, or other governing body at a level smaller than a state. Local government has the greatest control over real property, zoning, and other local matters.

Locality of a Lawsuit: Place where judicial authority may be exercised. ... See also Venue.

Local Law:
... The law of a particular jurisdiction as contrasted with the law of a foreign state. Term is used in conflicts to describe the power of the forum to determine questions of procedure while acknowledging the law of the situs to govern substantive questions.

Local Option: An option of self-determination available to municipality or other governmental unit to determine a particular course of action without specific approval from state officials. Local option is often used in local elections to determine whether the selling and consumption of alcoholic beverages will be permitted in local areas. Such is also used in many states, to permit home rule elections for determining the structure of local government units. See also Home Rule.

Loquela: A colloquy; talk. In old English law, this term denoted the oral arguments of the parties to a suit which led to the issue, now called the pleadings. It also designated an imparlance both names evidently referring to the talking together of the parties.

Lord: A Feudal Superior.

Magic: In English statutes, witch-craft and sorcery.

Magister cancellari: In old English law, master of the chancery; master in chancery. These officers were said to be magistri,because they were priests.

Magisterial precinct: In some American states, a local subdivision of a county, defining the territorial jurisdiction of justices of the peace and constables; also called magisterial district.

Magistracy: This term may have a more or less extensive signification according to the use and connection in which it occurs. In its widest sense it includes the whole body of public functionaries, whether their offices be legislative, judicial, executive, or administrative. In a more restricted (and more usual) meaning, it denotes the class of officers who are charged with the application and execution of the laws. In a still more confined use, it designates the body of judicial officers of the lowest rank, and more especially those who have jurisdiction for the trial and punishment of petty misdemeanors or the preliminary stops of a criminal prosecution, such as police judges and justices of the peace. The term also denotes the office of a magistrate.

Magistralia brevia: In old English practice, magisteral writs; writs adapted to special cases, so called from being framed by the clerks of the chancery.

Magistrate: The term in its generic sense refers to a person clothed with power as a public civil officer, or a public civil officer invested with executive or judicial power. Minor officials or officers with limited judicial authority, e.g. justices of the peace. In a general sense, a magistrate is a public officer, possessing such power, legislative, executive, or judicial, as government appointing him may ordain, although in a narrow sense he is regarded as an inferior judicial officer.

Maghistrate's courts: The jurisdiction of these courts of limited jurisdiction differs from state to state. Such may be divisions of courts of general jurisdiction, and may have concurrent jurisdiction with other courts. Commonly their jurisdiction is restricted to the handling of minor offenses, small claims or preliminary hearings.

Mala in se: Wrongs in themselves; acts morally wrong; offenses against conscience.

Malum in se: A wrong in itself; an act or case involving illegality from the very nature of the transaction, upon principles of natural, moral, and public law. An act is said to be malum in se when it is inherently and essentially evil, that is, immoral in its nature and injurious in its consequences, without any regard to the fact of its being noticed or punished by the law of the state.
Such are most or all of the offences cognizable at common law (without the denouncement of statute); as murder larceny, etc. Mala Prohibita: Prohibited wrongs or offences; acts which are made offences by positive law, and prohibited by such. Acts or omissions which are made criminal by statute: but which, of themselves, are not criminal. Generally, no criminal intent, or mens rea is required and the mere accomplishment of the act or omission is sufficient for criminal liability. Term is used in contrast to mala in se which are acts which are wrongs in themselves such as robbery.

Malum Prohibitum: A wrong prohibited; a thing which is wrong because prohibited; an act which is not inherently immoral, but becomes so because its commission is expressly forbidden by positive law; an act involving illegality resulting from positive law. Contrasted with malum in se.

Malice: The intentional doing of a wrongful act without just cause or excuse, with an intent to inflict an injury or under circumstances that the law will imply an evil intent. ... A condition of the mind showing a heart regardless of social duty and fatally bent on mischief. ... it is that state of mind which is reckless of law and of the rights of the citizen.

Malice a-fore-thought: A predetermination to commit an act without legal justification or excuse. A malicious design to injure. The intentional doing of an unlawful act which was determined upon before it was executed. ... an intent to act in callous and wanton disregard to the consequences to human life ... .

Mancipium: Lat. ... slaves are frequently called mancipia in the non-legal Roman authors. To form a clear conception of the true import of the word in Roman jurisprudence, it is necessary to advert to the four distinct powers which were exercised by the pater familias, vis; ... When the pater familias sold his son , venum dare , mancipare, the paternal power was succeeded buy the mancipium, or the power acquired by the purchaser over the person whom he held in mancipio, and whose condition was assimilated to that of a slave.

Mens Rea: A guilty mind; a guilty or wrongful purpose, a criminal intent. Guilty knowledge and willfulness. See also Knowledge.

Minister: Person acting as agent for another in performance of specified duties or orders. A person ordained according to the usages of some church or associated body of Christians for the preaching of the Gospel and filling the pastoral office. In England, holder of governmental office, e.g. Prime Minister.

Public law: One of the highest functionaries in the organization  of civil government, standing next to the sovereign or executive head, acting as his immediate auxiliary, and being generally charged with the administration of one of the great bureaus or departments of the executive branch of government. Otherwise called a cabinet minister, secretary of state,or secretary of a department.

International law: An officer appointed by the government of one nation as a mediator or arbitrator between two other nations who are engaged in a controversy, ... ."

Ministri regis: In old English law, ministers of the king, applied to the judges of the realm, and to all those who hold ministerial offices in the government.

Ministerial: That which is done under authority of a superior. That which involves obedience to instructions. Official's duty is ministerial when it is absolute, certain and imperative, involving merely execution of a specific duty arising from fixed and designated facts.

Ministerial duty: One regarding which nothing is left to discretion - a simple and definite duty, imposed by law, and arising under conditions admitted or proved to exist.

Ministerial function: A function as to which there is no occasion to use judgement or discretion. Hood Motor Co., Inc. v. Lawrence, La., 320So.2d 111,115.

Ministerial officer: One whose duties are ¦ requiring obedience to the mandates of superiors, and not involving the exercise of judgement or discretion.

Moral Turpitude: The act of baseness, vileness or the depravity in private & social duties which man owes to his fellow man, or to society in general, contrary to accepted & customary rule of right and duty between man and man. State v. Adkins, 40 Ohio App.2d 473, 320 N.E.2d 308, 311, 69 O.O.2d 416.
Act or behavior that gravely violates moral sentiment or accepted moral standards of community and is a morally culpable quality (held to be present in some criminal offences as distinguished from others.) ... The quality of a crime involving grave infringement of the moral sentiment of the community as distinguished from statutory mala prohibitia. People v. Ferguson, 55 Misc.2d 711, 286 N.Y.S .2d 976, 981. See also Turpitude.





Munera: In the early ages of feudal law, the name given to the grants of land made by a king or chieftain to his followers, which were held by no certain tenure, but merely at the will of the lord.

Municipal Corporation: A legal institution formed by charter from sovereign (i.e. state) power erecting a populous community of prescribed area into a body politic and corporate with corporate name and continuous succession and for the purpose and with the authority of subordinate self-government.

Municipal Affairs: ... it has come to include public service activities ... which were once regarded as being of a strictly private nature.

Municipal Function: ... functions are those which specially and peculiarly promote the comfort, convenience, safety and happiness of the citizens of the municipality, rather than the welfare of the general public. ...

Municipality: ... A body politic created by the incorporation of the people of a prescribed locality invested with subordinate powers of legislation ...

Nation: A people, or aggregate of men, existing in the form of an organized jural society, usually inhabiting a distinct portion of the earth, speaking the same language, using the same customs, possessing historic continuity, and distinguished from other like groups by their racial origin and characteristics, and generally b ut not necessarily living under the same government and sovereignty.

National Emergency: A state of national crisis; a situation demanding immediate and extraordinary national or federal action. Congress has made little or no distinction between a state of national emergency and a state of war. Brown v. Bernstein/ D.C. Pa. 49 F.Supp. 728, 732.

Natural: The juristic meaning of this term does not differ from the vernacular, except in the cases where it is user in opposition to the tem legal; and then it means proceeding from or determined by physical causes or conditions, as distinguishable from positive enactments of law, or attributable to the nature of man rather than to the commands of law, or based upon moral rather than legal considerations or sanctions.

Natural Law: This expression ... was largely used in the philosophical speculations of the Roman jurists of the Antonine age, and was intended to denote a system of rules and principles for the guidance of human conduct which independently of enacted law or of the systems peculiar to any one people, might be discovered by the rational intelligence of man, and would be found to grow out of and conform to his nature, meaning ... his whole mental, moral, and physical constitution.
The point of departure for this conception was the Stoic doctrine of a life ordered according to nature which in its turn rested upon the <debated / purely suppositious> existence, in primitive times, of a state of nature ... a condition of society in which men universally were governed solely by a rational and consistent obedience to the needs, impulses, and promptings of their true nature, such nature being as yet undefaced by dishonesty, falsehood, or indulgence of the baser passions.
In ethics, it consists of practical universal judgements which man himself elicits. These express necessary and obligatory rules of human conduct which have been established by the author of human nature as essential to the divine purpose of the universe and have been promulgated by God solely through human reason.

Natural Rights: Those which grow out of nature of man, and depend upon his personality and are distinguished from those which are created by positive laws enacted by a duly constituted government to create an orderly civilized society.

Necessitas est lex temporis et loci: Necessity is the law of time and place.

Necessitas facit licitum quod alias non est licitum: Necessity makes that lawful which otherwise is not lawful.

Necessitas publica major est quam privita: Public necessity is greater than private. Death, it has been observed, is the last and furthest point of particular necessity, and the law imposes it upon every subject that he prefer the urgent service of his king and country before the safety of his own life.



Neighborhood: ... a more immediate vicinity, vicinage ... As used with reference to a person's reputation, neighborhood means in general any community or society where person is well known and has established a reputation.

Nihil Dicit

Nihil Dicit Judgement:

Nihil habet forum ex scena: The court has nothing to do with what is not before it.

Nihil infra regnum: Nothing preserves in tranquility and concord those who are subject to the same government better than a due administration of the laws.

Nihil in lege intelerabillius est eaandem rem diverso jure censeri: Nothing is more intolerable in law than that the same matter, thing, or case should be subject to different views of law.

Nisi: (naysay) Latin. Unless. The word is often affixed, as a kind of elliptical expression, to the words rule, order, Decree, Judgement, or Confirmation,
to indicate that the adjudication spoken of is one which is to stand as valid and operative
unless the party affected by it shall appear and show cause against it, or take some other appropriate step to avoid it or procure its revocation.
Thus a decree nisi is one which will definitely conclude the defendant's rights unless, within the prescribed time, he shows cause to set it aside or successfully appeals.
The word, in this sense, is opposed to absolute.

Nisi Decree: An interim decree or order which will ripen into a final decree unless something changes, or some event takes place.

Nisi Feceris: The name of a clause commonly occurring in the old manorial writs, commanding that,
if the lords failed to do justice, the kings court or officer should do it.
By virtue of this clause, the king's court usurped the jurisdiction of the private, manorial, or local courts.

Nisi Prius: (naysay prayus): The nisi prius courts are such as are held for the trial of issues of fact before a jury and one presiding judge.
In America, the phrase was formerly used to denote the forum in which the cause was tried to a jury.

Nisi Prius Clause:

Notary Public: A pubic officer whose function is to administer oaths;
to attest and certify, by his hand and official seal, certain classes of documents, in order to give them credit and authenticity in foreign jurisdictions;
to take acknowledgments of deeds and other conveyances, and certify the same; and to perform official acts, chiefly in commercial matters,
such as protesting of notes and bills, the noting of foreign drafts, and marine protests in cases of loss or damage.
One who is authorized by the state or federal government to administer oaths, and to attest to the authenticity of signatures.

Nuisance: That which annoys and disrupts one in possession of his property, rendering its ordinary use or occupation physically uncomfortable to him.
Everything that endangers life or health, gives offense to senses, violates laws of decency, or obstructs reasonable and comfortable use of property.
That class of wrongs that arise from the unreasonable, unwarrantable, or unlawful use by a person of his own property, or from his own improper, indecent, or unlawful personal conduct, working an obstruction of or injury to the right of another or the public, and producing such material annoyance, inconvenience, discomfort, or hurt, that the law will presume resulting damage.
Nuisances are commonly classed as public, private, and mixed.
Maintaining a public nuisance is by act, or failure to perform a legal duty, intentionally causing or permitting a condition to exist which injures or endangers the public health, safety, or welfare. ...

Oath: Any form of attestation by which a person signifies that he is bound in conscience to preform an act faithfully and truthfully. ...
An affirmation of truth of a statement which renders one willfully asserting untrue statements punishable for perjury.
An outward pledge by the person taking it that his attestation or promise is made under an immediate sense of responsibility to God.
Solemn appeal to the Supreme Being in attestation of the truth of some statement.
An external pledge or asseveration, made in verification of statements made, or to be made, coupled with an appeal to a sacred or venerated object, in evidence of the serious and reverent state of mind of the party, or with an invocation to the supreme being to witness the words of the party, and to visit him with punishment if they be false.
In its broadest sense, the term is used to include all forms of attestation by which a party signifies that he is bound in conscience to preform the act faithfully & truly.



Oderant peccare boni, virtutis anore; oderunt peccare nali, formidine poenae: (Black's 3rd p. 1282)
"Good men hate to sin through love of virtue; bad men through fear of punishment."



Ordinandi Lex: The law of procedure, as distinguished from the substantial part of the law.

Ordinarius ita dictur qula habet ordinariam jurisdictionem, in jure proprio, et non propter deputationem:
The ordinary is so called because he has an ordinary jurisdiction in his own right, and not a deputed one.

Ordinary: (noun)): At common law, one who had exempt and immediate jurisdiction in causes ecclesiastical.
Also, a bishop; and an archbishop is the ordinary of the whole province, to visit and receive appeals from inferior jurisdictions.
Also a commissary or official of a bishop or other ecclesiastical judge having judicial power; an archdeacon; officer of the royal household.
In American law; a judicial officer, in several of the states, clothed by statute with powers in regard to wills, probate, administration, guardianship,etc.
See also Court of Ordinary. ... In the civil law, a judge who has authority to take cognizance of causes by his own right, and not by deputation.

Ordinary: (adj): Ordinary Proceeding: Such a proceeding as was known to the common law, and was formerly conducted in accordance with proceedings of the common-law courts, and is generally known under the current Rules of Civil Procedure and Codes to be such a proceeding as is started by the issuance of a summons and results in a judgement enforceable by execution.


Or Tenus: By word of mouth; orally. Pleading was anciently carried on tenus, at the bar of the court. 3.Bl.Comm. 293.

Ore Tenus Rule: Under the "or tenus rule", reviewing court must affirm the trial court unless its findings are plainly and palpably erroneous.

Organic Act: ... A statute by which a municipal corporation is organized and created is its organic act and the limit of its power, so that all acts beyond the scope of the powers there granted are void.

Organic Law: The fundamental law, or constitution, of a state or nation, written or unwritten.
That law or system of laws or principles which defines and establishes the organization of its government.

Organization: Organization includes a corporation, government or governmental subdivision or agency, business trust, estate, trust, partnership, or association, two or more persons having a joint or common interest, or any other legal or commercial entity.

Organize: To establish or furnish with organs; to systemize; to put into working order; to arrange in order for normal exercise of its appropriate functions.

Organized County: A county which has its lawful officers, legal machinery, and means for carrying out the powers and performing the duties pertaining to it as a quasi municipal corporation.


Original: Primitive; first in order, bearing its own authority, and not deriving authority from an outside source; as original jurisdiction, original writ, etc. ...

Original Jurisdiction: Jurisdiction in the first instance.
Jurisdiction to take cognizance of a cause at its inception, try it, and to pass judgement on the law and the facts. Distinguished from Appellate jurisdiction.



Outlaw: In English law, one who is put out of the protection or aid of the law. 3 BlComm. 283, 284. Popularly, a person violating the law, a fugitive.

Outlawry: In old English law, a process by which a defendant or person in contempt on a civil or criminal process was declared an outlaw.
If for treason or other felony, it amounted to a conviction and attainer. ...

Papal Supremacy:

Paramount Title:

Patria potestas: Lat.: Roman law, paternal authority; the paternal power.
This term denotes the aggregate of those peculiar powers and rights which by the civil law of Rome,
belonged to the head of a family in respect to his wife, children (natural or adopted), and any more remote descendants who sprang from him through males only.
Anciently , it was of very extensive reach, embracing even the power of life and death,
but was gradually curtailed, until finally it amounted to little more than a right in the paterfamilas to hold as his own any property or acquisitions of one under his power.

Pax Regis: The peace of the king; that is, the peace, good order, and security for life and property which is one of the objects of government to maintain,
and which the king, as the personification of the power of the state, is suppose to guaranty to all persons within the protection of the law.
This name was also given, in ancient times, to a certian privelaged district or sanctuary.
The pax regis, or verge of the court, as it was afterwards called, extended from the palace gate to the distance of
three miles, three furlongs, three acres, nine feet, nine palms, and nine barleycorns.

Peace: That state and sense of safety which is necessary to the comfort and happiness of every citizen, and which government is instituted to secure. State v. Boles, 5 Conn.Cir. 22, 240 A.2d 920, 927.
Term, within law of breach of the peace, means tranquility enjoyed by citizens of the municipality or community where good order reigns among its members.
The tranquility enjoyed by a political society internally, by the good order which reigns among its members,
externally by the good understanding which it has with all other nations.
Applied to the internal relations of a nation, peace imports, in a technical sense, not merely a state of repose and security as opposed to one of violence or warfare,
but likewise a state of public order and decorum. Catlette v. U.S., C.C.A.W.Va., 132 F.2d 902, 906. ...

Conservator of the Peace: see Conservator.

Justice of the Peace: See that title.

Peace and Quietude: Public tranquility and obedience to law, and that public order and security which is commanded by the laws of a particular sovereign.

Peace Officers: The term is variously defined by statute in different states; but generally it includes
sheriffs and their deputies, constables, marshals, members of the police force of cities, and other officers whose duties it is to enforce and preserve the public peace.
In general, any person who has been given general authority to make arrests.
Generally a "peace officer" is a person designated by public authority to keep the peace and arrest persons guilty or suspected of crime,
and he is a conservator of the peace, which term is synonymous with the term "peace officer". Vandiver v. Manning, 215 Ga. 874, 114 S.E.2d 121, 124.

Peace of God and the Church: In old English law, that rest and cessation which the king's subjects had from trouble and suit of law between the terms and on Sundays and holidays.

Public Peace: The peace or tranquility of the community in general; the good order and repose of the people comprising a state or municipality.
That invisible sense of security which every man feels so necessary to his comfort, and for which all governments are instituted.

Public Peace and Quiet: Peace, tranquility, & order & freedom from agitation or disturbance; the security, good order, & decorum guaranteed by civil society and by the law.

Peace of the state: The protection security and immunity from violence which the state undertakes to secure and extend to all persons within its jurisdiction entitled to the benefit of its laws.
This is part of the definition of murder, it being necessary that victim should be in the peace of the state, which now practically includes all persons except armed public enemies. See Murder. And see Starte v. Dunkley, 25 N.C. 121 (Blacks 4th)

Peaceable: Free from the character of force, violence, or trespass; as a "peaceable entry" on lands.
Peaceable possession" of real estate is such as is acquiesced in by all other persons, including rival claimants,
and not disturbed by any forcible attempt at ouster nor by adverse suits to recover the possession or the estate. Stanley v. Schwalby, 147 U.S. 508, 13 S.Ct. 418, 37 L.Ed. 259.

People: A state; as the people of the state of New York. A nation in its collective and political capacity.
The aggregate or mass of individuals who constitute the state.
... In a more restricted sense, and as generally used in constitutional law, the entire body of those citizens of a state or nation who are invested with political power for political purposes. See also, Citizen, Person.

Peace Bond: Type of surety bond required by a judge or magistrate of one who has threatened to breach the peace.

Person: In general usage, a human being (i.e. natural person), though by statute term may include a firm, labor organizations, partnerships, associations, corporations, legal representatives, trustees, trustees in bankruptcy, or receivers.

Police: Branch of government which is charged with peservation of public order and tranquility, the promotion of public health, safety, and morals, and the prevention, detection and punishment of crimes.
See also: Internal Police; Peace (Peace Officers); Sheriff.

Police Justice: A magistrate charged exclusively with the duties incident to with common law office of a conservator or justice of the peace;
the prefix "police" serving to distinguish them from justices having also civil jurisdiction.

Police Magistrate: An inferior judicial officer having jurisdiction of minor criminal offences, breaches of police regulations, and the like; so called to distinguish them from magistrates who have jurisdiction in civil also, as justices of the peace.

Police Officer: One of the staff of men employed in cities and towns to enforce the municipal laws and ordinances for preserving the peace, safety, and good order of the community.
Also called "policeman" or "policewoman"; "patrolman" or "patrolwoman".

Police Power: Authority conferred by the American constitutional system in the Tenth Amendment, U.S. Const., upon the individual states, and, in turn, delegated to local governments, through which they are enabled to establish a special department of police; adopt such laws and regulations as tend to prevent the commission of fraud and crime, and secure generally the comfort, safety, morals, health, and prosperity of its citizens by preserving the public order, preventing a conflict of rights in the common intercourse of the citizens, and insuring to each an uninterrupted enjoyment of all of the privileges conferred upon him or her by the general laws.
The power of the State to place restraints on the personal freedom and property rights of persons for the protection of the public safety, health, and morals; or the promotion of the public convenience and general prosperity.
The police power is subject to limitations of the federal and State Constitutions, and especially to the requirement of Due Process.
Police power is the exercise of the sovereign right of a government to promote order, safety, health, morals, and general welfare, within constitutional limits; and is an essential attribute of government.

Policy: The general principles by which a government is guided ... its general purpose or tendency considered as directed to the welfare or prosperity of the state or community. ...

Public Policy: That principle of the law which holds that no subject can lawfully do that which has a tendency to be injurious to the public good.
The principles under which the freedom of contract or private dealings is restricted by law for the good of the community.
The term 'policy', as applied to a statute, regulation, or rule of law, course of action, and the like, refers to its probable effect, tendency, or object, considered with reference to the social or political well-being of the state. Thus, certain classes of acts are said to be 'against public policy', when the law refuses to enforce or recognize them, on the ground that they have mischievous tendency, so as to be injurious to the interests of the state, apart from illegality or morality.

Politiae Legibus ... : Politics are to be adopted to the laws, and not the laws to politics.

Political: Of or relating to the policy or the administration of the government, state or national. Pertaining to, or incidental to, the exercise of the functions vested in those charged with the conduct of government; relating to the management of affairs of state, as political theories; of or pertaining to exercise of the rights and privileges or the influence by which individuals of a state seek to determine or control its public policy; having to do with organization or action of individuals, parties, or interests that seek to control appointment or action of those who manage affairs of state.

Political Crime: In general, any crime directly against the government; e.g. treason; sedition. It includes any violent political disturbance without reference to a specific crime.

Political Law: That branch of jurisprudence which treats of the science of politics, or the organization and administration of government. More commonly called 'Political Science'.

Political Offenses: As a designation or a class of crimes usually excepted from extradition treaties, this term denotes crimes which are incidental to and form a part of political disturbances; but it might also be understood to include offenses consisting in an attack upon the political order of things established in the country where committed, and even to include offenses committed to obtain any political object.
Under extradition treaties, such offense must involve uprising or some other violent political disturbance and act in question must have been incidental to occurrence; status of offense is to be determined by circumstances attending it and not by motives of those who subsequently handle prosecution.

Political Questions: Questions of which (civil) courts will refuse to take cognizance, or to decide, on account of their purely political character, or because their determination would involve an encroachment upon the executive or legislative powers. ...

Political Rights: Those which may be exercised in the formation or administration of the government.
Rights of citizens recognized or established by constitutions which give them the power to participate directly or indirectly in the establishment or administration of government.

Political subdivision: A division of the state made by proper authorities there of, acting within their constitutional powers, for purpose of carrying out a portion of those functions of state which by long usage and inherent necessities of government have always been regarded as public. State ex rel: Maisan v. Mitchell, 155 Conn. 256, 231 A. 2d. 539, 542.

Political Trial: Term loosely applied to trials in which the parties represent fundamentally different political convictions and in which the parties or one of them attempts to litigate their political beliefs.

Politics: The science of government; the art or practice of administering public affairs.

Polity: The form of government; civil constitution.

Poll: v. To single-out, one by one, of a number of persons. To examine each juror separately, after a verdict has been given, as to his concurrence in the verdict.

Poll: n. A head; an individual person; a register of persons. In the law of elections, a list or register of heads or individuals who may vote in elections; the aggregate of those who actually cast their votes at election, excluding those who stay away.

Polling the Jury: A practice whereby the jurors are asked individually whether they assented, and still assent, to the verdict.
To poll a jury is to call the names of the persons who compose the jury and require each juror to declare what his verdict is before it is recorded. ...

Positive Law: Law actually and specifically enacted or adopted by proper authority for the government of an organized jural society.

Posse: ... Group of people acting under authority of police or sheriff and engaged in searching for a criminal or in making an arrest.

Posse Comitatus: The power or force of the county. The entire population of a county above the age of fifteen, which the sheriff may summon to his assistance in certain cases, as to aid him in keeping the peace, in pursuing and arresting felons, etc. Williams v. State, 253, Ark. 973, 490 S.W.2d 117, 121.

Possession: Hostile Possession: This term, as applied to the occupant of real estate holding adversely, is not construed as having actual enmity or ill will, but merely means that he claims to hold the possession in the character of an owner, and there-fore denies all validity to claims set up by any and all other persons.

Possession: Natural Possession: That by which a man detains a thing corporally, as, by occupying a house, cultivating ground, or retaining a movable possession; ...

Possession is nine tenths of the law: This adage places in a strong light the legal truth that every claimant must succeed by the strength of his own title, and not by the weakness of his antagonist's."

Possession Vaut Titre: Fr. In English law, as in most systems of jurisprudence, the fact of possession raises a prima facie title or a presumption of the right of property in the thing possessed. In other words, the possession is as good as the title. Brown.

Possessory Interest: Right to exert control over specific land to exclusion of others. Right to possess property by virtue of an interest created in the property though it need not be accompanied by title, e.g. right of a tenant for years. A possessory interest in land exists in a person who has (a) a physical relation to the land of a kind which gives a certain degree of physical control over the land, and an intent to exercise such control as to exclude other members of society in general from any present occupation of the land.


Preator: In Roman Law, a municipal officer of the city of Rome, being chief judicial magistrate, and possessing an extensive equitable jurisdiction.

Precinct: A constable's or police district. A small geographical unit of government. An election district, created for convenient localization of polling places. A county or municipal subdivision for casting and counting votes in elections.

Presumption of Innocence: A hallowed principle of criminal law to the effect that the government has the burden of proving every element of a crime beyond a reasonable doubt and that the defendant has no burden to prove his innocence. It arises at the first stage of the criminal process but it is not a true presumption because the defendant is not required to come forward with proof of his innocence once evidence of guilt is introduced to avoid a directed verdict of guilty. Presumption of innocence succinctly conveys the principle that no person may be convicted of a crime unless the Government carries the burden of proving his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt but it does not mean that no significance art all may be attached to the indictment. U. S. V. Friday. D.C.Mich., 404 F.Supp.1343, 1346.

Private International Law: A name used by some writers to indicate that branch of the law which is now more commonly called Conflict of Laws.

Private Law: As used in contradistinction to Public Law, the term means all that part of the law which is administered between citizen and citizen,
or which is concerned with the definition, regulation, and enforcement of rights in cases where both the person in whom the right inheres and the person in whom the obligation is incident are private individuals.
See also: Private bill; Public law; Special law.

Privilege: A particular and peculiar benefit or advantage enjoyed by a person, company, or class, beyond the common advantages of other citizens. An exceptional or extraordinary power or exemption. A right, power, franchise, or immunity held by a person or class.
An exemption from some burden or attendance, with which certain persons are indulged, from a supposition of law that the stations which they fill, or the offices they are engaged in, are such as require all their time and care; and that, therefore, without this indulgence, it would be impracticable to execute such offices to that advantage which the public good requires.
Civil law: A right which the nature of a debt gives to a creditor, and which entitles him to be preferred before other creditors.

Privy Token: A false mark or sign, forged object, counterfeited letter, key, ring, etc., used to deceive persons, & thereby fraudulently obtain possession of property. A false privy token is a false privy document or sign, not such as is calculated to deceive men generally, but designed to defraud one or more individuals. Cheating by such false token was not indictable at common law.

Privy: A person who is in privity with another. One who is a partner or has any part or interest in any action, matter, or thing. As an adjective, the word has practically the same meaning as private.

Probable: Having the appearance of truth; having the character of probability; appearing to be founded in reason or experience. Having more evidence for than against; supported by evidence which inclines the mind to believe, but leaves room for doubt. Likely.

Probable Cause: Reasonable cause; having more evidence for than against.
A reasonable ground for belief in the existence of facts warranting the proceedings complained of.
An apparent state of facts found to exist upon reasonable inquiry, which would induce a reasonably intelligent and prudent man to believe, in a criminal case, that the accused person had committed the crime charged, or, in a civil case, that that a cause of action existed. ...
Arrest, search and seizure. Reasonable grounds for belief that a person should be arrested or searched.
Probable cause exists where the facts and circumstances would warrant a person of reasonable caution to believe that an offense was or is being committed.
Probable cause is the existence of circumstances which would lead a reasonably prudent man to believe in guilt of arrested party; mere suspicion or belief, unsupported by facts or circumstances, is insufficient.
It permits an officer to arrest a person without a warrant.

Probable cause hearing: That procedural step in the criminal process at which the judge or magistrate decides whether a complaint should issue.

Probatio Mortus:

Probatio Plena: In the civil law; full proof; proof by two witnesses, or a public instrument.

Probatio Semi-Plena: In the civil law; half-full proof, half-proof. Proof by one witnesses, or a public instrument.

Probatio Viva: Living proof; that is, proof by the mouth of living witnesses.

Probus et legalis homo: A good and lawful man. A phrase particularly applied to a juror or witness who was free from all exception, and competent in point of law to serve on juries.
In the plural form : probi et legalis homines.

Procedendo: Action where-in court of superior jurisdiction orders court of inferior jurisdiction to proceed to judgment, but has no bearing on nature of judgment to be entered. State ex rel. Jacobs vs v. Municipal Court of Franklin County, 26 Ohio App.2d 113, 269, N.E.2d 629, 631, 55 O.O.2d 245. A writ by which a cause which has been removed from an inferior to a superior court by certiorari or other-wise is sent down again to the same court, to be proceeded in there, where it appears to the superior court that it was removed on insufficient grounds.
More commonly; a case returned to a lower court is said to be remanded to such court.
... A writ (procedendo ad judicum) which issues out of the common-law jurisdiction of the court of chancery,
when judges of any subordinate court delayed the parties for that they would not give judgment either on the one side or on the other, when they ought to do so.
In such case, a writ of procedendo ad judicum was awarded, commanding the inferior court, in the sovereign's name, to proceed to give judgment, but without specifying any particular judgment.
It was the earliest remedy for the refusal or neglect of justice on the part of the courts.

Procedendo on aid of prayer. If one pray in aid of the crown in real action, and aid be granted, it shall be awarded that he sue to the sovereign in chancery, and the justices in the common pleas shall stay until this writ of procedendo de loquela come to them. So also on a personal action.


Procedure Ordinary:

Proceeding: Regular and orderly progress in form of law, including all possible steps in an action from its commencement to the execution of judgement. ...

Ordinary proceeding. Those founded on the regular and usual mode of carrying on a suit by due course at common law.

Summary proceeding. Any proceeding by which a controversy is settled, case disposed of, or trial conducted, in a prompt and simple manner, without the aid of a jury, without presentment or indictment, or in other respects out of the regular course of the common law.

Pro Se: For himself; in his own behalf; in person. Appearing for oneself, as in the case where one does not retain a lawyer and appears for himself in court.


Prosecuting Attorney:



Provisional: Temporary; preliminary; tentative; taken or done by way of precaution or ad interm.

Provisional Court: A federal court with jurisdiction and powers governed by the order from which it derives its authority. A provisional court established in conquered or occupied territory by military authorities, or the provisional government, is a federal court deriving its existence and all its powers from the federal government.

Provisional Government: One temporarily established in anticipation of and to exist and continue until another more regular or permanent shall be organized and instituted in its stead.

Provisional Remedy: A remedy provided for present need or for the immediate occasion; one adapted to meet a particular emergency.
Particularly, a temporary process available to plaintiff in a civil action, secures him against loss, irreparable injury, dissipation, of the property, etc., while the action is pending.
Such include the remedies of injunction, appointment of a receiver, attachment, or arrest.

Provoke: To excite; to stimulate; to arouse. To irritate, or enrage.

Provost-Marshal: In military law, the officer acting as the head of the military police of any post, camp, city or other place of military occupation, or district under the reign of martial law.
He or his assistant may, at any time, arrest and detain for trial, persons subject to military law committing offenses, and may carry into execution any punishments to be inflicted in pursuance of court martial.

Proximate Cause: That which, in a natural and continuing sequence, unbroken by any efficient intervening cause, produces injury, and without which the result would not have occurred.
That which is nearest in the order of responsible causation. That which stands next in causation to the effect, not necessarily in time or space but in causal relation.
The proximate cause of an injury is the primary or moving cause, or that which, in the natural and continuous sequence, unbroken by any efficient or intervening cause, produces the injury, and without which the accident could not have happened.

Proximity: Kindred between two persons. Quality or state of being next in time, place, causation, influence, etc; immediate nearness.

Proxy: A person who is substituted or deputed by another to represent him and act for him, particularly in some meeting or public body. An agent representing and acting for principle. Also; the instrument containing the appointment of such person. ¦ Written authorization given by one person to another so that the second person can act for the first, such as that given by a shareholder to someone else represent him and vote his shares at a shareholders meeting. ...

Public Building: One which the possession and use , as well as the property in it, are in the public. Any building held, used, or controlled exclusively for public purposes. A building belonging to or used by the public for the transaction of public or quasi public business.

Public Corporations: An artificial person (e.g. municipality or a government corporation) created for the administration of public affairs. Unlike a private corporation it has no protections against legislative acts altering or even repealing its charter. Instrumentalities created by state, formed and owned by it in public interest, supported in whole or part by public funds, and governed by managers deriving their authority from state. ...

Public Juris: Of public right. The word 'public' in this sense means pertaining to the people, or affecting the community at large; that which concerns a multitude of people, and the word 'right', as so used, means a well-founded claim; an interest; concern; advantage, benefit. This term, as applied to a thing of right, means that it is open to or exercisable by all persons; it designates things which are owned by 'the public'; that is, the entire state or community, and not by any private person.

Public Interest: Something in which the public, the community at large, has some pecuniary interest, or some interest by which their legal rights or liabilities are affected.
It does not mean anything so narrow mere curiosity, or as the interests of the particular localities, which may be affected by the matters in question. Interests shared by citizens generally in affairs of local, state or national government. ...
If by public permission one is making use of public property and he chances to be the only one with whom the public can deal with respect to the use of that property, his business is affected with a public interest which requires him to deal with the public on reasonable terms.
The circumstances which cloth a particular kind of business with a 'public interest', as to be subject to regulation, must be such as to create a peculiarly close relation between the public and those engaged in it and raise implications of an affirmative obligation on their part to be reasonable in dealing with the public.

Public Lands: The general public domain; unappropriated lands; lands belonging to the United States and which are which are subject to sale or other disposal under general laws, and not reserved or held back for any special governmental or public purpose.

Public Law: A general classification of law; consisting generally of constitutional, administrative, criminal, and international law, concerned with the organization of the state, the relation between the state and the people who compose it, the responsibilities of public officers to the state, to each other, and to private persons, and the relations of states to one another.
An act which relates to the public as a whole. ... That branch or department of law which is concerned with the state in its political or sovereign capacity, including constitutional and administrative law; and with the definition, regulation, and enforcement of rights in cases where the state is regarded as the subject of the right or object of the duty, - including criminal law and criminal procedure, - and the law of the state, considered in its quasi private personality, i.e., as capable of holding or exercising rights, or acquiring and dealing with property, in the character of an individual.
That portion of the law that is concerned with political conditions; that is to say, with the powers, rights, duties, capacities, and incapacities which are peculiar to political superiors, supreme and subordinate.
In one sense, a designation given to international law, as distinguished from the laws of a particular nation or state. In another sense, a law or statute that applies to the people generally of the nation or state adopting or enacting it, is denominated a public law, as contradistinguished from a private law, affecting only an individual or a small number of persons.

Public Necessity:

Public Nuisance:

Public Office: Essential characteristics of 'public office' are 1: authority conferred by law, 2: fixed tenure of office, and 3: power to exercise some portion of sovereign functions of government; key element of such test is that 'officer' is carrying out sovereign function. ... portion of sovereign power of government must be delegated to position, duties & powers must be defined, ... duties must be performed independently without control of superior power other than law, and position must have some permanency and continuity.

Public Official: The holder of a public office though not all persons in public employment are public officials, because public official's position requires the exercise of some portion of the sovereign power, whether great or small.

Public Place: A place to which the public has a right to resort; ... a place in which the public has an interest in affecting the safety, health, morals, and welfare of the community.

Public Purpose: In the law of taxation, eminent domain, etc., this is a term of classification to distinguish the objects for which, according to like usage, are left to private interests, inclination, or liberality.
The constitutional requirement that the purpose of any tax, police regulation, or particular exertion of public power of eminent domain shall be the convenience, safety, or welfare of the entire community and not the welfare of a specific individual or class of persons.
The term is synonymous with governmental purpose. ....

Public Record:

Public Safety: A state may exercise its police power (derivatively, as city or town) by enacting laws for protection of the public from injury and dangers.

Public Welfare:

Purgatory Oath: An oath by which a person purges or clears himself from presumptions, charges or suspicions standing against him, or from a contempt.

Purgation: The act of cleansing or exonerating ones self of a crime, accusation or suspicion of guilt by denying the charge on oath or by ordeal.
Canonical purgation was made by a party's taking his own oath that he was innocent of the charge, which was supported by the oath of 12 compurgators, who swore they believed he spoke the truth.
To this succeeded the mode of purgation by single oath of the party himself, called oath ex officio, of which the modern defendant's oath in chancery is a modification. 3. Bl.Comm. 447; 4 Bl.Comm, 368.

Quo Warranto: /kwow weraentow/. In old English practice, a writ in the nature of a writ of right for the king, against him who claimed or usurped any office, franchise, or liberty, to inquire by what authority he supported his claim, in order to determine the right.
It lay also in case of non-user, or long neglect of a franchise, or misuser or abuse of it; being a writ commanding the defendant to show by what warrant he exercises such a franchise, having never had any grant of it, or having forfeited it by neglect or abuse. 3 Bl.Comm. 262.
An extraordinary proceeding, prerogative in nature, addressed to preventing a continued exercise of authority unlawfully asserted. Johnson v. Manhattan Ry. Co., N.Y., 289 U.S. 479, 53 S.Ct. 721, 77 L.Ed. 1331.
It is intended to prevent exercise of powers that are not conferred by law, and is not ordinarily available to regulate the manner of exercising such powers.
The remedy of quo warranto belongs to the state, in it's sovereign capacity, to protect the interests of the people as a whole and guard the public welfare, and it is a preventative remedy addressed to preventing a continued exercise of an authority unlawfully asserted, rather than correcting what has already been done under that authority.
Citizens Utilities Co. of Cal. V. Superior Court, Alameda County, 56 Cal. App.3d 399, 128 Cal.Rptr. 582, 588.
Quo warranto is legal action whereby legality of exercise of powers by municipal corporation may be placed in issue.
People ex rel. City of Des Plaines v. Village of Mount Prospect, 29 Ill.App.3rd 807, 331 N.E.2d 337, 377.
The federal rules are applicable to proceedings for quo warranto to the extent that the practice in such proceedings is not set forth in statutes of the United States and has heretofore conformed to the practice in civil actions. Fed.R. Civil P. 81 (a)(2).
Any remedy that could have been obtained under the historic writ of quo warranto may be obtained by a civil action of that nature. U.S. v. Nussbaum, D.C.Cal., 306 F.Supp. 66.

Reason: A faculty of the mind by which it distinguishes truth from falsehood, good from evil, and which enables the possessor to deduce inferences from facts or from propositions. Also an inducement, motive, or ground for action, as in the phrase reasons for appeal.

Reasonable and probable cause: Such grounds as justify any one in suspecting another of a crime, and placing him in custody thereon. It is suspicion founded upon circumstances sufficiently strong to warrant reasonable man in belief that charge is true.

Reasonable belief: Reasonable belief or probable cause to make an arrest without a warrant exists when the facts and circumstances within arresting officer's knowledge, and which he had reasonably trustworthy information, are sufficient in themselves to justify a man of average caution in belief that a felony has been or is being committed.

Reasonable cause: As basis for arrest without warrant, in such state of facts as would lead man of ordinary care and prudence to believe and conscientiously entertain honest and strong suspicion that person sought to be arrested is guilty of crime.

Reasonable man doctrine or standard: The standard which one must observe to avoid liability for negligence is the standard of the reasonable man under all the circumstances, including the forseeability of harm to one such as the plaintiff.

Reasonable suspicion: Reasonable suspicion which will justify officer in stopping defendant in public place is quantum of knowledge sufficient to induce ordinarily prudent and cautious man under circumstances to believe criminal activity is at hand.

Real Money: Money which has real metalic, intrinsic value, as distinguished from paper currency, checks and drafts.


Rectus in Curia: Right in Court. The condition of one who stands at the bar; against whom no one objects any offence. When a person outlawed has reversed his outlawry, so that he can have the benefit of law, he is said to be "rectus in curia".



Regalia: An abbreviation of jura regalia, royal rights, or those rights which a king or queen has by virtue of his or her prerogative comprising: judicature, power of life and death, power of war and peace, masterless goods, assessments, minting money. Owners of counties palatine were said to have jura regalia in their counties, as fully as the king in his palace.





Republic: A commonwealth; that form of government in which the administration of affairs is open to all the citizens.
In another sense, it signifies the state, independently of its form of government.

Republican Government: ... a government of the people, a government by representatives chosen by the people.


Reve Mote: In saxon law, the court of the reve, reeve, or shire-reeve.

Revenue: Public Revenue:



Rex debt :

Right: As a Noun, and taken in the abstract sense, means justice, ethical correctness, or consonance with the rules of law or the principles of morals.
In this signification it answers to one meaning of the Latin jus,and serves to indicate law in the abstract, considered as the foundation of all rights, or the complex of underlying moral principles which impart the character of justice to all positive law, or give it ethical content. ...
And the primal rights existing prior to positive law.
But leaving the abstract moral sphere and giving to the term a juristic content,
a right is well defined as a capacity residing in one man of controlling, with the assent and assistance of the state, the actions of others.
As an adjective, the term right means just, morally correct, constant with ethical principles or rules of positive law. It is the opposite of wrong, unjust, illegal. ... A legally enforceable claim of one person against another, that the other shall do a given act or not do a given act.
Restatement of the Law of Property, ss 1.
That which one person ought to have or receive from another, it being with held from him, or not in his possession.
In this sense, right has the force of claim, and is properly expressed by the Latin jus. ...
Naturalrights are those which grow out of the nature of man and depend upon personality, as distinguished from such as are created by law and depend upon civilized society; ... they are those which are plainly assured by natural law; ...
those which, by fair deduction from the present physical, moral, social, and religious characteristics of man, he must be invested with, and which he ought to have realized for him in a jural society, in order to fulfill the ends to which his nature calls him.

Right of local self government: Power of citizens to govern themselves, as to matters purely local in nature, through officers of their own selection. City of Ardmore v. Excise Board of Carter County, 155 Okl. 126, 8 P.2d 2, 11. See Home rule.

Riot: The term riot means a public disturbance involving (1) an act or acts of violence by one or more persons part of an assemblage of three or more persons, which act or acts shall constitute a clear and present danger of, or shall result in, damage or injury to the property of any other person or the person of any other individual or (2) a threat or threats of the commission of an act or acts of violence by one or more persons part of an assemblage of three or more persons having, individually or collectively, the ability of immediate execution of such threat or threats, where the performance of the threatened acts or acts of violence would constitute a clear and present danger of, or would result in, damage or injury to the property of any other person or to the person of any other individual. 18 U.S.C.A. SS 2102(a).
A person is guilty of riot if he participates with two or more others in a course of disorderly conduct ... (b) with purpose to prevent or coerce official action; ...
Model Penal Code ss 250.1. Incitement to riot. Incitement to riot is by words or conduct urging others to commit acts of force or violence against persons or property or to resist the lawful authority of law enforcement officers under circumstances which produce a clear and present danger of injury to persons or property or a breach of the public peace. The term to incite a riot,or to organize, promote, encourage, participate in, or carry on a riot includes, but is not limited to urging or instigating other persons to riot, but shall not be deemed to mean the mere oral or written (1) advocacy of ideas or (2) expression of belief, not involving advocacy of any act or acts of violence of assertion of the rightness of, or the right to commit, any such act or acts. 18 U.S.C.A. 2102(b). See Unlawful Assembly.

Riotous Assembly: In old English criminal law, the unlawful assembling of twelve persons or more, to the disturbance of the peace, and not dispersing upon proclamation. 4 Bl.Comm. 142. See also Unlawful Assembly.

Roll: Judgement Roll: Tax Roll: Roman Catholic Church: The jurtistic personality of the Roman Catholic Church, with the right to sue, and to take and hold property, has been recognized by all systems of European law from the fourth century. It was formerly recognized ¦ by Spanish laws from the beginnings of the settlements in the Indies, also by our treaty with Spain, in 1898, whereby its property rights were solemnly safeguarded.

Royal Prerogative: Those rights and capacities which the king enjoys alone; ¦ . It is that special pre-eminence which the sovereign has over all other persons, and out of the (general) course of the common law, by right of regal dignity.

Roy est ...

Roy n'est

Roy poet: The king can grant a dispensation for a malum prohibitum, but not for a malum in se.




Secata Curiae:

Secta Est:

Secta Regalis:




Secular Clergy:

Secundum Bonos Mores:

Secundum Legem Communem:

Secundum Normam Legis:

Securities; Exempt Securities:

Security Interest: A form of interest in property. A mortgage is used to grant a security interest in real property. The term security interest means any interest in property acquired by contract.

Seisin: Possession of real property under claim of freehold estate. Possession with an intent on the part of him who holds it to claim a freehold interest.
Right to immediate possession according to the nature of the estate.

Seisin: Equitable Seisin: seisin of an equitable estate in land. Thus; a mortgagor is said to have equitable seisin of the land by receipt of the rents.

Seisn: Livery of Sesin: Delivery of possession; called, by the feudists, investiture.

Seize: To put in possession, invest with fee simple, be legal possessor of, or be holder in fee simple.
To "size" means to take possession forcibly, to grasp, to snatch or put into possession.


Selecti Judices: In Roman law, judges who were selected very much like our juries.
They were returned by the preator, drawn by lot, subject to be challenged, and sworn. 3 Bl.Comm. 366.

Selectmen: The name of certain municipal officers in the new England states, elected by the towns to transact their general public business, and possessing certain executive powers.


Self-Help: Taking an action in person or by representative with legal consequences, whether the action is legal or not;
for example, a "self help eviction" may be a landlord's removing the tenant's property from an apartment and locking the door against the tenant.
Self-help repossession (i.e. without judicial process) of goods by creditor is permitted under U.C.C. SS 9-503, if such can be accomplished without breach of the peace.

Senatus Consultum:

Servitum liberum: A service to be done by feudatory tenants, who were called liberi homines and distinguished from vassals, as was their service,
for they were not bound to any of the base services of plowing the lord's land, etc.,
but were to find a man and horse, or go with the lord into the army, or to attend the court, etc. . See also liberum servitium.

Sheriff: The chief executive and administrative officer of a county, being chosen by popular election. His principle duties are in aid of the criminal courts; and civil courts of record; such as serving process, summoning juries, executing judgements, holding judicial sales and the like. He is also the chief conservator of the peace within his territorial jurisdiction.

Shire: A Saxon word which signified a division, it was made up of an indefinite number of hundreds, later called a county (Comitatus).
In England, a County. So called because every county or shire is divided or parted by certain meets and bounds from another.

Shire-gemot: scire-gemote, scir-gemot . (From the Saxon Scir or Scyre, county, shire, and gemote, a court or assembly.)
Variants of Scyregemote . See also Shire-mote, infra.

Shire-manor scyre-man: Before the Conquest, the Judge of the county, by whom trials for land, etc, were determined .

Shire-mote: The assize of the shire, or the assembly of the people, was so-called by the Saxons.
It was nearly if not exactly , the same as scyregemote, and in most respects corresponded with what were after-words called county courts.

Shire-reeve: (spelled also Shire rieve, or Shire reve). In Saxon law, the reve or bailiff of the shire. The viscount of the Anglo-Normans, and the sheriff of later times.

Signature: The act of putting ones name at the end of an instrument to attest to its validity; the name thus written. A signature may be written by hand, printed, stamped, typewritten, engraved, photographed, or cut from one instrument and attached to another, and a signature lithographed on an instrument by a party is sufficient for the purpose of signing it; it being immaterial with what kind of instrument a signature is made. ... And whatever mark, symbol, or device one may choose to employ as representative of himself is sufficient. ...




Slave: A person who is wholly subject to the will of another; one who has no freedom of action, but whose person and services are wholly under the control of another. ...

Slavery: The condition of a slave; that civil relation in which one man has absolute power over the life, fortune, and liberty of another. The 13th Amendment abolished slavery.


Social contract or compact: In political philosophy, a term applied to the theory of the origin of society associated chiefly with the names of Hobbes, Locke, and Rousseau ... . ... Laws resulted from the combination of men, who agreed for mutual protection, to surrender individual freedom of action ... Government must therefore rest on the consent of the governed.


Source of Law:



Special District. A limited governmental structure created to bypass normal borrowing limitations, to insulate certain activities from traditional political influence, ...

Special Interest Group. Groups in society that have a special interest in common. Special interest groups generally attempt to influence government legislation to benefit their own particular interest group.

Special Law. One relating to particular persons or things; one made for individual cases or for particular places or districts; one operating upon a selected class, rather than upon the public generally.
A private law. A law is special when it is different from others of the same general kind or designated for a particular purpose, or limited in range or confined to a prescribed field of action or operation.
A special law is one which relates to particular persons or things or to particular persons of things of a class, or which operates on or over a portion of a class instead of all of the classes. ...

Squatter: ... under former laws, one who settled on public land in order to aquire title to the land.

Squatter's Right: See Adverse Possession.



Star Chamber: A court which originally had jurisdiction in cases where the ordinary course of justice was so much obstructed by one party, ... that no inferior court would find its process obeyed. ... In the reign of Henry the 8th, and his successors, the jurisdiction of the court was illegally extended to such a degree (especially in punishing the kings arbitrary proclamations) that it became odious to the nation, and was abolished.

Starr or starra. The old term for contract or obligation among the Jews, being a corruption from the Hebrew word shetar, a covenant, by an ordinance of Richard I, no starr was allowed to be valid, unless deposited in one of certain repositories established by law, the most considerable of which was in the king's exchequer at Westminster; and Blackstone conjectures that the room in which the chests were kept was thence called the Star-Chamber.

State: A people permanently occupying a fixed territory bound together by common-law habits and custom into one body politic, exercising, through the medium of an organized government, independent sovereignty and control over all persons and things within its boundaries, capable of making war and peace and of entering into international relations with other communities of the globe. United States v. Kusche, D.C.Cal., 56 F.Supp. 201, 207, 208.
The organization of social life which exercises sovereign power on behalf of the people. Delaney v. Moraitis, C.C.A.Md., 136 F.2d 129, 130.
In its largest sense, state is a body politic or a society of men. Beagle v Motor Vehicle Acc. Indemnification corp., 44 Misc.2d 636, 254 N.Y.S. 763, 765.
A body of people occupying a definite territory and politically organized under one government. State ex rel. Maisano v. Mitchell, 155 Conn. 256, 231 A.2d 539, 542.
A territorial unit with a distinct general body of law. Restatement, Second, Conflicts, ss 3.
Term may refer to a body politic of a nation (e.g. United States) or to an individual governmental unit of such nation (e.g. California).
The section or territory occupied by one of the United States. One of the component commonwealths or states of the United States of America. The term is sometimes applied also to governmental agencies authorized by state, such asmunicipal corporations. Any state of the United States, the District of Columbia, the commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and any territory or possession subject to the legislative authority of the United States. Uniform Probate Code, ss 1-201(40).
The people of a state, in their collective capacity, considered as the party wronged by a criminal deed, the public, as in the title of a cause, The State vs A.B. Term state as used in rules providing when a state may appeal in a criminal case is all inclusive and intended to include not only the state but its political subdivisions, counties and cities. Spokane County v. Gifford, 9 Wash.App. 541, 513 P.2d 301, 302.
Federal Government is a state bound by all of provisions of the Interstate Agreement on Detainers. Enright v. U. S., D.C.N.Y., 437 F.Supp, 580 581.
The circumstances or condition of a being or thing at a given time.

Foreign State. A foreign country or nation. The several United States are considered foreign to each other except as regards their relations as common members of the Union. ...

State Action:

State Banks:

State Courts:

State Ex Rel: See Ex Rel

State Police:

State Police Power:

State's Attorney;

State Sovereignty:

Station House: Police station or precinct.

Striking a Jury: The selecting or nominating a jury out of the whole number on the panel. It is especially used of the selection of a special jury, where a panel is prepared by the proper officer, and the parties, in turn, strike off a certain number of names, until the list is reduced to twelve. A jury thus chosen is called a "struck jury".

Struck Jury: A special jury.



Sui Juris: Of his own right; possessing full social and civil rights; not under any legal disability, or the power of another, or guardianship. Having capacity to manage ones own affairs: not under legal disability to act for one's own self.



Summa Caritas:

Summa Ex:

Summa Ratio:

Summ Jus:

Summary Proceeding:




Tenancy: Joint Tenancy: An estate in fee-simple, fee tail, for life, for years, or at will, arising by purchase or grant to two or more persons. Joint tenants have one and the same interest, accruing by one and the same conveyance, commencing at one and the same time, and held by one and the same undivided possession. The primary incident of joint tenancy is survivorship, by which the entire tenancy on the decease of any joint tenant remains to the survivors, and at length to the last survivor.
Type of interest in real or personal property by two or more persons in which each owns an undivided interest in the whole, and attached to which is the right of survivorship. Single estate in property owned by two or more persons under one instrument or act. Ercole v. DErcole, D.C.Mass., 407 F.Supp. 1377, 1380. Tenancy in Common: Joint Interest in which ... all are entitled to equal use and possession.

Tera manes vacua occupanti conceditur; Land lying unoccupied is given to the first occupant.

Tenemental land: Land distributed by a lord among his tenants, as opposed to the demenses which were occupied by himself and his servants.

Tithing Man: A constable. ... annually elected to preserve order ... and to make complaint of any dis-orderly conduct. ... the head or chief of a tithing or decennary of ten families; he was to decide all lesser causes between neighbors. In modern English Law, he is the same as an under-constable or peace-officer.

Tithing: One of the civil divisions of England, being a portion of the greater division called a hundred. It was so called because ten freeholders with their families composed one. It is said that they were all knit together in one society, and bound ... for the peaceable behavior of each other. In each of these societies there was one chief or principle person, who, from his office, was called teothing-man now tithing-man.

Token: A sign or mark; the material evidence of the existence of a fact. A sign or indication of an intention to do something as in the case of one who places a small order to show good faith to a seller with a view towards placing a larger order at a future time.


Trespass. An unlawful interference with ones person, property, or rights. At common law, trespass was a form of action brought to recover damages for any injury to ones person or property or relationship with another. Trespass comprehends any misfeasance, transgression, or offense which damages another person's health, reputation or property. ...
An unlawful act, committed with violence, actual or implied, causing injury to the person, property, or relative rights of another.

Trial:... A judicial examination in accordance with the law of the land. ...

Trial by wager of law. In old English law, a method of trial, where the defendant, coming into court, made oath that he did not owe the claim demanded of him, and eleven of his neighbors, as compurgators, swore that they believed him, to speak the truth.

Trial Court: A court of original jurisdiction; the first court to consider litigation. Used in contrast to an appellate court.

Triatio ibi semper debet fieri, ubi juratores meliorem possunt habere notituiam:

Trust: ... Any arrangement where-by property is transferred with intention that it be administered by trustee for another's benefit. ...
A fiduciary relation with respect to property, subjecting person by whom the property is held to equitable duties. ...
Constructive Trust: a trust raised by construction of law, or arising by operation of law ... . ...
Constructive trusts do not arise by agreement or from intension, but by operation of law, and fraud, active or constructive, as is their essential element. ... their forms and varieties are practically without limit, being raised by courts of equity whenever it becomes necessary to prevent a failure of justice.

Public Trust: One constituted for the benefit either of the public at large or some considerable portion of it answering a particular description; public trusts and charatible trusts may be considered in general as synonymous expressions.


Two witness rule: This rule requires that falsity element of a perjury conviction be supported either by direct testimony of two witnesses
or by direct testimony of one witness plus corroborating evidence.
(Note: similar evidence of this universal-law principle is found in Oregon Statute at ORS 162.115, as well as from the Bible, and from general common-law.)

Unalienable: Inalienable; incapable of being alienated, that is, sold and transferred.

Inalienable Rights: Rights which can never be abridged because they are so fundamental.


Unconstitutional. That which is contrary to the constitution. ... This word is used in two different senses. One, which may be called the English sense, is that the legislation conflicts with some recognized general principle. This is no more than to say that it is unwise, or is based upon a wrong or unsound principle, or conflicts with a general ly accepted policy. The other, which may be called the American sense, is that the legislation conflicts with some provision of our written Constitution, which is beyond the power of the Legislature to change.

Unlawful Assembly. At common law, the gathering together of three or more persons, to the disturbance of the public peace, and with the intention of co-operating in the forcible and violent execution of some unlawful private enterprise. If they take steps towards the performance of their purpose, it becomes a riot. 4 Bl.Comm. 146.
An unlawful assembly is a of three or more persons with a common plan in mind which, if carried out, will result in a riot. In other words, it is such a meeting with intent to (a) commit a crime by open force, or (b) execute a common design lawful or unlawful, in an unauthorized manner likely to cause persons to apprehend a breach of the peace.
Unlawful Assembly is the meeting or coming together of not less than five (5) persons for the purpose of engaging in conduct constituting either disorderly conduct, or a riot, or when in a lawful assembly of not less than five (5) persons, agreeing to engage in such conduct. See also Riot.

Usurp: To seize and hold any office by force, and without right; applied to seizure of office, place, functions, powers rights, etc. of another.
State Ex Rel Scanes v. Babb, 124 W.Va. 428, 20 S.E.2d 683, 686.

Usurpation: The unlawful encroachment or assumption of the use of property, power or authority which belongs to another.
An interruption or the disturbing a man in his right and possession.
The unlawful seizure or assumption of sovereign power. The assumption of government or supreme power by any force or illegality in derogation of the constitution and the rights of the lawful ruler. Usurpation for which writ of prohibition may be granted involves attempted exercise of power not possessed by inferior officer.

Usurpation of Advowson: An injury which consists in the absolute ouster or disposition of the patron from the advowson or right of presentation, and which happens when a stranger who has no right presents a clerk, and the latter is thereupon admitted and instituted.

Usurpation of office or franchise: The unjustly intruding upon or exercising any office, franchise, or liberty belonging to another.
Usurpation of public office authorizing quo warranto action under statute may be with or without forcible seizure if office and prerogatives thereof, and may consist of mere unauthorized assumptions and exercise of power in performing duties of office upon claim of right thereto.
State Ex Rel. Kirk v. Wheatlet, 133 Ohio St. 164, 12 N.E.2d 491, 493, 10 O.O. 236.

Usurper: One who assumes the right of government by force, contrary to and in violation of the constitution of the country.

Usurper of a Public Office: One who either intrudes into a vacant office, or ousts the incumbent without any color of title.
Neil v. Parker, 200 Ark. 10 139 S.W.2d 41, 44. One who intrudes on office and assumes of exercise its functions without legal title or color of right thereto. ...
Any person attempting to fill pretended office attempted to be created by an unconstitutional law. Bodcaw Lumber Co. Of Louisiana v. Jordan La.App., 14 So.2d 98, 101.

Venire: Lat. To come; to appear in court This word is sometimes used as the name of the writ for summoning a jury, more commonly called a venire facias.

Venire facias: Lat. A judicial writ, directed to the sheriff of the county in which a cause is to be tried,
commanding him that he cause to come before the court, on a certain day therein mentioned, twelve good and lawful men of the body of his county,
qualified according to law, by whom the truth of the matter may be the better known, and who are in no wise of kin either to the plaintiff or to the defendant,
to make a jury of the country between the parties in the action, because as well the plaintiff as the defendant, between whom the matter in variance is, have put themselves upon that jury, and that he return the names of the jurors, etc. (2 Tidd, Pr. 777, 778; 3 Bl. Comm. 352.)

Venire facias de novo: A fresh or new venire, which the court grants, when there has been some impropriety or irregularity in returning the jury, or where the verdict is so imperfect or ambiguous that no judgement can be given upon it, or where the judgement is reversed on error, and a new trial awarded.
The ancient common-law mode of proceeding to a new trial was by writ of venire facias de novo.
The present day relief of new trial is intended to mitigate the severity of the proceeding to attaint.
While a venire de novo and new trial are quite different, they are alike in that a new trial takes place in both.
The material difference between them is that a venire de novo must be granted upon the face of the record, but a new trial may be granted for things out of the record. ...

Venire facias juratores: A common law judicial writ directed to the sheriff, when issue was joined in an action, commanding him to cause to come to Westminster, on such a day, twelve free and lawful men of his county by whom the truth of the matter at issue might be better known.

Venue: Formerly spelled visne. In common law pleading and practice, a neighborhood; the neighborhood, place, or county in which an injury is declared to have been done, or fact declared to have happened. 3 Bl.Comm. 294. ...
The particulat county, or geographical area, in which a court with jurisdiction may hear and determine a case.
Venue deals with locality of suit, that is, with question of which court, or courts, of those that posses adequate personal and subject matter jurisdiction
may hear the specific suit in question. Japan Gas Lighter Assn v. Roson Corp., D.C.N.J., 257 F.Supp. 219, 224.
It relates to a place where or a territory within which either party may require case to be tried. Coushing v. Doudistal, 278 Ky. 799, 129 S.W.2d 527, 528, 530.
It has relation to convenience of litigants and may be waived or laid by consent of parties. Iselin v. La Coste, C.C.A.La., 147 F.2d 791, 795.
The general venue statute governing civil actions in U.S. district courts is 28 U.S.C.A. 1391.
In federal cases the prosecutor's discretion regarding the location of the prosecution is limited by Article III, ss 2, U.S. Const.,
which requires trial in the state where the offense "shall have been committed,"
and the Sixth Amendment, which guarantees an impartial jury "of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed."
Venue does not refer to jurisdiction at all. Agranbright v Good, 46 Cal.App.2d Supp. 877, 116 P.2d 186.
Jurisdiction of the court means the inherent power to decide a case,
whereas "venue" designates the the particular county or city in which a court with jurisdiction may hear and determine the case. Stanton Trust and Savings Bank v. Johnson, 104 Mont. 235, 65 P.2d 1188, 1189.
As such, while a defect in venue may be waived, lack of jurisdiction may not.
See also: Change of venue, Forum conveniens, Forumon non conveniens.
Federal criminal cases. Except as otherwise permitted by statute or by the rules, the prosecution shall be had in the district in which the offence was committed.
The court shall fix the place of trial within the district with due regard to the convenience of the defendant and of the witnesses. Fed.R.Crim.P. 18.

Venue Facts: Facts to be established at hearing on plea of privelage. Central Motor Co. v. Robinson, Tex.Civ.App. 139, S.W.2d 287, 289.
Facts which by statute constitute an exception to the general right of a defendant to be sued in the county of his residence. Crawford v. Sanger, Tex.Civ.App., 160 S.W.2d 115, 116.

Venue Jurisdiction: Power of a particular court to function. Brand v. Pennsylvania, R. Co. D.C.Pa., 22 F.Supp. 569, 571.

Vicinage: Neighborhood; near dwelling; vicinity. In modern usage, it means the county where a trial is had, a crime ciommitted, etc. Also a jury of the county wherein trial is had. People v. Richardson, 138 Cal.App. 404, 32 P.2d 433, 435.

Vicentium: The neighborhood; vicinage; the venue.

Vicinity: Quality or state of being near, or not remote; nearness; propinquity; proximity; a region about, near or adjacent; adjourning space or country.
Casper v. City and County of San Francisco, 6 Call.2d 376, 57 P.2d 920, 922.
Neighborhood; etymologically, by common understanding, it admits of a wider latitude than proximity or continuity,
and may embrace a more extended space than that lying contiguous to the place in question; and as applied in towns and other territorial divisions, may embrace those not adjacent.

Vicini viciniora preasumuntur scire: ... Persons living in the neighborhood are presumed to know the neighborhood.


False Verdict:

General Verdict:

Public Verdict:

Verrdict Contrary to Law:

Verdict, Estoppel by:

Verification: Confirmation of correctness, truth, or authenticity, by affidavit, oath, or deposition. Affidavit of truth of matter stated and object of verification is to assure good faith in averments or statements of party.

Vested in Possession: A legal term applied to right of present enjoyment actually existing. See Vest.

Vested Rights: In constitutional law; rights which have so completely and definitely accrued to or settled in a person that they are not subject to be defeated or canceled by the act of any other private person; and which it is right and equitable that the government should recognize and protect, as being lawful in themselves, and settled according to the then current rules of law, and of which the individual could not be deprived arbitrarily without injustice, or which he could not justly be deprived otherwise than by the established methods of procedure and for the public welfare (more).





Violence: Unjust or unwarranted use of force, usually with the accompaniment of vehemence, outrage, or fury.
... Physical force unlawfully exercised; abuse of force;
that force which is employed against common right, against the laws, and against public liberty. ...
The exertion of any physical force so as to injure, damage, or abuse.

Violent: Moving, acting, or characterized by extreme and sudden or by unjust or improper force.
Furious, vehement, as a violent storm or wind. A violent attack marked by, or due to, strong mental excitement.
Vehement, passionate, as with speech. Violent reproaches produced or effected by force, not spontaneous or natural; as, a violent death.
Displaying or proceeding from extreme or intense force, caused by unexpected unnatural causes.

Visne: pertaining to men. ...

Viva Voice:

Wager of Law: In old practice, the giving of gage or sureties by a defendant in an action fo debt that at a certain day assigned he would make his law; that is, would take oath in open court that he did not owe the debt, and at the same time bring with him eleven neighbors (called compurgators), who should avow upon their oaths that they believed in their consciences that he said the truth.

Wapentake; In English law, a local division of the country; the name is in use north of the Trent to denote a hundred. The derivation of the name is said to be from "weapon" and "take", and indicates that the division was ordinarily of a military character. Also a hundred court.

War: War does not exist until it is a condition recognized or accepted by political authority of government which is attacked, ...

Mixed War: A mixed war is one which is waged on one side by public authority, and on the other by mere private persons.

Private War: One between private persons, lawfully exerted by way of defense, but otherwise unknown in civil society.

Public War: Every contention by force, between two nations, in external matters, under the authority of their representative governments.


Wit: To know, to learn, to be informed. Used only in the infinitive, to wit, ... .

Witam: The purgation from an offense by the oath of the requisite number of witnesses.

Witan: In Saxon law, wise men; persons of information, especially in the laws; the kings advisers; members of the king's council; the opiates, or principal men of the kingdom.

Wite: Sax. A punishment, pain, penalty, mulct, or criminal fine. An atonement among the early Germans by a wrong-doer to the king or community. It is said to be the germ of the idea that wrong is not simply the affair of the injured individual, and is therefore a condition precedent to the growth of a criminal law.

Witena Dom: In Saxon law, the judgement of the county court, or other court of competent jurisdiction, on the title to property, real or personal.

Witenagemote: The assembly of wise men. This was the great national council or parliament of the Saxons in England, comprising noblemen, high ecclesiastics, and other great thanes of the kingdom, advising and aiding the king in the general administration of government.
It was the grand council of the kingdom, and was held generally in the open air, by public notice or particular summons, in or near some city or populace town. These notices or summonses were issued by the king's select council, or the body met without notice, when the throne was vacant, to elect a new king.
Subsequently to the Norman Conquest it was called commune concilium regni, cura regis, and finally parliament; but it's character had become considerably changed. It was a court of last resort, more especially for determining disputes between the king and his thanes, and, ultimately, from all inferior tribunals. Great offenders, particularly those who were members of or might be summoned to the kings court, were tried.
The casual loss of title-deeds was supplied and a very extensive equity jurisdiction exercised. 1 Bl.Comm. 147.
It passed out of existence with the Norman Conquest, and the subsequent Parliament was a separate growth, and not a continuation of the Witenagemot.

Withholding Evidence: