Dictionary of Law
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Founded: 230
chain of title :: n. the succession of title ownership to real prope ... title conveyance foreclosure title
clear title :: n. holding ownership of real property without any ... s which might affect the ownership.
certificate of title :: n. generally, the title document for a motor vehic ... a "pink slip." See also: pink slip
title search :: n. the examination of county records for the prope ... e escrow lien title title insurance
defective title :: n. an apparent title to real property which fails ... so: chain of title defect defective
title report :: n. the written analysis of the status of title to ... lso: abstract title title insurance
cloud on title (cloud) :: n. an actual or apparent outstanding claim on the ... ion reconveyance title title report
title :: n. 1) ownership of real property or personal prope ... ink slip real property title search
title abstract :: n. a history of the chain of title. See also: abst ... chain of title. See also: abstract
title insurance :: n. a policy issued by an insurance company guarant ... : chain of title title title search
color of title :: n. the appearance of having title to personal or r ... rty based on this "color of title."
quiet title action :: n. a lawsuit to establish a party's title to real ... opposition. See also: notice title
paramount title :: n. a right to real property which prevails over an ... n's claim of title. See also: title
marketable title :: n. the title to real property which has no encumbr ... e. See also: contract real property
muniment of title :: n. documentary evidence of title to real property. ... also: deed quiet title action title
after-acquired title :: n. title to property acquired after the owner atte ... ed title goes automatically to Sam.
abstract of title :: n. the written report on a title search which show ... e also: chain of title title report
good title :: n. ownership of real property which is totally fre ... or deed of trust on the property).
recoverable :: adj. referring to the amount of money to which a p ... ehicle." See also: damages judgment
pro rata :: (proh rat-ah or proh ray-tah) adj. from Latin for ... e year in which he/she holds title.
privileges and immunities :: n. the fundamental rights that people enjoy in fre ... t impinge on constitutional rights.
prevailing party :: n. the winner in a lawsuit. Many contracts, leases ... ed before or after trial has begun.
possibility of a reverter :: n. the potential that the title to a real property ... further issue. See also: reversion
possessory interest :: n. in real estate, the intent and right of a perso ... o: possess possession real property
power :: n. the right, authority and ability to take some a ... g legal rights and many other acts.
power of attorney :: n. a written document signed by a person giving an ... y, as in a real estate transaction.
prescriptive easement :: n. an easement upon another's real property acquir ... on. See also: easement prescription
pretermitted heir :: n. the child of a person who has written a will in ... cified $10,000 each. See also: heir
records :: n. in business, particularly corporations, all the ... s to the "records" of the business.
proviso :: n. a term or condition in a contract or title docu ... on in a contract or title document.
quitclaim deed :: n. a real property deed which transfers (conveys) ... also: convey deed grant deed title
public record :: n. any information, minutes, files, accounts or ot ... l judgment are both public records.
public trust doctrine :: n. the principle that the government holds title t ... interest has been dubious at best.
quasi-criminal :: adj. a reference to a court's right to punish for ... defendant. See also: criminal quasi
proper party :: n. a person or entity who has an interest (financi ... lf. See also: necessary party party
possess :: v. to own, have title to, occupy, physically hold ... ng the estate. See also: possession
qui tam action :: : (kwee tam) n. from Latin for "who as well," a la ... technical violations and/or errors.
record :: 1) v. (ree-cored) to put a document into the offic ... eeding race to the courthouse trial
reconveyance :: n. in those states which use deeds of trust as a m ... conveyance. See also: deed of trust
probate :: 1) n. the process of proving a will is valid and t ... e also: administrator executor will
recoupment :: n. the right of a defendant in a lawsuit to demand ... ter, including outside the lawsuit.
participate :: v. to invest and then receive a part or share, as ... he estate of a person who has died.
notice :: n. 1) information, usually in writing in all legal ... Thirty-day notice three-day notice
nominee :: n. 1) a person or entity who is requested or named ... ic office. See also: agent executor
notice of default :: n. a notice to a borrower with property as securit ... notice of default. See also: notice
operation of law :: n. a change or transfer which occurs automatically ... atically upon the child turning 18.
or :: conj. either; in the alternative. It is often vita ... n," both must sign to change title.
nominal party :: n. a defendant or a plaintiff included in a lawsui ... ed. See also: necessary party party
mortgage :: n. a document in which the owner pledges his/her/i ... losure notice of default trust deed
literary property :: n. the writings of an author which entitles him/he ... as copyrighted. See also: copyright
merger :: n. 1) in corporate law, the joining together of tw ... and taking one, and wife the other.
misrepresentation :: n. the crime of misstating facts to obtain money, ... etenses." See also: false pretenses
mistake :: n. 1) an error in comprehending facts, meaning of ... time. See also: contract rescission
own :: v. to have legal title or right to something. Mere ... . Mere possession is not ownership.
owner :: n. one who has legal title or right to something. ... ke one a legal owner. See also: own
peaceable possession :: n. in real estate, holding property without any ad ... to possession or title by another.
peer :: n. an equal. A "jury of one's peers," to which cri ... eria. See also: jury of one's peers
peremptory :: adj. absolute, final and not entitled to delay or ... allenges or a date set for hearing.
perfected :: adj. having completed all necessary legal steps to ... itle to property. See also: perfect
payment in due course :: n. the giving of funds to the holder of a promisso ... nds. See also: holder in due course
passive :: adj. referring to being inactive. A "passive trust ... ment and interest on bank accounts.
ownership :: n. legal title coupled with exclusive legal right ... st in the same thing. See also: own
partial disability :: n. the result of an injury which permanently reduc ... erson's normal functioning is gone.
registry of deeds :: n. the records of land title documents kept by the ... mployee to locate. See also: record
passenger :: n. a rider who has paid a fare on a train, bus, ai ... also: common carrier guest statute
pleading :: n. 1) every legal document filed in a lawsuit, pet ... nswer complaint demurrer plea plead
right of way :: n. 1) a pathway or road with a specific descriptio ... s easement egress floating easement
treasury stock :: n. stock of a private corporation which was issued ... be entitled. See also: share stock
transfer :: n. 1) the movement of property from one person or ... son or shipment to continue travel.
trial :: n. the examination of facts and law presided over ... at a hearing held at a later time.
trust :: n. an entity created to hold assets for the benefi ... testamentary trust trustee trustor
trust deed :: n. another name for a deed of trust, a form of mor ... paid back. See also: deed of trust
tenancy in common :: n. title to property (usually real property, but i ... on. See also: joint tenancy tenancy
tenancy by the entirety :: n. joint ownership of title by husband and wife, i ... ee also: community property tenancy
survivorship :: n. the right to receive full title or ownership du ... onvenience. See also: joint tenancy
summons :: n. a document issued by the court at the time a la ... use service service of process writ
swindle :: v. to cheat through trick, device, false statement ... orm of theft. See also: fraud theft
take :: v. to gain or obtain possession, including the rec ... eal property or stealing an object.
tenancy :: n. the right to occupy real property permanently, ... rety tenancy in common tenant title
trustee :: n. a person or entity who holds the assets (corpus ... es. See also: settlor trust trustor
trustor :: n. the creator of a trust (who normally places the ... ern states. See also: settlor trust
warranty :: n. a written statement of good quality of merchand ... of the contract. See also: warrant
warrant :: 1) n. an order (writ) of a court which directs a l ... e search and seizure search warrant
warranty deed :: n. a deed to real property which guarantees that t ... : grant deed quitclaim deed warrant
Workmen's Compensation :: n. a former name for worker's compensation before ... isex title of the acts was adopted.
wrongful death :: n. the death of a human being as the result of a w ... ual beneficiaries (family members).
vested remainder :: n. the absolute right to receive title after a pre ... pass to him. See also: vest vested
vested :: adj. referring to having an absolute right or titl ... ed. See also: vest vested remainder
undivided interest :: n. title to real property held by two or more pers ... y by the entirety tenancy in common
unlawful detainer :: n. 1) keeping possession of real property without ... Thirty-day notice three-day notice
use :: n. the right to enjoy the benefits of real propert ... ay it is only of academic interest.
vest :: v. to give an absolute right to title or ownership ... . See also: vested vested remainder
subject to :: adj. referring to the acquisition of title to real ... : assumption deed of trust mortgage
straw man :: n. 1) a person to whom title to property or a busi ... a trail will mislead hunting dogs).
rights :: n. 1) plural of right, which is the collection of ... evidence. See also: Miranda warning
lis pendens :: (lease pen-dense) n. Latin for "a suit pending," a ... ob can be penalized by court order.
royalty :: n. a percentage of gross or net profit or a fixed ... also: copyright infringement patent
rule :: 1) v. to decide a legal question, by a court, as i ... ee also: regulations rules of court
rule against perpetuities :: n. the legal prohibition against tying up property ... . See also: restraint on alienation
right :: 1) n. an entitlement to something, whether to conc ... e also: civil rights marital rights
resulting trust :: n. a trust implied by law (as determined by a cour ... See also: constructive trust trust
relief :: n. generic term for all types of benefits which an ... r possibilities. See also: judgment
remainder :: n. in real property law, the interest in real prop ... ed reversion title vested remainder
restraint on alienation :: n. an attempt in a deed or will to prevent the sal ... enant rule against perpetuities use
restriction :: n. any limitation on activity, by statute, regulat ... rated into the title of each owner.
running with the land :: adj. permanently part of the title (ownership) to ... title (ownership) to real property.
sale :: n. transfer of something (and title to it) in retu ... contract forced sale sheriff's sale
sheriff :: n. the top law enforcement officer for a county, u ... ." See also: bailiff sheriff's sale
service by publication :: n. serving a summons or other legal document in a ... perty. See also: service of process
springing interest :: n. a future right to title to real property create ... lso: future interest interest title
stakeholder :: n. a person having in his/her possession (holding) ... ment or agreement. See also: escrow
statute of frauds :: n. law in every state which requires that certain ... ulent title claims. See also: fraud
sentence :: 1) n. the punishment given to a person convicted o ... ence restitution suspended sentence
self-executing :: adj. immediately effective without further action, ... party the right to try to collect.
satisfaction of judgment :: n. a document signed by a judgment creditor (the p ... ord. See also: abstract of judgment
satisfaction of mortgage :: n. a document signed by a lender acknowledging tha ... id off the debt. See also: mortgage
search :: v. 1) to examine another's premises (including a v ... e search and seizure search warrant
seisin :: (sees-in) n. an old feudal term for having both po ... perty). See also: fee simple seized
reliance :: n. acting upon another's statement of alleged fact ... able. See also: reasonable reliance
laches :: n. the legal doctrine that a legal right or claim ... , breach of contract, fraud, etc.).
cooperative housing :: n. an arrangement in which an association or corpo ... common area condominium cooperative
convey :: v. to transfer title (official ownership) to real ... ion conveyance deed grantee grantor
copyright :: 1) n. the exclusive right of the author or creator ... plagiarism public domain trademark
counterclaim :: n. a retaliatory claim by a defendant against a pl ... d. See also: answer cross-complaint
covenant :: 1) n. a promise in a written contract or a deed of ... o compete deed restrictive covenant
contributory negligence :: n. a doctrine of common law that if a person was i ... : comparative negligence negligence
contribution :: n. 1) donation to a charity or political campaign. ... f $3,000 from each of his partners.
consideration :: n. 1) payment or money. 2) a vital element in the ... t of a promise). See also: contract
condominium :: n. title to a unit of real property which, in real ... ium projects. See also: common area
constructive trust :: n. when a person has title to property and/or take ... tence. See also: constructive trust
contingent remainder :: n. an interest, particularly in real estate proper ... contingent interest future interest
contractor :: n. 1) a person or entity that enters into a contra ... actor mechanic's lien subcontractor
dedication :: n. the giving of land by a private person or entit ... perty. See also: quiet title action
deed :: 1) n. the written document which transfers title ( ... veyance deed of trust warranty deed
disjunctive allegations :: n. the attempt to claim in a civil lawsuit that on ... o: cause of action charge complaint
disclaimer :: n. 1) denial or renunciation by someone of his/her ... ssolving a partnership or business.
District Attorney (D.A.) :: n. an elected official of a county or a designated ... dent and serve at his/her pleasure.
domestic partners :: n. unmarried couples, including homosexuals, livin ... , such as job-related health plans.
easement :: n. the right to use the real property of another f ... rstandings at the time of creation.
devolve :: v. when property is automatically transferred from ... ory sovereign rights to run itself.
devolution :: n. 1) the transfer of title to real property by th ... nment to another. See also: devolve
defect :: n. an imperfection, quite often so great that the ... See also: defective defective title
deed of trust :: n. a document which pledges real property to secur ... : foreclosure mortgage reconveyance
defective :: adj. not being capable of fulfilling its function, ... t. See also: defect defective title
delivery :: n. the actual handing to another of an object, mon ... rties. See also: contract deed sale
demand :: 1) v. to claim as a need, requirement or entitleme ... pay is made. See also: demand note
condition precedent :: n. 1) in a contract, an event which must take plac ... o the property. See also: condition
condemnation action :: n. a lawsuit brought by a public agency to acquire ... e also: condemnation eminent domain
assignment :: n. the act of transferring an interest in property ... ing with property. See also: assign
and :: conj. this little word is important in law, partic ... ds "or," but not if it reads "and."
attorney-client privilege :: n. the requirement that an attorney may not reveal ... ivileged communication work product
beneficial interest :: n. the right of a party to some profit, distributi ... benefits. See also: contract trust
beneficial use :: n. the right to enjoy the use of something (partic ... s is held by another. See also: use
alienation :: n. the transfer of title to real property, volunta ... such as a mortgage. See also: alien
alien :: 1) n. a person who is not a citizen of the country ... 3) v. to convey title to property.
acceptance of service :: n. agreement by a defendant (or his/her attorney) ... o accept service. See also: service
abstract :: n. in general, a summary of a record or document, ... tract of judgment abstract of title
addendum :: n. an addition to a completed written document. Mo ... proposals or included fraudulently.
administrator :: n. the person appointed by the court to handle the ... e also: administer executor probate
adverse possession :: n. a means to acquire title to land through obviou ... o: possession prescriptive easement
bill of lading :: n. a receipt obtained by the shipper of goods from ... ll of lading, there is no delivery.
bona fide :: adj. Latin for "good faith," it signifies honesty, ... t doubt on the right to hold title.
compound question :: n. the combination of more than one question into ... rate questions. See also: objection
community property :: n. property and profits received by a husband and ... and distribution separate property
conclusion of fact :: n. in a trial, the final result of an analysis of ... quested. See also: finding judgment
conclusion of law :: n. a judge's final decision on a question of law w ... aw if requested. See also: judgment
condemn :: v. 1) for a public agency to determine that a buil ... condemnation action eminent domain
closing :: n. the final step in the sale and purchase of real ... company, escrow holder or attorney.
caption :: n. the first section of any written legal pleading ... to the exact format of the caption.
bond :: n. 1) written evidence of debt issued by a company ... good up to the amount of the bond.
bona fide purchaser :: n. commonly called BFP in legal and banking circle ... See also: BFP holder in due course
breach :: 1) n. literally, a break. A breach may be a failur ... breach of trust breach of warranty
breach of promise :: n. historically, the dumping of a female fiancee b ... d no longer exist. See also: breach
breach of warranty :: n. determination that a statement as to title of p ... See also: implied warranty warranty
ejectment :: n. a lawsuit brought to remove a party who is occu ... o the property through her parents.
emblements :: n. crops to which a tenant who cultivated the land ... ome the property of his/her estate.
indicia :: n. (in-dish-yah) from Latin for "signs," circumsta ... . See also: circumstantial evidence
independent contractor :: n. a person or business which performs services fo ... ue independence. See also: employee
innocent :: adj. without guilt (not guilty). Usually the plea ... also: arraignment plea plea bargain
insanity :: n. mental illness of such a severe nature that a p ... M'Naughten rule temporary insanity
insurance :: n. a contract (insurance policy) in which the insu ... t clause Workers' Compensation Acts
in rem :: adj. from Latin "against or about a thing," referr ... cular person. See also: in personam
in personam :: adj. (in purr-soh-nam) from Latin for "directed to ... here. See also: in rem jurisdiction
holding :: 1) n. any ruling or decision of a court. 2) n. any ... 4) v. keeping in one's possession.
holder in due course :: n. one holding a check or promissory note, receive ... note. See also: bona fide purchaser
hostile possession :: n. occupancy of a piece of real property coupled w ... verse possession quiet title action
implied warranty :: n. an assumption at law that products are "merchan ... er. See also: caveat emptor implied
in fee simple :: adj. referring to holding clear title to real prop ... property. See also: fee fee simple
interest :: n. 1) any and all, partial or total right to prope ... nal property real property standing
interrogation :: n. questioning of a suspect or witness by law enfo ... the poisonous tree Miranda warning
abeyance :: 1) n. when the owner- ship of property has not bee ... 2) legal jargon for "undetermined."
juvenile court :: n. a special court or department of a trial court ... See also: court juvenile delinquent
latent defect :: n. a hidden flaw, weakness or imperfection in an a ... warranty product liability warranty
legal aid society :: n. an organization formed to assist persons who ha ... bar association. See also: pro bono
libel :: 1) n. to publish in print (including pictures), wr ... libel per se public figure slander
jury fees :: n. the rather minimal amount paid each day to juro ... ees as a court cost. See also: jury
jurisdiction :: n. the authority given by law to a court to try ca ... Superior Court Supreme Court venue
invitee :: n. a person who comes onto another's property, pre ... ail employees. See also: negligence
inverse condemnation :: n. the taking of property by a government agency w ... e also: condemnation eminent domain
ipso facto :: (ip-soh fact-toe)prep. Latin for "by the fact itse ... ot entitled to a driver's license."
joint tenancy :: n. a crucial relationship in the ownership of real ... ty property tenancy in common title
Juris Doctor :: (J.D.) n. the law degree granted upon graduation b ... tles a person to a graduate degree.
holder :: n. a general term for anyone in possession of prop ... older in due course promissory note
grantor-grantee index :: n. a set of books and/or computerized lists found ... ument in tracking a chain of title.
exception in deed :: n. a notation in a deed of title to real property ... the transfer (conveyance) of title.
ex rel. :: conj. abbreviation for Latin ex relatione, meaning ... . Archie Johnson v. Hardy Products.
execution :: n. 1) the act of getting an officer of the court t ... so: death penalty writ of execution
false arrest :: n. physically detaining someone without the legal ... sment. See also: false imprisonment
fee :: n. 1) absolute title in land, from old French, fie ... See also: attorney's fee fee simple
eviction :: n. a generic word for the act of expelling (kickin ... ve eviction lease unlawful detainer
esquire :: n. a form of address showing that someone is an at ... or barristers, sheriffs and judges.
enjoyment :: n. 1) to exercise a right. 2) pleasure. 3) the use ... o be free of noise or interference.
encumbrance :: (incumbrance)n. a general term for any claim or li ... and must be paid for at some point.
escrow :: 1) n. a form of account held by an "escrow agent" ... w the deal." See also: escrow agent
escrow agent :: n. a person or entity holding documents and funds ... on local practice. See also: escrow
escrow instructions :: n. the written instructions by buyer and seller of ... ir agents. See also: closing escrow
fee simple :: n. absolute title to land, free of any other claim ... e:" or similar words. See also: fee
fee tail :: n. an old feudal expression for a title to real pr ... rest only. See also: fee fee simple
grant :: v. to transfer real property from a title holder ( ... deed grantee grantor quitclaim deed
future interest :: n. a right to receive either real property or pers ... maturity (age 18) or upon marriage.
grant deed :: n. the document which transfers title to real prop ... rant grantee grantor quitclaim deed
grantee :: n. the party who receives title to real property ( ... or quitclaim deed. See also: grant
grantor :: n. the party who transfers title in real property ... or quitclaim deed. See also: grant
free and clear :: adj. referring to the ownership of real property u ... the title has no claim against it.
fraudulent conveyance :: n. the transfer (conveyance) of title to real prop ... the conveyance will probably fail.
fertile octogenarian :: n. an unrealistic notion that any person (male or ... e passed laws to cure this anomaly.
fiduciary :: 1) n. from the Latin fiducia, meaning "trust," a p ... lation fiduciary relationship trust
fraud :: n. the intentional use of deceit, a trick or some ... audulent conveyance intrinsic fraud
fraud in the inducement :: n. the use of deceit or trick to cause someone to ... nt. See also: extrinsic fraud fraud
life estate :: n. the right to use or occupy real property for on ... hter, Sadie, will own the property.