Glossary of Latin and Legal words and terms

Select Latin Terms or Legal Terms and you will be taken to the relevant section

Latin Terms

A | B | C | D | E | F | H | I | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | U | V

A)

Actus Reus • GUILTY ACT

The offence of which the defendant is accused

Ad Infinitum • WITHOUT LIMIT

Describes an event apparently continuing without end

Ad Colligenda Bona • TO COLLECT THE GOODS

A temporary order for the administration of an estate of a deceased person used when the estate is of a perishable nature

Ad Litem • FOR THE SUIT

Denotes a temporary appointment which continues during legal proceedings i.e. Guardian Ad Litem

Ad Hoc • FOR THIS PURPOSE

Ad Hoc decisions are made as and when a situation demands:- Ad Hoc committees are formed to address a particular issue - Ad Hoc meetings would take place to discuss specific matters

Amicus Curiae • A FRIEND OF THE COURT

A neutral party who does not represent any individual party in the case who will be asked by the Court to make representations from an independent viewpoint

Ad Idem • OF SAME MIND

i.e. as one; agreed e.g. the parties are ad idem on this point

Ante • BEFORE

An indication within text to refer to an earlier passage

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B)

Bona Fide • IN GOOD FAITH

A Bona Fide Agreement is one entered into genuinely without attempt to fraud

Bona Vacantia

Denotes the absence of any known person entitled to the estate of a deceased person

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C)

Caveat • BEWARE/TAKE CARE

An entry in the court records that effectively prevents action by another party without first notifying the party entering the Caveat

Compos Mentis • OF SOUND MIND

Legally fit to conduct/defend proceedings

Cor (Coram) • IN THE PRESENCE OF

 

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D)

De Bonis Non Administratis • OF GOODS NOT ADMINISTERED

A person appointed to administer an estate following the death of the original administrator

De Facto • IN FACT

"As a matter of fact"

De Jure • BY RIGHT

 

Doli Incapax • INCAPABLE OF CRIME

 

Duces Tecum • BRING WITH YOU

Order to produce document to court

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E)

Erratum • AN ERROR

 

Exempli Gratia (e.g.) • FOR EXAMPLE

Used when qualifying a statement by explaining through a relevant example

Ex Gratia • AS A MATTER OF FAVOUR

An Ex Gratia payment would be awarded without the acceptance of any liability or blame

Ex Officio • BY VIRTUE OF HIS OFFICE

A magistrate sitting with a judge at the Crown Court would appear ex officio in a case where no judicial function is to be exercised by the magistrate e.g. case committed to Crown Court for sentence only

Ex Parte • BY A PARTY

An ex parte application is made to the Court during proceedings by one party in the absence of another or without notifying the other party

Ex Post Facto • BY A SUBSEQUENT ACT

Something that occurs after the event but having a retrospective effect

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F)

Forum Conveniens • AT A CONVENIENT PLACE

A Court having jurisdiction in a particular case

Functus Officio • HAVING DISCHARGED DUTY

A judicial or official person prevented from taking a matter further because of limitation by certain regulations

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H)

Habeas Corpus • PRODUCE THE BODY

A writ which directs a person to produce someone held in custody before the court

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I)

Ibid • IN THE SAME PLACE

Used in text to refer to a page previously mentioned

Id Est (i.e.) • THAT IS TO SAY

Used as a description to explain a statement

Ignorantia Juris non excusat • IGNORANCE OF THE LAW IS NO EXCUSE

If committing an offence a guilty party cannot use as a defence the fact that they did so without knowledge that they were breaking the law

In Camera • IN THE CHAMBER

The hearing of a case in private without the facts being reported to the public

In Curia • IN OPEN COURT

The hearing of a case in private without the facts being reported to the public

In Personam • AGAINST THE PERSON

Proceedings issued against or with reference to a specific person - an admiralty action in personam would be issued against the owner of a ship

In Re • IN THE MATTER OF

A heading in legal documents which introduces the title of the proceedings

In Rem • AGAINST THE MATTER

Proceedings issued or directed against property as opposed to a specific person - an admiralty action in rem would be issued against the ship itself

In Situ • IN ITS ORIGINAL SITUATION

 

Intra • WITHIN

 

Intra Vires (See Ultra Vires) • WITHIN THE POWER OF

An act that falls within the Jurisdiction of the Court

Ipso Facto • BY THE FACT

The reliance upon facts that together prove a point

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L)

Locus in quo • THE PLACE IN WHICH

During proceedings may be used as reference to subject matter i.e. scene of accident

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M)

Mens Rea • GUILTY MIND

The intention to commit an offence whilst knowing it to be wrong

Mutatis Mutandis • THE NECESSARY CHANGES BEING MADE

Denotes that instructions should not be followed verbatim but by amending where necessary

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N)

Non Compos Mentis • NOT SOUND IN MIND

A person classed as unfit to conduct/defend legal proceedings

Nulla Bona • NO EFFECTS

A return entered by a Sheriff to a High Court writ of execution which indicates the defendant had no goods of any value to remove

Nota Bene (nb) • NOTE WELL

An abbreviation denoting that the reader of an article should make a particular note of the article mentioned.

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O)

Obiter Dictum • A SAYING BY THE WAY

Words said in passing by a Judge on a legal point but not constituting part of the evidence or judgment

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P)

Per • AS STATED BY

 

Per Capita • BY HEADS

e.g. the cost is £50 per capita - £50 each person

Per Pro (pp) • THROUGH ANOTHER

A person delegated to act for another

Per Se • BY ITSELF

Denoting that the topic should be taken alone

Post • AFTER

A person delegated to act for another

Per Se • BY ITSELF

An indication to refer to something to be found further on

Prima Facie • FIRST SIGHT

Prima Facie evidence would be considered sufficient to prove a case unless disproved - if no Prima Facie evidence can be offered there is no case to answer

Pro Forma • A MATTER OF FORM

Pro Forma procedure is performed subject to and following an agreed manner

Pro Rata • IN PROPORTION

Dividends distributed on a Pro Rata basis would be according to the amount of investment

Pro Tempore (Pro Tem) • FOR THE TIME BEING

Temporarily

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Q)

Quasi • AS IF

Any person exercising powers similar to those of a judge would be sitting in a Quasi-Judicial capacity

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R)

Ratio Decidendi

The principles of law applied by a Court upon which a judicial decision is based

Res Judicata • A THING ADJUDGED

Once a case has been finally decided upon by a Court the same parties cannot attempt to raise the issue by or during further proceedings

Res Ipsa Loquitur • THE THING SPEAKS FOR ITSELF

An event that has occurred which, if the subject of litigation, would not require an onus of proof by the plaintiff because of the obvious negligence of the defendant

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S)

Semble • IT APPEARS

 

Sine Die • WITHOUT A DAY

A hearing adjourned sine die stands open indefinitely without a further hearing having been allocated

Sub Judice • IN THE COURSE OF TRIAL

Whilst a court case is under consideration. Proceedings are sub-Judice and details cannot be disclosed

Subpoena ad Testificum • TO PRODUCE EVIDENCE

A writ directed to a person commanding him/her, under a penalty, to appear before a Court and give evidence

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U)

Ultra Vires (See Intra Vires) • BEYOND THE POWER

An act that falls outside or beyond the jurisdiction of the court

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V)

Videlicet (Viz) • NAMELY

Used in text to indicate examples

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Legal Terms

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W

ACCUSED

The person charged. The person who has allegedly committed the offence

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF SERVICES

Form of reply to, or confirmation of, service of process

ACQUITTAL

Discharge of defendant following verdict or direction of not guilty

ACT

Law, as an act of parliament

ACTION

see 'CLAIM'

ADJOURNED GENERALLY OR SINE DIE

Temporary suspension of the hearing of a case by order of the Court (maybe for a short period, e.g. to next day or sine die).

ADJUDICATION

Judgment or decision of a Court or tribunal

ADMINISTRATION ORDER

An order by a County Court directing a debtor to pay a specified monthly instalment into Court in respect of outstanding debts. The Court retains the payments made and at intervals distributes it between the creditors on a pro-rata basis

ADMIRALTY ACTIONS

see 'HIGH COURT'

ADOPTION

An act by which the rights and duties of the natural parents of a child are extinguished and equivalent rights and duties become vested in the adopter or adopters, to whom the child then stands in all respects as if born to them in marriage

ADULTERY

Voluntary sexual intercourse between a married person and another person who is not the spouse, while the marriage is still valid. This is a common fact relied on for divorce

ADVOCATE

A barrister or solicitor representing a party in a hearing before a Court

AFFIDAVIT

(see STATEMENT ) A written statement of evidence confirmed on oath or by affirmation to be true and taken before someone who has authority to administer it

AFFIRMATION

Declaration by a witness who has no religious belief, or has religious beliefs that prevent him/her taking the oath, that the evidence he/she is giving is the truth

ALLOCATION QUESTIONNAIRE

Issued to all parties after a defence has been filed. This form details all the evidence to be used as well as the required domestic arrangements for the trial

ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION

An alternative method by which parties can resolve their dispute - could be arbitration

ANCILLARY RELIEF

Additional claims (e.g. in respect of maintenance) attached to the petition for divorce/judicial separation/nullity

ANNUL

To declare no longer valid

APPEAL

Application to a higher Court or authority for review of a decision of a lower Court or authority

APPELLANT

Person who appeals

APPLICANT

Person making the request or demand, e.g. person who issues an application

APPLICATION

The act of applying to a Court

APPRAISEMENT OR APPRAISAL

Valuation of goods seized under warrant of execution prior to sale

ASSISTED PERSON (LEGALLY)

A party to legal proceedings who is receiving legal aid

ATTACHMENT OF EARNINGS

An order that directs an employer of a debtor to deduct regularly an amount, fixed by the Court, from the debtor's earnings and pay that sum into Court

AWARD

Result of an arbitration hearing or the amount of damages assessed by a Court

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BAIL

Release of a defendant from custody, until his/her next appearance in Court, subject sometimes to security being given and/or compliance with certain conditions

BAILIFF

Officer of the County Court empowered to serve Court documents and execute warrants

BANKRUPT

Insolvent - unable to pay creditors and having all goods/effects administered by a liquidator or trustee and sold for the benefit of those creditors; as a result of an order under the Insolvency Act 1986

BAR

The collective term for barristers

BARRISTER

(see COUNSEL ; SILK ) A member of the bar: the branch of the legal profession which has rights of audience before all Courts

BENCH WARRANT

A warrant issued by the judge for an absent defendant to be arrested and brought before a Court

BILL OF COSTS

(See TAXATION OF COSTS , SUMMARY ASSESSMENT and DETAILED ASSESSMENT .

BILL OF INDICTMENT

A written statement of the charges against a defendant sent for trial to the Crown Court, and signed by an officer of the Court

BIND OVER

In the Crown Court or (more usually) the Magistrates Court , and signed by an officer of the Court

BIND OVER FOR SENTENCE

An order which requires the defendant to return to Court on an unspecified date for sentence. Failure to observe this order may result in a forfeit or penalty to be enforced

BRIEF

Written instructions to counsel to appear at a hearing on behalf of a party prepared by the solicitor and setting out the facts of the case and any case law relied upon

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CASE CONFERENCE

Usually the first hearing in a Multi Track claim and an opportunity to take stock and consider the way forward

CASE NUMBER

A unique reference number allocated to each case by the issuing Court

CAUTION

i) Notice given to the Land Registry by any person with an interest in particular land to ensure that no action is taken in respect of the land without the person's knowledge
ii) Warning, given by a Police Officer, to a person charged with an offence
iii) Warning, given by a Police Officer, instead of a charge

CAVEAT

A notice given to the registrar that effectively prevents action by another party without first notifying the party entering the caveat

CERTIFICATE OF LEGAL AID COSTS

A certificate of costs allowed following taxation by a judicial or taxing officer (Previously referred to as an Allocatur)

CESSATE

A grant of representation of limited duration which has ceased and expired

CHAMBERS

i) Private room, or Court from which the public are excluded in which a District Judge or Judge may conduct certain sorts of hearings
ii) Offices used by a barrister

CHANCERY DIVISION

see HIGH COURT

CHARGE

A formal accusation against a person that a criminal offence has been committed (see also CHARGING ORDER)

CHARGING ORDER

An order directing that a charge be registered at the Land Registry on property owned by the debtor. This is also a form of enforcing civil debt. An order preventing the sale or disposal of a property until the charge has been cleared

CIRCUIT JUDGE

A judge who sits in the County Court and/or Crown Court

CIVIL

Matters concerning private rights and not offences against the state

CIVIL JUSTICE REFORMS

The result of the Access to Justice report by Lord Woolf The aim is to provide more effective access to Justice through quicker, cheaper and more proportionate justice for defended cases It introduced a unified set of Rules and Practice Directions for the County and High Courts, and Judicial Case Management The reforms came into effect on 26 April 1999

CLAIM

Proceedings issued in the County or High Court. Previously know as an Action

CLAIMANT

The person issuing the claim. Previously known as the Plaintiff

CLAIM FORM

The form that a claim is issued on. Previously known as a Summons

CLINICAL NEGLIGENCE

Describes a medical accident where a patient has been harmed, not because of a complication which couldn't be avoided, but because a doctor or other healthcare professional has not given the proper standard of care. It doesn't mean that this person was incompetent. It can just mean that in a particular case, they made a mistake which they shouldn't have.

Clinical negligence includes things such as:
• making a mistake during surgery;
• giving you the wrong drug; or
• making the wrong diagnosis or delaying a diagnosis unnecessarily.

Clinical negligence can also include not doing things that should be done, such as:
• not giving you treatment you needed;
• not getting your consent (agreement) to treatment; or
• not warning you about the risks of a particular type of treatment.
If you or a relative have been the victim of clinical negligence, you may be able to claim compensation.

CLINICAL NEGLIGENCE LAW

This area of law covers help with claims for damages against all types of public and private medical practitioner. This includes treatment from doctors, nurses and dentists.

CODICIL

An addendum signed and executed which amends or adds something to a will

COMMISSIONER OF OATHS

Solicitors authorised by the Lord Chancellor to administer oaths and affirmations to a statement of evidence

COMMITTAL

i) Committal for Trial: Following examination by the Magistrates of a case involving and indictable or either way offence, the procedure of directing the case to the Crown Court to be dealt with
ii) Committal for Sentence: Where the Magistrates consider that the offence justifies a sentence greater than they are empowered to impose they may commit the defendant to the Crown Court for sentence to be passed by a judge
iii) Committal Order: An order of the Court committing someone to prison
iv) Committal Warrant (see WARRANT OF COMMITTAL)

COMMON LAW

The law established, by precedent, from judicial decisions and established within a community

COMPENSATION

Sum of money to make up for or make amends for loss, breakage, hardship, inconvenience or personal injury caused by another

CONCURRENT SENTENCE

A direction by a Court that a number of sentences of imprisonment should run at the same time

CONCURRENT WRIT

A duplicate of the original writ bearing the same date and expiring at the same time as the original

CONDITIONAL DISCHARGE

A discharge of a convicted defendant without sentence on condition that he/she does not re-offend within a specified period of time

CONDUCT MONEY

i) Money paid to a witness in advance of the hearing of a case as compensation for time spent attending Court
ii) Commonly used to describe expenses paid to a debtor to cover the costs of travelling to Court

CONSECUTIVE SENTENCE

An order for a subsequent sentence of imprisonment to commence as soon as a previous sentence expires. Can apply to more than two sentences

CONTEMPT OF COURT

Disobedience or wilful disregard to the judicial process

CONTRIBUTORY NEGLIGENCE

Partial responsibility of a claimant for the injury in respect of which he/she claims damages

CO-RESPONDENT

A person named as an adulterer (or third person) in a petition for divorce

CORROBORATION

Evidence by one person confirming that of another or supporting evidence, for example forensic evidence (bloodstain, fibres etc) in murder cases

COUNSEL

A Barrister

COUNT

An individual offence set out in an indictment

COUNTERCLAIM

A claim made by a defendant against a claimant in an action. There is no limit imposed on a counterclaim, but a fee is payable according to the amount counterclaimed

COUNTY COURT

Sometimes inaccurately referred to as the Small Claims Court, County Courts deal with civil matters including all monetary claims up to £15,000. Many County Courts have extra powers which enable them to deal with divorce and other family proceedings, bankruptcy actions, matters relating to children and cases involving ships and boats known as admiralty actions. Some County Courts are also branch offices of the High Court known as district registries

COURT

Body with judicial powers (see also COURT ROOM )

COURT OF APPEAL

Divided into:

i) civil and,
ii) criminal divisions and hears appeals:
i) from decision in the High Court and County Courts and,
ii) against convictions or sentences passed by the Crown Court, (see also Public Trustee Monies held in Court, in the name of the Accountant General, for suitors, minors, Court of Protection patients etc)

COURT OF PROTECTION

The branch of the High Court with jurisdiction over the estates of people mentally incapable of handling their own financial affairs

COURT ROOM

The room in which cases are heard

COVENANT

A formal agreement or a contract constituting an obligation to perform an act

CREDITOR

A person to whom money is owed by a debtor

CRIMINAL

Person who has been found guilty of a criminal offence

CRIMINAL LAW

This area of law covers legal help on everything to do with criminal proceedings. For example, it includes being investigated, prosecuted and sentenced. You may need advice on length of prison sentence, detention or parole. This category also covers help about the way prisoners are treated.

CROWN COURT

The Crown Court deals with all crime committed for trial by Magistrates Courts Cases for trial are heard before a judge and jury. The Crown Court also acts as an appeal Court for cases heard and dealt with by the Magistrates. The Crown Court can also deal with some civil and family matters

The Crown Court is divided into tiers, depending on the type of work dealt with.

FIRST TIER

• Defended High Court Civil work.
• All classes of offence in criminal proceedings.
• Committals for sentence from the Magistrates' Court.
• Appeals against convictions and sentences imposed at Magistrates' Court.

SECOND TIER

• All classes of offence in criminal proceedings.
• Committals for sentence from Magistrates' Court.
• Appeals against convictions and sentences imposed at Magistrates' Court.

THIRD TIER

• Class 4 offences only in criminal proceedings.
• Committals for sentence from Magistrates' Court.
• Appeals against convictions and sentences.

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DAMAGES

An amount of money claimed as compensation for physical/material loss, e.g. personal injury, breach of contract

DEBTOR

Person owing money to another party

DECREE

An order of the Court in proceedings commenced by petition

DECREE ABSOLUTE

A final certificate, resulting from an application, dissolving a marriage

DECREE NISI

Order for divorce unless cause to contrary is shown within a set period

DECLARATION

Court order setting out the rights of a party in the form of a statement

DEED

A legal document which sets out the terms of an agreement, which is signed by both parties

DEFAULT JUDGMENT

Obtained by the claimant as a result of the failure of a defendant to comply with the requirements of a claim i.e. reply or pay within a 14 day period after service of the claim

DEFENDANT

Person sued; person standing trial or appearing for sentence

DEPONENT

Person giving evidence by affidavit

DEPOSITION

A statement of evidence written down and sworn on oath, or by affirmation

DESIGNATED CIVIL JUDGE

A Judge designated to deal with the Civil Justice Reforms for a group of courts

DETAILED ASSESSMENT (of costs)

Where costs are dealt with by the drawing of a bill of costs

DETERMINATION

Act of scrutinising a bill of costs in criminal proceedings to see if the work done and amount claimed is reasonable

DEVI

Person to whom freehold land is given by a will

DISABILITY

The inability of a person to handle their own affairs (e.g. through mental illness or a minor under 18 years of age) which prevents involvement in civil legal proceedings without representation

DISCOVERY OF DOCUMENTS

(see INSPECTION OF DOCUMENTS ) Mutual exchange of evidence and all relevant information held by each party relating to the case

DISCONTINUANCE

Notice given by the Court, on instruction by the claimant, that they no longer wish to proceed with the case

DISMISSAL

To make order or decision that a claim be ceased

DISTRICT JUDGE

A judicial officer of the Court whose duties involve hearing applications made within proceedings and final hearings subject to any limit of jurisdiction Previously known as Registrars

DISTRICT REGISTRAR

see DISTRICT JUDGE

DISTRICT REGISTRY

see HIGH COURT

DIVISIONAL COURT

As well as having an original jurisdiction of their own, all three divisions of the High Court have appellate jurisdiction to hear appeals from lower Courts and tribunals. The Divisional Court of the Chancery Division deals with appeals in bankruptcy matters from the County Court. The Divisional Court of the Queen's Bench Division deals largely with certain appeals on points of law from many Courts. The Divisional Court of the Family Division deals largely with appeals from Magistrates Courts in matrimonial matters a 'next friend' or 'guardian ad litem'

DIVORCE

Dissolution or nullity of marriage

DOCK

Enclosure in criminal Court for the defendant on trial

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EITHER-WAY OFFENCE

(see INDICTABLE OFFENCE , SUMMARY OFFENCE ) An offence for which the accused may elect the case to be dealt with either summarily by the magistrates or by committal to the Crown Court to be tried by jury

EMPLOYMENT LAW

This category covers help on anything to do with what happens at work. For example, you may feel you have been sacked unfairly. You may need advice on aspects of your employment contract or whether you have a case for racial or sexual discrimination. You may want to know whether a strike is legal or how you stand on data protection and employee confidentiality

ENFORCEMENT

Method of pursuing a civil action after judgment has been made in favour of a party. Process carried out by Magistrates Court to collect fines and other monetary orders made in the Crown Court

ENTRY OF JUDGMENT

Decision of the Court in favour of one or other of the parties

ESTATE

The rights and assets of a person in property

EXECUTION

(see LEVY ) Seizure of debtors goods following non payment of a Court order

EXECUTOR

A person or persons specified to carry out the provisions of a will

EXEMPT

To be freed from liability or allegiance

EXHIBIT

Item or document referred to in an affidavit or used as evidence during a Court trial or hearing

EXPERT WITNESS

Person employed to give evidence on a subject in which they are qualified or have expertise

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FAMILY DIVISION

see HIGH COURT

FAMILY LAW

This category covers legal help on all family issues. For example, you may want advice on what to do if you want your children to live with you following a divorce and whether the other party should have contact with them. You can get help on what to do about domestic violence, or if your child is being taken into care or being considered for adoption.

FAST TRACK

The path that defended claims of more than £5000 but not more than £15000 are allocated to

FEE

Monies payable on issue of an claim or subsequent process

FIAT

A decree or command

FIERI-FACIAS (FI-FA)

(see SHERIFF ) High Court version of warrant of execution in County Court. A directive by a High Court to a sheriff to seize sufficient goods of a debtor to satisfy judgment debt

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GARNISHEE

A summons issued by a plaintiff, against a third party, for seizure of money or other assets in their keeping, but belonging to the defendant

'GAZUMPING'

When a seller of property, after agreeing to sell to one buyer, accepts a better offer from another person.

GUARANTOR

Someone who promises to make payment for another if payment is not made by the person responsible for making the repayments of a loan or hire purchase agreement

GUARDIAN

A person appointed to safeguard/protect/manage the interests of a child or person under mental disability (see NEXT FRIEND )

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HIGH COURT

A civil Court which consists of three divisions:-
i) Queen's Bench (can be known as King's Bench Division if a King is assuming the throne) - civil disputes for recovery of money, including breach of contract, personal injuries, libel/slander;
ii) Family - concerned with matrimonial maters and proceedings relating to children, e.g. wardship;
iii) Chancery - property matters including fraud and bankruptcy

HIGH COURT JUDGE

see JUDGE and HIGH COURT

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IMMIGRATION AND NATIONALITY LAW

This area of law covers legal help on anything to do with immigration into the UK . For example, you may have questions relating to your nationality or right to stay in this country. You may need to know about asylum, the information you require to enter the UK and why you may be deported.

INDICTABLE OFFENCE

A criminal offence triable only by the Crown Court. The different types of offence are classified 1, 2, 3 or 4. Murder is a class 1 offence

INFANT

Also known as a minor: A person under 18 years of age which prevents them from acting on their own behalf in legal proceedings (see NEXT FRIEND )

INJUNCTION

An order by a Court either restraining a person or persons from carrying out a course of action or directing a course of action be complied with. Failure to carry out terms of the order may be punishable by imprisonment

INSOLVENT

see BANKRUPT

INSPECTION OF DOCUMENTS

(see DISCOVERY OF DOCUMENTS ) Following disclosure of each parties documents by discovery, the arrangements made by the parties to allow mutual exchange and copying of documents

INTERLOCUTORY

Interim, pending a full order/decision, e.g. interlocutory judgment for damages pending further hearing to assess amount to be awarded and entered as final judgment

INTERPLEADER

A claim by a third party to ownership of goods levied upon under a warrant of execution which is disputed by a creditor. The Court then issues an interpleader summons for the parties to attend Court to adjudicate on rightful ownership

INTESTATE

Without leaving a will

ISSUE

To initiate legal proceedings in pursuit of a claim

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JUDGE

An officer appointed to administer the law and who has authority to hear and try cases in a Court of law

JUDGMENT

Final decision of a Court A monetary judgment requires the payment of a sum of money by one party to another

JUDICIAL/JUDICIARY

i) Relating to the administration of justice or to the judgment of a Court ii) A judge or other officer empowered to act as a judge

JURAT

A statement contained at the conclusion of an affidavit which states the name of the person giving the evidence, the name of the person before whom and the place where the oath or affirmation was taken

JUROR

(see JURY ) A person who has been summoned by a Court to be a member of the jury

JURY

Body of jurors sworn to reach a verdict according to the evidence in a Court

JUSTICE OF THE PEACE

A lay magistrate - person appointed to administer judicial business in a Magistrates Court . Also sits in the Crown Court with a judge or recorder to hear appeals and committals for sentence

JURISDICTION

The area and matters over which a Court has legal authority

JUVENILE

Person under 17 years of age

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LANDLORD AND TENANT ACT

Act which empowers applications (seeking extension of a lease or some other action concerning tenancy

LAW

The system made up of rules established by an act of parliament, custom or practice enjoining or prohibiting certain action (see also COMMON LAW )

LAW LORDS

Describes the judges of the House of Lords who are known as the Lords of Appeal in ordinary

LEASE

The letting of land or tenements, e.g. rent etc, for property for a prescribed period

LEGAL AID

Facility for the fees and expenses of counsel, solicitors or other legal representatives retained by those of modest means to be paid from a fund administered by the Legal Aid Board

LEGAL PERSONAL REPRESENTATIVE

The person to whom a grant of probate or letters of administration has been issued

LEGATEE

Person to whom personal estate is given by will

LETTERS OF ADMINISTRATION

Authority granted by a Probate Registry to someone interested in the estate of a person who has died without leaving a will. The order allows the 'administrator' to carry out the duties relating to the estate

LEVY

(see EXECUTION & Fi-Fa ) A duty carried out by a bailiff or sheriff under the authority of a warrant or writ of fi-fa, for a sum of money whereby goods of value belonging to the debtor are claimed with a view to removal and sale at a public auction in an attempt to obtain payment

LIBEL

A written and published statement/article which infers damaging remarks on a persons reputation

LICENCE

Permission to carry out an act that would otherwise be considered illegal

LIEN

A legal right to withhold the goods/property of another until payment is made

LISTING QUESTIONNAIRE

This form is used to ensure that all issues are resolved and that the parties are ready for trial. Used for Fast Track and Multi Track claims only

LITIGATION

Legal proceedings

LONG VACATION

Period between 1 August and 30 September in each year during which there are only restricted High Court sittings for urgent matters

LORD CHANCELLOR

The cabinet minister who acts as speaker of the House of Lords and oversees the hearings of the Law Lords. Additional responsibilities include supervising the procedure of Courts other than Magistrates or Coroners Courts and selection of judges, magistrates, queens counsel and members of tribunals

LORD CHIEF JUSTICE

Senior judge of the Court of Appeal (Criminal Division) who also heads the Queens Bench Division of the High Court of Justice)

LORD JUSTICE OF APPEAL

Title given to certain judges sitting in the Court of Appeal

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MAGISTRATES COURT

A Court where criminal proceedings are commenced before justices of the peace who examine the evidence/statements and either deal with the case themselves or commit to the Crown Court for trial or sentence. Also has jurisdiction in a range of civil matters (see also STIPENDIARY MAGISTRATE)

MAINTENANCE PENDING SUIT

A temporary order for financial provision made within divorce proceedings until such time as the proceedings are finalised (i.e. by issue of the Decree Absolute)

MASTER

(see REGISTRAR ) Judicial officer of the High Court in the Royal Courts of Justice who normally deals with preliminary matters before trial

MASTER OF THE ROLLS

Senior judge of the Court of Appeal (Civil Division)

MATTER

(see ORIGINATING APPLICATION ) Proceedings commenced by way of originating application

MESNE PROFITS

Sum of money claimed by the owner of property against someone not legally entitled to be in possession. Calculated from the date the notice to quit expires until the date possession is given up

MINOR

Someone below 18 years of age and unable to sue or be sued without representation, other than for wages. A minor sues by a next friend and defends by a guardian

MITIGATION

Reasons submitted on behalf of a guilty party in order to excuse or partly excuse the offence committed in an attempt to minimise the sentence

MORTGAGE

A loan of money advanced to purchase property. The transfer of the property is withheld as security for payment

MORTGAGOR

The party obtaining the loan

MORTGAGEE

The party that advances the loan

MOTION

An application by one party to the High Court for an order in their favour

MULTI TRACK

The path that defended claims over £15000 are allocated to

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NO-WIN,NO-FEE

A way of paying for your case, also known as Conditional-fee agreement

NEXT FRIEND

(see GUARDIAN ) A person representing a minor or mental patient who is involved in legal proceedings

NON-MOLESTATION

An order within an injunction to prevent one person physically attacking another

NON-SUIT

Proceedings where the plaintiff has failed to establish to the Court's satisfaction that there is a case for the defendant to answer

NOTARY PUBLIC

Someone who is authorised to swear oaths and certify the execution of deeds

NOTICE OF ISSUE

Notice sent by a Court to the claimant giving notification of the case number allocated to their action and details of fees paid. Confirms date of service

NOTICE TO QUIT

Gives prior notice, when served in possession proceedings, of termination of a tenancy

NULLITY

Application to the Court for a declaration that a marriage be declared 'void' or be annulled i.e. declared never to have existed or to have subsisted until the Court dissolved it

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OATH

(see AFFIRMATION ) A verbal promise by a person with religious beliefs to tell the truth

OFFICIAL RECEIVER

A civil servant who works for the Department of Trade and Industry and is appointed by the Court to act as:-
i) a liquidator when a company is being wound up;
ii) a trustee when an individual is made bankrupt. The duties of an official receiver will include examining the company/bankrupt's property which is available to pay the debts and distributing the money amongst the creditors

OFFICIAL SOLICITOR

A solicitor or barrister appointed by the Lord Chancellor and working in the Lord Chancellor's Department. The duties include representing, in legal proceedings, people who are incapable of looking after their own affairs i.e. children/persons suffering from mental illness

ORAL EXAMINATION

A method of questioning a person under oath before an officer of the Court to obtain details of their financial affairs

ORDER

A direction by a Court

ORIGINATING APPLICATION

(see MATTER ) A method of commencing proceedings under the authority of a specific act of parliament, e.g. Landlord and Tenant Act, whereby the applicant asks the Court to grant an order in their favour

OUSTER

An order within an injunction to force a person to leave a property

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PARTICULARS

Details relevant to a claim

PARTY

Any of the participants in a Court action or proceedings

PARTY AND PARTY COSTS

Costs that one party must pay to another

PATIENT

A person who is deemed incapable of handling his/her own affairs by reason of mental incapacity and who is under the jurisdiction of the Court of Protection

PENAL NOTICE

Directions attached to an order of a Court stating the penalty for disobedience may result in imprisonment

PERSONAL APPLICATION

Application made to the Court without legal representation

PERSONAL INJURY

This area of law covers help concerning claims for damages for injury caused by another person or organisation. For example, you may need advice on claiming following a traffic accident. You may want to know how you stand on the issue of an accident at work, or a disease you caught there.

PERSONAL SERVICE

Personal delivery (i.e. not by mail) of a claim, summons or notice

PETITION

A method of commencing proceedings whereby the order required by the petitioner from the Court is expressed as a prayer, e.g. the petitioner therefore prays that the marriage be dissolved (divorce proceedings)

PETITIONER

A person who presents the petition

PLAINTIFF

see CLAIMANT

PLAINT NOTE

see NOTICE OF ISSUE

PLAINT NUMBER

Old-fashioned term for Claim Number

PLEA

A defendant's reply to a charge put to him by a court; i.e. guilty or not guilty

PLEADINGS

Documents setting out claim /defence of parties involved in civil proceedings

POSSESSION PROCEEDINGS

Legal proceedings by a landlord to recover land/property i.e. house, flat, garage etc

POWER OF ARREST

An order attached to some injunctions to allow the police to arrest a person who has broken the terms of the order

PRECEDENT

The decision of a case which established principles of law that act as an authority for future cases of a similar nature

PRESIDENT OF THE FAMILY DIVISION

Senior judge and head of the family Division of the High Court of Justice

PRE-TRIAL REVIEW

A preliminary appointment at which the District Judge consider the issues before the Court and fixes the timetable for the trial

PROBATE

The legal recognition of the validity of a will

PROCESS

The document commencing a claim or subsequent action

PROSECUTION

The institution or conduct of criminal proceedings against a person

PROSECUTOR

Person who prosecutes (see PROSECUTION)

PUBLIC TRUSTEE

A person (usually a barrister or solicitor) appointed by the Lord Chancellor as
i) Trustee for Trusts managed by the Public Trust Office;
ii) Accountant General for Court Funds;
iii) Receiver (of last resort) for Court of Protection patients

PUISNE JUDGE

(Pronounced Puny) High Court judge. Any judge of the High Court other than the heads of each division. The word puisne means junior and is used to distinguish High Court judges from senior judges sitting at the Court of Appeal

PUTATIVE FATHER

The alleged or supposed father of an illegitimate child

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QUASH

To annul; i.e. to declare no longer valid

QUANTUM

In a damages claim the amount to be determined by the court

QUEENS BENCH DIVISION

see HIGH COURT

QUEENS COUNSEL

Barristers of at least ten years standing may apply to become queen's counsel. QCs undertake work of an important nature and are referred to as 'silks' which is derived from the Courts gown that is worn. Will be known as king's counsel if a king assumes the throne

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RECEIVER

Person appointed by the Court of Protection to act on behalf of a patient

RECOGNISANCE

An undertaking before the Court by which a person agrees to comply with a certain condition, e.g. keep the peace/appear in court. A sum of money is normally pledged to ensure compliance

RECORDER

(also Assistant Recorder) Members of the legal profession (barristers or solicitors) who are appointed to act in a judicial capacity on a part time bases. They may progress to become a full time judge

REDETERMINATION

An application by a solicitor or counsel for amounts assessed by determination to be reconsidered

REGISTRAR

(see DISTRICT JUDGE ) Registrars and deputy registrars were renamed District Judges and Deputy District Judges respectively in the Courts and Legal Services Act 1990

REMAND

To order an accused person to be kept in custody or placed on bail pending further Court appearance

RESPONDENT

The person on whom a petition or originating application is served

RIGHT OF AUDIENCE

Entitlement to appear before a Court in a legal capacity and conduct proceedings on behalf of a party to the proceedings

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SERVICE

Delivery by post or personal service of the claim, or other court documents

SHERIFF

An officer of the Crown whose duties, amongst other things, consist of the enforcement of High Court writs of execution

SILK

Queens Counsel, a senior barrister sometimes referred to as a leader or leading counsel

SLANDER

Spoken words which have a damaging effect on a person's reputation

SMALL CLAIMS TRACK

The path that defended claims of no more than £5000 (and Personal Injury and Housing Disrepair claims of no more than £1000) are allocated to

SOLICITOR

Member of the legal profession chiefly concerned with advising clients and preparing their cases and representing them in some Courts. May also act as advocates before certain Courts or tribunals

SPECIFIED CLAIM

A type of claim which is issued for a fixed amount of money allegedly owing. Previously known as a liquidated claim

SQUATTER

A person occupying land or property without the owners consent

STATEMENT

A written account by a witness of the facts of details of a matter

STATUTORY INSTRUMENT

A document issued by the delegated authority (usually a Government Minister or committee) named within an act of parliament which affects the workings of the original Act, e.g. The County Courts Act 1984 confers authority on to the County Court Rule Committee to make rules relating to the operation of the County Courts act

STAY OF EXECUTION

An order following which judgment cannot be enforced without leave of the court

STIPENDIARY MAGISTRATE

A legally qualified and salaried Magistrate

SUBPOENA

A summons issued to a person directing their attendance in Court to give evidence

SUIT

Legal proceedings commenced by petition

SUITOR

Person bringing a suit before the Courts

SUMMARY ASSESSMENT (of costs)

Where the question of costs is dealt with at the conclusion of the hearing

SUMMARY JUDGMENT

Judgment obtained by a plaintiff where there is no defence to the case or the defence contains no valid grounds

SUMMARY OFFENCE

(see INDICTABLE , EITHER WAY OFFENCE ) A criminal offence which is triable only by a Magistrates Court

SUMMING-UP

A review of the evidence and directions as to the law by a judge immediately before a jury retires to consider its verdict

SUMMONS

Order to appear or to produce evidence to a Court Also the old name for a claim form

SUMMONS (JURY)

Order to attend for jury service

SUMMONS (WITNESS)

Order to appear as a witness at a hearing

SUPREME COURT OF JUDICATURE

Collective name encompassing - High Court of Justice, Crown Court and Court of Appeal

SURETY

A person's undertaking to be liable for another's default or non-attendance at Court

SUSPENDED SENTENCE

A custodial sentence which will not take effect unless there is a subsequent offence within a specified period

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TAXATION OF COSTS

(see SUMMARY ASSESSMENT and DETAILED ASSESSMENT ) An examination of a solicitor's bill in civil proceedings by a Court to ensure that all charges against the legal aid fund are fair and reasonable (see also PARTY AND PARTY COSTS which are also examined by a Court)

TESTATOR

A person who makes a will

TIPSTAFF

An officer of the Supreme Court whose duties involve the enforcement of High Court arrest warrants

TORT

A civil wrong committed against a person for which compensation may be sought through a civil Court, e.g. personal injury, negligent driving, libel etc

TRIAL WINDOW

A period of time within which the case must be listed for trial

TRIBUNAL

A group of people consisting of a chairman (normally solicitor/barrister) and others who exercise a judicial function to determine matters related to specific interests, e.g. VAT Tribunal - appeals against the amount of duty levied by Customs and Excise Lands Tribunal - appeals against the valuation of land

TRUST

Property legally entrusted to a person with instructions to use it for another person (or persons benefit)

TRUSTEE

A person who holds or administers property in a trust for another (or others)

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UNSPECIFIED CLAIM

A claim where the amount to be awarded is left to the Court to determine, e.g. damages to be assessed for personal injuries. Previously known as an unliquidated claim

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VERDICT

The finding of guilty or not guilty by a jury

VICE CHANCELLOR

Senior judge and head of the Chancery Division of the High Court of Justice (although the Lord Chancellor is the nominal head)

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WALKING POSSESSION

A signed agreement by a debtor not to remove goods levied by a bailiff under the authority of a warrant of execution and to allow the bailiff access at any time to inspect the goods, in consideration of which the bailiff leaves the goods in the possession of the debtor

WARD OF COURT

The title given to a minor who is the subject of a wardship order. The order ensures that custody of the minor is held by the Court with day to day care of the minor being carried out by an individual(s) or local authority. As long as the minor remains a ward of Court, all decisions regarding the minors upbringing must be approved by the Court, e.g. transfer to a different school, medical treatment etc

WARDSHIP

High Court action making a minor a ward of court

WARRANT OF COMMITTAL

Method of enforcing an order of the Court whereby the penalty for failing to comply with its terms is imprisonment; the bailiff is authorised to carry out the arrest and deliver the person to prison (or in some instances the Court)

WARRANT OF DELIVERY

Method of enforcing a judgment for the return of goods (or value of the goods) whereby a bailiff is authorised to recover the goods (or their value) from the debtor and return them to the creditor

WARRANT OF EXECUTION

Method of enforcing a judgment for a sum of money whereby a bailiff is authorised , in lieu of payment, to seize and remove goods belonging to a defendant for sale at public auction

WARRANT OF POSSESSION

Method of enforcing a judgment for possession of a property whereby a bailiff is authorised to evict people and secure against re-entry

WARRANT OF RESTITUTION

A remedy available following illegal re-entry of premises by persons evicted under a warrant of possession. The bailiff is authorised to evict all occupants found on the premises and re-deliver the premises to the plaintiff

WILL

A declaration of a person's intentions to distribute his/her estate and assets

WINDING UP

The voluntary or compulsory closure of a company and the subsequent realisation of assets and payment to creditors

WITNESS

A person who gives evidence in Court (see also EXPERT WITNESS )

WRIT OF SUMMONS

(see CLAIM)

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