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Probable cause is is the measure of cause that is needed to estabish an arrest. There are different levels of cause that depends upon a case by case basis.

Legal Terms

En banc French, meaning on the bench. All judges of an appellate court sitting together to hear a case, as opposed to the routine disposition by panels of three judges.

Equitable Pertaining to civil suits in equity rather than in law. Historically, courts of law could order payment of damages and could afford no other remedy. A separate court of equity could order someone to do something or to cease to do something. In American jurisprudence, the federal courts have both legal and equitable power, but the distinction is still an important one. A trial by jury is normally available in law cases but not in equity cases.

Executory contracts Contracts or leases under which both parties to the agreement have duties remaining to be performed. If a contract or lease is executory, a debtor may assume it keep the contract or reject it terminate the contract .

Plea Bargaining or Plea Negotiating - The process through which an accused person and the prosecutor negotiate a mutually satisfactory disposition of a case. The Court is not privy to the actual negotiations, but is presented with a plea agreement for its approval or rejection.

Pleadings - The written statements of fact and law filed by the parties to a lawsuit.

Yielding and paying -- Initial words of the clause in leases specifying the rent to be paid by the lessee.

Zetetic - According to inquiry

Zone Theory -- Place of employment and the area thereabouts.

Corpus delicti - Objective proof that a crime has been committed. Corpus delicti is sometimes used to refer to the body of the victim of a homicide or to the charred shell of a burned house, but the term has a broader meaning: the occurrence of a specific injury or loss and a criminal act as the source of that particular injury or loss.

Corroborating Evidence - Supplementary evidence that tends to strengthen or confirm the initial evidence.

Et al - And others.

Evidence - Exhibits or testimony received by the court at any stage of court proceedings.

Evidence sheet - List of all the items entered as evidence in a trial or hearing.

Exceptions - Reservation of the right to appeal a judge's ruling upon a motion.

Jurat - Certificate of officer that a statement was duly sworn to.

Jurisdiction -Legal authority of a court to hear and decide a case.

Jurisprudence - Study of law and the structure of the legal system.

Equal Protection of the Law - Guarantee under the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution that all persons must be treated equally by the law. Under the doctrine, courts must be open to all persons on the same terms, with identical rules of evidence and procedures; that persons be subject to no restrictions on the acquisition of property, the enjoyment of liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, so long as these activities do not affect others; that persons are liable to no further burdens than those laid upon others, and that no greater or different punishment is enforced against them for violations of the laws.

Justifiable - Issues and claims capable of being properly examined in court.

Juvenile - A child under eighteen years of age.

Closing Argument - Closing statement to the jury of facts after all parties have

Companion Cases or Codefendants - More than one person arrested on the same criminal incident.

Abstract of Title - Summary of documents relating to title to a parcel of real property and intangible property.

Concurrent sentences - Sentences for more than one crime that are to be served at the same time, rather than one after the other.

Condemnation - The legal process by which the government takes private land for a public use, paying the owners a fair price as determined by the court.

Law Clerks - Persons trained in the law who assist judges in researching legal opinions.

Legal Aid - Professional legal services available to persons unable to afford such services.

Leniency - Recommendation for a sentence less than the maximum allowed.

Hearing -A proceeding, generally public, at which an issue of law or fact is discussed and either individual has the right to be heard.

Hearsay - Testimony by a witness concerning events about which the witness has no personal knowledge. Hearsay testimony conveys not what the witness observed personally, but what others told the witness or what the witness heard others say. Hearsay is usually not admissible as evidence in court because of its unreliability.

Hung jury - Jury unable to reach a verdict. A trial ending in a hung jury results in a retrial with a new jury.

Personal Recognizance - Release before trial of a defendant without bail on his or her promise to return to court.

Lapsed Gift - A gift made in a will to a person who has died prior to the will-maker's death.

Larceny - Theft.

Law - Combination of principles of conduct, rules and local custom.

Complaint -. The legal document that usually begins a civil lawsuit. The complaint states the facts and asks the court to do something.

Plea Agreement - An agreement between the prosecutor and the defendant, presented for the court's approval, regarding the sentence the defendant should serve upon a plea of guilty, an Alford plea, or a no contest plea. Usually the defendant pleads guilty in exchange for some form of leniency. For example, the defendant may plead to lesser charges so that the penalties are diminished. Or, the defendant may plead to some, but not all of the charges so that others are dropped. The agreement may include sentencing recommendations. Such bargains are not binding on the court. Exempt assets Property that a debtor is allowed to retain, free from the claims of creditors who do not have liens on the property.

Exemptions, exempt property Certain property owned by an individual debtor that the Bankruptcy Code or applicable state law permits the debtor to keep from unsecured creditors. For example, in some states the debtor may be able to exempt all or a portion of the equity in the debtor's primary residence homestead exemption or some or all tools of the trade used by the debtor to make a living such as auto tools for an auto mechanic or dental tools for a dentist . The availability and amount of property the debtor may exempt depends on the state the debtor lives in.

Ex parte A proceeding brought before a court by one party only, without notice to or challenge by the other side.

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