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FindLaw Legal Dictionary

The FindLaw Legal Dictionary -- free access to over 8260 definitions of legal terms. Search for a definition or browse our legal glossaries.


H Res
House resolution
House bill
often attrib : habeas corpus ad subjiciendum at habeas corpus
Habeas Corpus
[Medieval Latin, literally, you should have the body (the opening words of the writ)] : any of several writs originating at common law that are issued to bring a party before the court ;esp : habeas ...
Habeas Corpus Ad Prosequendum
see habeas corpus
Habeas Corpus Ad Subjiciendum
see habeas corpus
Habeas Corpus Ad Testificandum
see habeas corpus
Habeas Corpus Cum Causa
see habeas corpus
[New Latin, from Latin, to be had, neuter of habendus, future passive participle of habēre to have, to hold (the first word of this part of the deed)] : the part of a deed that limits and ...
: suitable and fit for a person to live in : free of defects that endanger the health and safety of occupants see also warranty of habitability at warranty hab·it·abil·i·ty ...
1 a : the act of occupying or inhabiting b in the civil law of Louisiana : the right of a person to dwell in the house of another 2 : a dwelling place
1 : practicing or acting in some manner by force of custom, habit, or addiction [a drunkard] 2 : being such a specified number of times or with designated regularity [ offenders] 3 : involved in ...
Habitual Criminal
: one convicted of a crime who has a certain number of prior convictions for offenses of a specified kind (as felonies) and is thereby under some statutes subject to an increased penalty (as life ...
Habitual Criminal Law
: a law that imposes greater penalties if a convicted defendant has previously been convicted of one or more crimes NOTE: Some such laws have been challenged on the ground of violating the ...
1) According to The New Hacker's Dictionary a hacker is a clever computer programmer, who does not necessarily engage in illegal activities. 2) In the media, a Hacker refers to a person who illegally ...
Half Blood
: the relation between persons having only one parent in common ;also : a person so related to another
Halfway House
: a residence for formerly institutionalized individuals (as mental patients, drug addicts, or convicts) that is designed to facilitate their readjustment to private life
Hand Down
1 : to deliver (the decision or opinion of an appellate court) to the proper office of an inferior court 2 : to make an official formulation of and announce (the decision of a court)
Hand Note
see note
Hand Up
: to deliver (an indictment) to a judge or higher judicial authority
: a physical disability (as a bodily impairment or a devastating disease)
: having a disability that substantially limits a major life activity (as caring for oneself, working, or having sensory functions)
hung also: hanged hang·ing vt : to suspend by the neck until dead esp. as a form of execution often hanged in the past tense vi 1 : to die by hanging often hanged in the past tense [he ed for ...
[Middle French harasser to exhaust, fatigue, from harer to set a dog on, from Old French hare, interjection used to incite dogs] : to subject persistently and wrongfully to annoying, offensive, or ...
: a place of security and comfort see also safe harbor
Hard Disk
A hard disk (or hard drive) is internal hardware which stores and provides access to large amounts of information. Most new computers include an internal hard disk that contains several gigabytes of ...
Hard Goods
see good
Hard Labor
: compulsory labor imposed upon prisoners as part of a sentence or as prison discipline
: loss of or damage to a person's right, property, or physical or mental well-being : injury harm vt
: of a kind likely to cause harm harm·ful·ly adv harm·ful·ness n
1 : free from harm, liability, or loss often used in the phrase to hold harmless see also hold harmless 2 : lacking capacity or intent to injure harm·less·ly adv ...
Harmless Error
see error
Hate Crime
: a crime that violates the victim's civil rights and that is motivated by hostility to the victim's race, religion, creed, national origin, sexual orientation, or gender
Hate Crimes
A hate crime is an act of violence or threat of violence that is intended to injure and/or intimidate the victim(s) because of their race, ethnicity, national origin, religious, sexual orientation, or ...
: a condition that tends to create or increase the possibility of loss used esp. in insurance law
Hazard Insurance
protection against a specific loss, such as fire, wind etc., over a period of time that is secured by the payment of a regularly scheduled premium.
: creating a hazard : involving or exposing one to risk (as of loss or harm) [a occupation] [a substance] haz·ard·ous·ly adv haz·ard·ous·ness n
: any of a number of individuals by heads : with an equal share to each individual : per capita used in the rules of intestate succession in Louisiana
Head Of Household
:an unmarried individual who is not a surviving spouse and who maintains a household which for more than one-half of the taxable year is the principal abode of a person who qualifies as a dependent ...
Head Of The Household
A filing status used by an unmarried taxpayer who pays over half of the cost of maintaining the home of a qualified individual.
Head Steward
: the chief union representative in a plant
Head Tax
: a tax that imposes the same amount of tax on every individual in a class or group
: a summary prefixed to the report of a decided legal case stating the principles or rulings of the decision and usually the main facts of the case
Health Insurance
: insurance against loss through illness or injury of the insured ;esp : insurance providing compensation for medical expenses and often income for disability
heard hear·ing 1 a : to give a hearing to [the court heard the claims] [the judge agreed to argument on the objection] b : to conduct a hearing about [the magistrate's authority to a matter ...
1 : a proceeding of relative formality at which evidence and arguments may be presented on the matter at issue to be decided by a person or body having decision-making authority compare trial NOTE: ...
: a statement made out of court and not under oath which is offered as proof that what is stated is true called also hearsay evidence
Hearsay Evidence
see evidence
Hearsay Rule
: a rule barring the admission of hearsay as evidence NOTE: The hearsay rule is stated in Rule 802 of the Federal Rules of Evidence. Hearsay is inadmissible as evidence because of the unavailability ...
Heat Of Passion
:an agitated state of mind (as anger or terror) prompted by provocation sufficient to overcome the ability of a reasonable person to reflect on and control his or her actions called also heat of ...
Hecm (Reverse Mortgage)
the reverse mortgage is used by senior homeowners age 62 and older to convert the equity in their home into monthly streams of income and/or a line of credit to be repaid when they no longer occupy ...
hedged hedg·ing : to reduce possible losses in speculative transactions by engaging in offsetting transactions (as futures trading)
Hedge Fund
see fund
: the practice of engaging in offsetting financial transactions to reduce losses
Hedonic Damages
see damage
: enormously and shockingly evil [a crime] hei·nous·ly adv hei·nous·ness n
: one who inherits or is entitled to succeed to the possession of property after the death of its owner: as a : one who by operation of law inherits the property and esp. the real property of a ...
Heir Apparent
see heir
Heir At Law
see heir
Heir General
see heir
Heir In Tail
see heir
Heir Of The Body
see heir
Heir Presumptive
see heir
past and past part of hold
Homebuyer Education Learning Program; an educational program from the FHA that counsels people about the home buying process; HELP covers topics like budgeting, finding a home, getting a loan, and ...
[Medieval Latin hereditamentum, from Late Latin hereditare to inherit, from Latin hered- heres heir] : inheritable property
[Latin hereditarius, from hereditas inheritance, from hered- heres heir] 1 : received or passing by inheritance or required to pass by inheritance [ shares] 2 : having ownership or possession ...
: inheritable
Heritable Obligation
see obligation
Hgn Test
: horizontal gaze nystagmus test
Department of Health and Human Services see also the Important Agencies section
High Court
1 : a court of last resort in the U.S. ;esp : supreme court 2 cap : high court of justice
High Court Of Justice
:a part of the Supreme Court of Judicature of England and Wales that includes the Chancery, Family, and King's Bench or Queen's Bench divisions called also High Court
High Crime
: a crime of infamous nature contrary to public morality but not technically constituting a felony ;specif : an offense that the U.S. Senate deems to constitute an adequate ground for removal of the ...
High-Low Agreement
: a settlement that is contingent on a jury's award of damages and that sets a minimum amount that the defendant will pay the plaintiff if the award is below that amount and a maximum amount that the ...
: to seize possession or control of (a vehicle) from another person by force or threat of force ;specif : to seize possession or control of (an aircraft) esp. by forcing the pilot to divert the ...
: the felony of hijacking a vehicle
1 : payment for the temporary use of something or for labor or services 2 a : the act or an instance of hiring [from the date of until now] b : the state of being hired : employment [while he was ...
Hiring Hall
: a union-operated placement office where registered applicants are referred to jobs usually in the order of their registration
1 : having left the scene of a motor vehicle accident without stopping to fulfill the duties imposed by law (as rendering aid or giving identification) [a driver] 2 : involving or concerning a ...
: hit-and-run
Hobby Loss
A nondeductible loss from a hobby.
Hodge Podge
: main pot
held hold·ing 1 a : to have lawful possession or ownership of [held the property as tenants in common] [the band s the title to the car] b : to have as a privilege or position of responsibility ...
Hold Harmless
: of, relating to, or being an agreement between parties in which one assumes the potential liability for injury that may arise from a situation and thus relieves the other of liability [a hold ...
Hold Over
: to remain in a position or condition [one who holds over in possession of a building after the expiration of a term of years "B. N. Cardozo"] hold·over n
Hold Up
: to make the victim of a holdup : rob at gunpoint
1 : a person that holds: as a : owner [the of a patent] often used in combination [a stockholder] b : one that holds or occupies the property of another by agreement and esp. under a lease 2 a : ...
Holder For Value
:a holder to whom an instrument is issued or transferred in exchange for something of value (as a promise of performance, a security interest or lien in the instrument not obtained by judicial ...
Holder In Due Course
:the holder of a negotiable instrument that is complete and regular on its face and that is taken in good faith and for value without notice that it is overdue or has been dishonored or that there is ...
1 : a ruling of a court upon an issue of law raised in a case : the pronouncement of law supported by the reasoning in a court's opinion compare decision, dictum, disposition, finding, judgment, ...
Holding Company
see company
Holding Period
: the length of time a taxpayer holds property for purposes of determining if any gain realized or loss incurred from it is long-term or short-term
Holdover Tenancy
see tenancy
: an attempted or completed robbery carried out with the use of force and esp. at gunpoint
[Late Latin holographus, from Late Greek holographos, from Greek holos whole, complete + graphein to write] : a document (as a will or a deed) entirely in the handwriting of the person whose act it ...
Holographic Will
see will
Home Equity Line
: home equity loan at loan
Home Equity Line Of Credit
:home equity loan at loan
Home Equity Loan
see loan
Home Inspection
an examination of the structure and mechanical systems to determine a home's quality, soundness and safety; makes the potential homebuyer aware of any repairs that may be needed. The homebuyer ...
Home Invasion
: the crime of entering a dwelling and committing or with intent to commit a crime (as assault) while armed and while another is lawfully present
Home Office Expense
Expenses arising from operating a business in a qualified manner in your home.
Home Rule
: self-government or limited autonomy in internal affairs by a dependent political unit (as a territory or municipality) ;also : the political theory or principle of self-government
Home Warranty
offers protection for mechanical systems and attached appliances against unexpected repairs not covered by homeowner's insurance; coverage extends over a specific time period and does not cover the ...
Persons from countries that do not have an American Embassy or Consulate where they can apply for immigrant visas are "homeless." For example, the United States Government does not have an embassy in ...
Homeowner's Insurance
: insurance that covers primarily a person's residence and that also covers the owner for liability resulting from his or her personal acts
Homeownership Education Classes
classes that stress the need to develop a strong credit history and offer information about how to get a mortgage approved, qualify for a loan, choose an affordable home, go through financing and ...
1 a : the home and adjoining land with any buildings that is occupied usually by a family as its principal residence b : an estate created by law in a homestead esp. for the purpose of taking ...
Homestead Credit
property tax credit program, offered by some state governments, that provides reductions in property taxes to eligible households.
Homestead Exemption
: an exemption from liability that prevents creditors from obtaining satisfaction from a debtor's homestead see also declaration of homestead at declaration NOTE: The laws governing the homestead ...
: of, relating to, or tending toward homicide
[Latin homicidium, from homo human being + caedere to cut, kill] 1 : a person who kills another 2 : the killing of one human being by another compare manslaughter, murder criminal homicide : ...
-gat·ed -gat·ing [Medieval Latin homologatus, past participle of homologare to agree, from Greek homologein, from homologos agreeing] : to approve or confirm officially ...
Honesty Clause
: full reporting clause
hon·ored hon·or·ing 1 : to accept and pay [the bank ed the check] 2 : to purchase or discount (a draft) in compliance with a letter of credit
: entitled to honor used as a title for various government officials
Honorable Discharge
A formal final judgment passed by the government upon the entire military record of a soldier. An authoritative declaration by the government that a soldier has left the service in a status of honor.
Honorary Trust
see trust
: relating to, directed toward, or consisting of individuals or entities of similar status or on the same level hor·i·zon·tal·ly adv
Horizontal Agreement
: an agreement among economic competitors on the same level of production or distribution compare vertical agreement NOTE: Horizontal agreements are generally considered illegal as violating ...
Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test
: a test for intoxication (as of a driver) based on observation of involuntary jerking movements of the eyes as they follow horizontal motion
Horizontal Price-Fixing
: a generally illegal arrangement among competitors to charge the same price for an item compare vertical price-fixing
Horizontal Privity
1 : the relationship between the parties to a covenant that is based on a mutual or successive interest in the land burdened or benefited by the covenant 2 : the relationship between the original ...
Horizontal Restraint
: a restraint of trade involving an agreement among competitors at the same distribution level for the purpose of minimizing competition
Horizontal Unionism
: a form of labor organization in which unions are made up of workers with the same or similar skills or crafts or having the same status
A book explaining the basics, fundamentals or rudiments of any branch of knowledge.
Host has many meanings, but is usually refers to a computer or an IP address.
1 : having an intimidating, antagonistic, or offensive nature [a work environment] 2 a : of or relating to an opposing party in a legal action [a claim] b : adverse to the interests of a party to a ...
Hostile Environment Harassment
: employment discrimination consisting of unwelcome verbal or physical conduct (as comments, jokes, or acts) relating to the victim's constitutionally or statutorily protected classification (as ...
Hostile Environment Sexual Harassment
: sexual harassment that has the effect of unreasonably interfering with a victim's work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment that affects the victim's ...
Hostile Possession
see possession
Hostile Witness
see witness
Hostile Work Environment
The basis for a sexual harassment claim, a "hostile work environment" is created where the presence of demeaning or sexual photographs, jokes, threats, or overall atmosphere is so pervasive as to ...
Hostile Working Environment
A work environment that is so charged with harassment or similar unwanted behavior that it interferes with the ability to do one's job and is said to violate anti-discrimination laws
A name that can be resolved into an IP Address using a name server.
Hot Blood
: heat of passion
Hot Cargo
: products made by nonunion employees or by employees considered to be treated unfairly by their employer
Hot Pursuit
: the immediate and continuous pursuit by police officers of a fleeing suspect whose possible escape justifies the failure of the officers to obtain a warrant before making an entry, search, seizure, ...
Hot Site
A hot site is a commercial disaster recovery service that enables an organization to sustain its computing and network abilities in the event of a massive equipment failure. A hot site provides the ...
[Anglo-French hochepot, from Old French, thick soup or stew, from hochier to shake + pot pot] 1 : the combining of properties into a common lot to ensure equality of division among those entitled to ...
1 a : a building (as a single or multiple family house, apartment, or hotel room) serving as living quarters and usually including the curtilage b : a building (as one's residence or a locked place ...
House Bill
see bill
House Counsel
: a lawyer employed by a business to work in-house on its legal matters
House Of Commons
:the lower house of the British and Canadian parliaments called also Commons
House Of Correction
:an institution where persons who have committed minor offenses and who are considered capable of reformation are confined compare house of detention, jail, lockup, penitentiary, prison
House Of Delegates
:house ;esp : the lower house of the state legislature in Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia
House Of Detention
:a place where prisoners and occasionally witnesses are detained pending a trial compare house of correction, jail, lockup, penitentiary, prison
House Of Lords
:the upper house of the British parliament composed of the lords temporal and spiritual called also Lords
House Of Representatives
:the lower house of a legislative body ;esp cap H&R : the lower house of the U.S. Congress or a state legislature
: the act of breaking into and entering the dwelling house of another for the purpose of committing a felony house·break·er n
Household Goods
see good
Household Income
The income used to determine whether a sponsor meets the minimum income requirements under Section 213A of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) for some immigrant visa cases.
: a person who occupies a house alone or as head of a household ;specif : one who makes a declaration of homestead
Housing Counseling Agency
provides counseling and assistance to individuals on a variety of issues, including loan default, fair housing, and home buying.
Housing Court
: a court having limited jurisdiction over certain property and housing cases (as landlord and tenant disputes)
House of Representatives
Hr-10 Plan
[from H.R. 10, the 1965 U.S. House of Representatives bill that established the plan] : keogh plan
Acronym for Hypertext Markup Language. HTML is the set of codes inserted into a file or document that is intended for display on a Web browser. HTML tells the browser how to display a document's words ...
Acronym for HyperText Transfer Protocol. HTTP is the rules for exchanging all types of files on the Web. In relation to the TCP/IP set of protocols, which enable information exchange on the Web, HTTP ...
the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development; established in 1965, HUD works to create a decent home and suitable living environment for all Americans; it does this by addressing housing ...
Hud-1 Settlement Statement
[Department of Housing and Urban Development (which publishes the form) + 1 (indicating its place in a sequence of such forms)] : a form signed at closing that sets out expenses, disbursements, and ...
Hud1 Statement
also known as the "settlement sheet," or "closing statement" it itemizes all closing costs; must be given to the borrower at or before closing. Items that appear on the statement include real estate ...
past and past part of hang
Hung Jury
: a jury whose members are unable to agree on a verdict
Huntley Hearing
see hearing
Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning; a home's heating and cooling system.
: consisting of diverse components: as a : of, relating to, or being a lawsuit brought by an employee under the Labor Management Relations Act against both the employer for breach of contract and ...
Hybrid Security
see security
in the civil law of Louisiana : of or relating to an obligation, right, or security in property of a debtor given to a creditor by contract or by operation of law without transfer of possession or ...
-cat·ed -cat·ing [Medieval Latin hypothecare to pledge, from Late Latin hypotheca pledge, from Greek hypothēkē, from hypotithenai to put under, deposit as pledge] : to pledge as ...
Hypothetical Question
see question
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