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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.


M'naghten Test
[after Daniel M'Naghten, defendant in 1843 murder case heard before the British House of Lords who was acquitted due to his insanity] : a standard under which a criminal defendant is considered to ...
Machine Readable Passport (Mrp)
A passport which has biographic information entered on the data page according to international specifications. A machine readable passport is required to travel with a visa on the Visa Waiver ...
Machine Readable Visa (Mrv)
A visa that contains biometric information about the passport holder. A visa that immigration officers read with special machines when the applicants enter the United States. It gives biographic ...
Madrid Protocol
The "Protocol Relating to the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks" (Madrid Protocol) is an international treaty that allows a trademark owner to seek registration in ...
[Latin magistratus magistracy, magistrate, from magistr- magister master, political superior] 1 : a civil or judicial official vested with limited judicial powers [a family support ] [a traffic ] 2 ...
Magistrate Court
: a court presided over by a magistrate that has minor civil and criminal jurisdiction called also magistrate's court
Magistrate Judge
: magistrate
Magna Carta
or Mag·na Char·ta [mag-nə-kÄ r-tə] n [Medieval Latin, literally, great charter] : a charter of liberties signed under duress by King John of England in 1215 that influenced ...
Magnuson- Moss Warranty Act
A federal statute requiring that written warranties to consumer products must fully and conspicuously disclose the terms and conditions of the warranty in simple, readily understood language. (15 ...
Mail Fraud
see fraud
Mailbox Rule
: a rule treating the sending of something as constituting a filing or as a basis for assuming receipt ;specif : a rule in contract law: a notice of acceptance of an offer sent to the offeror by ...
: to mutilate, disfigure, or wound seriously compare mayhem
Main Pot
: a step in calculating tax liability under Internal Revenue Code section 1231 in which all qualified transactions are netted to determine if the result is a loss or gain called also Big Pot Hodge ...
Main Purpose Rule
: a doctrine in contract law: a promise to pay the debt of another need not be in writing to be enforceable if the promisor was motivated by a desire for advantage or benefit called also leading ...
Maintain Status
To follow the requirements of the visa status and comply with any limitations on duration of stay.
1 a : the act of providing basic and necessary support b : the state of having such support 2 : a financial means of providing necessary assistance: as a : alimony b : support 3 : the ...
: a person who has attained majority compare minor
Major Dispute
: a labor dispute that pursuant to the Railway Labor Act concerns the making or modification rather than the interpretation of a collective bargaining agreement called also new contract dispute; ...
Major Federal Action
: a proposed federal undertaking that pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act must be the subject of an environmental impact statement if it would significantly affect the environment
: characterized by the rule or decisions of a majority [ politics]
pl: -ties 1 a : legal age b : the status of one who has reached legal age 2 a : a number or quantity greater than half of a total compare plurality b : the excess of a majority over the remainder ...
Majority Leader
: a leader of the majority party in a legislative body
Majority Opinion
see opinion
Majority Shareholder
: a shareholder who alone or in combination with others controls a majority of the outstanding shares in a corporation
: one (as an issuer) that undertakes to pay a negotiable instrument and esp. a note [sign a note as rather than indorser]
Mala In Se
pl of malum in se
[mal- bad + obsolete English feasance doing, execution, from Old French faisance, from fais-, stem of faire to make, do, from Latin facere] : the commission (as by a public official) of a wrongful or ...
1 a : the intention or desire to cause harm (as death, bodily injury, or property damage) to another through an unlawful or wrongful act without justification or excuse b : wanton disregard for the ...
Malice Aforethought
see malice
Malice In Fact
see malice
Malice In Law
see malice
: given to, marked by, or arising from malice [ destruction of property] ma·li·cious·ly adv ma·li·cious·ness n
Malicious Mischief
: the act or offense of intentionally damaging or destroying another's property (as from feelings of ill will) compare vandalism
Malicious Prosecution
: the tort of initiating a criminal prosecution or civil suit against another party with malice and without probable cause ;also : an action for damages based on this tort brought after termination ...
: negligence, misconduct, lack of ordinary skill, or a breach of duty in the performance of a professional service (as in medicine) resulting in injury or loss
Malpractice Insurance
Protection of professional people (attorneys, doctors or accountants) against claims of liability.
Malum In Se
pl: mala in se [ma-lə-, mÄ -] [New Latin, offense in itself] : an offense that is evil or wrong from its own nature irrespective of statute often used with a preceding noun (as crime or ...
Malum Prohibitum
pl: mala pro·hib·i·ta [-hi-bə-tə] [New Latin, prohibited offense] : an offense prohibited by statute but not inherently evil or wrong [is malum prohibitum and, therefore, ...
Managing Agent
see agent
[Latin, we enjoin, from mandare to enjoin] : an extraordinary writ issued by a court of competent jurisdiction to an inferior tribunal, a public official, an administrative agency, a corporation, or ...
pl: -tar·ies : a person to whom the power to transact business for another under a mandate is given
[Latin mandatum, from neuter of mandatus, past participle of mandare to entrust, enjoin, probably irregularly from manus hand + -dere to put] 1 a : a formal communication from a reviewing court ...
Mandated Reporter
: an individual who holds a professional position (as of social worker, physician, teacher, or counselor) that requires him or her to report to the appropriate state agency cases of child abuse that ...
: containing or constituting a command : being obligatory man·da·to·ri·ly [-tȯr-i-lē] adv
Mandatory Delivery Commitment
an agreement that a lender will deliver loans or securities by a certain date at agreed-upon terms.
Mandatory Injunction
see injunction
Mandatory Instruction
: an instruction that sets out a factual situation which if found by the jury to be supported by the evidence requires a certain verdict
Mandatory Presumption
see presumption
Mandatory Sentence
see sentence
1 : capable of being readily perceived by the senses and esp. by sight [a injury] 2 : capable of being easily understood or recognized : clearly evident, obvious, and indisputable [vacating an ...
Manifest Error
see error
Manifest Injustice
: an outcome in a case that is plainly and obviously unjust [acceptance of an involuntary guilty plea constitutes manifest injustice]
Manifest Necessity
: a circumstance (as an incurable pleading defect, the unavailability of an essential witness, juror misconduct, or illness of counsel) which is of such an overwhelming and unforeseeable nature that ...
Manifest Weight Of The Evidence
:a deferential standard of review under which reversal of a decision or verdict requires showing that it is obviously erroneous and unsupported by the evidence and that an opposite conclusion is ...
-lat·ed -lat·ing : to change by artful or unfair means so as to serve one's purpose ;specif : to affect (the price of securities) artificially in order to deceive or mislead investors ...
Mansfield Rule
often cap R [after William Murray, first Earl of Mansfield (1705-1793), British jurist who set forth the rule] : a rule that a juror's affidavit or testimony as to juror misconduct during ...
Mansion House
: a dwelling house of any size and any buildings (as barns or stables) within the curtilage
: the unlawful killing of a human being without malice compare homicide, murder involuntary manslaughter : manslaughter resulting from the failure to perform a legal duty expressly required to ...
: involving or as if involving use of the hands ;specif : of, relating to, or being a gift of a corporeal movable object that is actually delivered [a donation] man·u·al·ly adv
Manual Gift
see gift
Mapp Hearing
see hearing
1 : the difference between net sales and the cost of the merchandise sold from which expenses are usually met or profits derived 2 : the amount by which the market value of collateral is greater ...
Margin Account
: a client's account with a brokerage firm through which the client may buy securities on the firm's credit
Margin Stock
see stock
Marine Insurance
: insurance against loss by damage to or destruction of cargo or the means or instruments of its transportation whether on land, sea, or air see also inland marine insurance, ocean marine insurance
: of or relating to marriage or the married state
Marital Asset
see asset
Marital Deduction
see deduction
Marital Portion
in the civil law of Louisiana : a one-fourth portion that a surviving spouse is entitled to claim from the estate of a spouse who has died rich in comparison to the surviving spouse compare ...
Marital Property
see property
Marital Trust
see trust
: of or relating to navigation or commerce on navigable waters
Maritime Cause Of Action
A case arising on the sea, ocean, Great Lakes or navigable rivers, or from some act or contract concerning the commerce and navigation thereof.
Maritime Contract
see contract
Maritime Law
: law that relates to commerce and navigation on the high seas and other navigable waters and that is administered by the admiralty courts NOTE: Article III of the U.S. Constitution confers the power ...
Maritime Lien
see lien
1 : a character usually in the form of a cross or X that is made as a substitute for a signature by a person who cannot or is unwilling to write 2 : a character, device, label, brand, seal, or other ...
1 : the rate or price at which a security or commodity is currently selling : market price 2 a : a geographical area of demand for commodities or services [seeking new foreign s] b : a formal ...
Market Price
1 : the price at which a security is currently selling on the market 2 : market value
Market Share
: the percentage of the market for a product or service that a company supplies
Market Value
1 : the price at which a buyer is ready and willing to buy and a seller is ready and willing to sell 2 : market price
Market Value Clause
: an insurance clause providing for payment of a loss of goods at market value rather than manufacturing cost
1 : fit to be offered for sale : being such as may be justly or lawfully sold or bought [ goods] 2 : wanted by buyers [ securities] mar·ket·abil·i·ty [mÄ ...
Marketable Title
see title
1 : the state of being united to a person of the opposite sex as husband or wife in a legal, consensual, and contractual relationship recognized and sanctioned by and dissolvable only by law see also ...
Marriage Certificate
: a document which certifies that a marriage has taken place, which contains information (as time and place) about the ceremony, and which is signed by the parties, witnesses, and officiant
Marriage License
: a written authorization for the marriage of a named man and woman that is granted by a legally qualified government official
Marriage Settlement
1 : antenuptial agreement 2 : a written agreement regarding matters of support, custody, property division, and visitation upon a couple's divorce called also marriage settlement agreement
Married Filing Jointly
A filing status used by a couple that is married at the end of the tax year and uses one tax return.
Married Filing Separately
The filing status used by a couple that is married at the end of the year and chooses to file separate tax returns.
1 : a ministerial officer appointed for each judicial district of the U.S. to execute the process of the courts and perform various duties similar to those of a sheriff 2 : a law officer in some ...
also marshalling n : an equitable doctrine requiring that if one creditor can obtain satisfaction of a claim from only one fund and a second creditor can obtain satisfaction from more than one fund ...
Martial Law
1 : the law applied in occupied territory by the military authority of the occupying power 2 : the law administered by military forces that is invoked by a government in an emergency when civilian ...
Mary Carter Agreement
[from Booth v. Mary Carter Paint Co., 202 So. 2d 8 (1967), Florida appeals court case that popularized the agreement] : a secret agreement between a plaintiff and one or more but not all codefendants ...
: an aggregation of usually similar things (as assets in a succession) considered as a whole
1 : an individual or entity (as a corporation) having control or authority over another: as a : the owner of a slave b : employer compare servant c : principal 2 : an officer of the court ...
Master Deed
see deed
Master In Chancery
:a master in a court of equity NOTE: Since courts of law and equity have been merged in the federal and most state systems, the master in chancery has been replaced by the master.
Master Limited Partnership
see partnership
Master Of Laws
:a degree conferred for advanced study of law following the obtaining of a juris doctor compare doctor of laws, doctor of the science of law
1 : of, relating to, or consisting of physical matter 2 : being of real importance or consequence 3 : being an essential component [the terms of the contract] 4 : being relevant to a subject under ...
Material Alteration
: an alteration made to an instrument that adds or deletes any provision or changes the rights and obligations of any party under it
Material Breach
see breach
Material Evidence
see evidence
Material Fact
see fact
Material Witness
see witness
[Latin matricidium, from matr- mater mother + -cidium killing] 1 : the murder of a mother by her son or daughter 2 Latin matricida, from matr- + -cida killer : a person who murders his or her mother ...
1 : a subject of consideration, disagreement, or litigation: as a : a legal case, dispute, or issue [a within the court's jurisdiction] often used in titles of legal proceedings [ of Doe] see also ...
Matter In Dispute
:matter in controversy at matter
Matter In Issue
see matter
Matter Of Fact
see matter
Matter Of Form
see matter
Matter Of Law
see matter
Matter Of Record
see matter
Matter Of Substance
see matter
ma·tured ma·tur·ing vt : to bring to maturity [a policy matured by the death of the insured] vi : to become due, payable, or enforceable ;specif : to entitle one to immediate ...
: termination of the period that a note or other obligation has to run : state or condition of having become due
[Anglo-French mahaim mahain, literally, mutilation, from Old French mahain, from mahaignier to injure, mutilate] : willful and permanent crippling, mutilation, or disfigurement of any part of ...
: an official elected or appointed to act as chief executive or nominal head of a city, town, or borough
Mayor's Court
: a court in some cities that is usually presided over by the mayor and that has jurisdiction over violations of city ordinances and other minor criminal and civil matters
mortgage-backed security
Mcnabb-Mallory Rule
[after McNabb v. United States, 318 U.S. 332 (1943) and Mallory v. United States, 354 U.S. 449 (1957), U.S. Supreme Court cases that established the rule] : a doctrine in criminal procedure: an ...
Meander Line
: a usually irregular surveyed line following the outline of a body of water that is used to measure abutting property and is not a boundary line
1 a : something enabling one to achieve a desired end [a of self-defense] b : cause 2 : resources (as income and assets) at one's disposal
Means Test
Section 707(b)(2) of the Bankruptcy Code applies a "means test" to determine whether an individual debtor's chapter 7 filing is presumed to be an abuse of the Bankruptcy Code requiring dismissal or ...
Means-Tested Public Benefits
Assistance from a government unit. Benefits include food stamps, Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), and State Child Health Insurance Program ...
Measure Of Damages
:the method under applicable principles of law for determining the damages sustained by a party
Mechanic's Lien
see lien
Median Price
the price of the house that falls in the middle of the total number of homes for sale in that area.
Mediate Fact
see fact
: nonbinding intervention between parties esp. in a labor dispute to promote resolution of a grievance, reconciliation, settlement, or compromise compare arbitration
: one that works to effect reconciliation, settlement, or compromise between parties at variance compare arbitrator
often cap : a program of medical aid designed for those unable to afford regular medical care and financed by the state and federal governments
Medical Examiner
: a public officer who determines the necessity of and conducts autopsies to find the cause of death
Medical Waiver
A medical waiver permits an immigration applicant to be allowed into, or remain in the United States despite having a health condition identified as grounds of inadmissibility. Terms and conditions ...
often cap : a government program of medical care esp. for the aged
Medicare (Health Insurance For The Aged Act)
A federal act to provide hospital and medical insurance for the aged under the Social Security Act.
Medium Term Notes
unsecured general obligations of Fannie Mae with maturities of one day or more and with principal and interest payable in U.S. dollars.
Meeting Of Creditors
:a hearing held pursuant to section 341 of the Bankruptcy Code at which a bankrupt debtor is required to submit to examination under oath by creditors who may also elect a trustee if one has not ...
Meeting Of The Minds
:assent to the mutually agreed upon and understood terms of an agreement by the parties to a contract that may be manifest by objective signs of intent (as conduct) [the parties had not reached a ...
pl: -dums or: -da [-də] 1 : a usually informal written communication 2 : a record (as a note) which is used by a party seeking to enforce an otherwise oral agreement in accordance with the ...
Memorandum Clause
: a clause in a marine insurance policy setting forth exclusions or special terms for loss or damage to particular cargo
Memorandum Decision
: a document produced by the court stating a present or intended decision usually previously announced from the bench without an accompanying opinion
1 : a show of an intention to inflict esp. physical harm [accomplished against a person's will by means of force,…, or fear of immediate and unlawful bodily injury "California Penal Code"] 2 : ...
Mens Rea
pl: men·tes re·ae [men-tēz-rē-ē, men-tās-rā-ī] [New Latin, literally, guilty mind] : a culpable mental state ;esp : one involving intent or knowledge and ...
Mental Anguish
: a high degree of emotional pain, distress, torment, or suffering that may aggravate a crime or be a subject of an action for damages or wrongful death : emotional distress
Mental Cruelty
: conduct by one spouse that renders the other's life miserable and unendurable and that is a ground for divorce
Mental Defect
: an abnormal mental condition (as mental retardation) that may be of a more fixed nature than a mental disease
Mental Deficiency
: failure in intellectual development that is marked by low intelligence or mental retardation and that may result in an inability to function competently in society
Mental Disease
: an abnormal mental condition that interferes with mental or emotional processes and internal behavioral control and that is not manifest only in repeated criminal or antisocial conduct ;broadly : ...
Mental Disorder
: mental illness
Mental Distress
: emotional distress
Mental Disturbance
: emotional distress
Mental Illness
1 : mental disease 2 : a mental condition marked primarily by sufficient disorganization of personality, mind, and emotions to seriously impair the normal psychological and often social functioning ...
Mental Suffering
: emotional distress
Mentes Reae
pl of mens rea
: a person who trades in goods esp. of a certain kind and possesses expertise in the area of the goods and the practices of trading in them or who employs others with such expertise [a warranty that ...
: of commercially acceptable quality : characterized by fitness for normal use, good quality, and accord with any statements or promises made on the packaging or label [ goods] see also implied ...
Merchantable Title
: marketable title at title
Mercy Killing
: euthanasia
Mere Descriptiveness
Statutory basis for refusing registration of trademarks and service marks because the proposed mark merely describes an ingredient, quality, characteristic, function, feature, purpose or use of the ...
merged merg·ing vt 1 : to cause to unite, combine, or coalesce [ one corporation with another] 2 : to cause to be incorporated and superseded [one effect of a judgment is to therein the cause ...
Merged Credit Report
raw data pulled from two or more of the major credit-reporting firms.
1 : the absorption of a lesser estate or interest into a greater one held by the same person compare confusion 2 : the incorporation and superseding of one contract by another 3 a : the treatment ...
Merger Clause
: a clause in a contract stating that the contract is a complete statement of the agreement and supersedes any prior terms, representations, or agreements whether made orally or in writing [merger ...
1 pl : the substance of a case apart from matters of jurisdiction, procedure, or form [a ruling on the s of the case] see also judgment on the merits at judgment 2 : legal significance, standing, ...
Merit Shop
: open shop
1 : deserving of honor or esteem 2 : having merit [a claim]
Meritorious Defense
see defense
Mesne Process
[mesne intermediate, intervening, from Anglo-French, alteration of Old French meien middle, from Latin medianus, from medius middle] : process (as a writ) issued in the course of a proceeding
Mesne Profits
: profits (as from crops) earned by one in wrongful possession of property [the rightful owner sued for mesne profits]
[Anglo-French, probably alteration of Old French mesnage dwelling house, ultimately from Latin mansion- mansio habitation, dwelling, from manēre to remain, sojourn, dwell] : a dwelling house ...
A meta tag is an element of HTML that often describes the contents of a Web page, and is placed near the beginning of the page's source code. Search engines use information provided in a meta tags to ...
Metadata is a description or definition of electronic data, or data about data. Often, metadata can only be accessed in certain viewing modes. Metadata can include descriptive HTML tags (see Meta Tag) ...
Metes And Bounds
[translation of Anglo-French metes et boundes] : the boundaries or limits of a tract of land esp. as described by reference to lines and distances between points on the land
Metropolitan Court
: a court of limited jurisdiction found primarily in New Mexico
A person who leaves his/her country of origin to seek residence in another country.
Migration widely refers to the process of moving a computer system and/or its components from one operating environment to another operating environment. Migration also refers to moving data from one ...
Military Commission
: a military court organized in time of war or suspension of the civil power to try offenses by persons (as civilians) not subject to trial by a court-martial
Military Government
: the government established by a military commander in conquered territory to administer the military law declared under military authority applicable to all persons in the conquered territory and ...
Military Law
: law enforced by military rather than civil authority ;specif : law prescribed by statute for the government of the armed forces and accompanying civilian employees compare martial law
Mineral Lease
see lease
Mineral Right
: the right or title to all or specified minerals in a given tract : the right to explore for and extract such minerals or to receive a royalty for them
Minimal Diversity
: diversity of citizenship of the parties to a lawsuit in which at least one plaintiff is a resident from a state different from at least one defendant compare complete diversity NOTE: Diversity ...
Minimum Contacts
: the level of a nonresident defendant's connection with or activity in a state that is sufficient under due process to support the assertion of personal jurisdiction under a long-arm statute see ...
Minimum Wage
: a wage fixed by contract or esp. by law as the least that may be paid either to employees generally or to a particular category of employees compare scale
Mining Lease
: mineral lease at lease
Mining Partnership
see partnership
1 : being or having the characteristics of an act or duty prescribed by law as part of the duties of an administrative office 2 : relating to or being an act done after ascertaining the existence of ...
: an informal trial-like proceeding used as a form of alternative dispute resolution
: a person who has not yet reached the age of majority compare adult, juvenile, major
Minor Dispute
: a dispute between an employer and a union that under the Railway Labor Act can be resolved through interpretation of the existing collective bargaining agreement compare major dispute
pl: -ties 1 a : the period before attainment of majority b : the state of being a minor 2 : the smaller of two groups constituting a whole: as a : a group (as in a legislative body) having less ...
Minority Shareholder
: a shareholder whose proportion of shares is too small to confer any power to exert control or influence over corporate action
1 : a brief note (as of summary or recommendation) 2 : memorandum 3 pl : the official record of the proceedings of a meeting or court
Minute Book
1 : a book in which written minutes or other records are entered 2 : the official written record of the transactions of the stockholders and directors of a corporation
: of, relating to, or being one's Miranda rights [a waiver]
Miranda Card
: a card on which Miranda rights are written for police officers to read to a person being arrested
Miranda Rights
[from Miranda v. Arizona, the 1966 U.S. Supreme Court ruling establishing such rights] : the rights (as the right to remain silent, to have an attorney present, and to have an attorney appointed if ...
Miranda Warnings
: the warnings given by police in advising an arrested person of his or her Miranda rights
-dized -diz·ing : to recite the Miranda warnings to (a person under arrest)
: an accident that causes serious injury or death to a person and that does not involve negligence, wrongful purpose, or unlawful conduct
-plied -ply·ing : to misuse or spend (as public money) without proper authority ;specif : to willfully and unlawfully convert (bank funds) for the use, benefit, or gain of oneself or a third ...
: to appropriate wrongfully or unlawfully (as by theft or embezzlement) mis·ap·pro·pri·a·tion [-prō-prē-ā-shən] n
: to brand (as a food item or drug) falsely or in a misleading way ;specif : to label in violation of statutory requirements
: intentional or wanton wrongful but usually not criminal behavior: as a : deliberate or wanton violation of standards of conduct by a government official b : wrongful behavior (as adultery) by a ...
: one who commits a misdemeanor
: a crime that carries a less severe punishment than a felony ;specif : a crime punishable by a fine and by a term of imprisonment not to be served in a penitentiary and not to exceed one year ...
see manslaughter
[Anglo-French misfesance, from Middle French mesfaire to do wrong, from mes- wrongly + faire to make, do, from Latin facere] : the performance of a lawful action in an illegal or improper manner ...
: an incorrect joinder of claims or parties in a legal action ;also : an impermissible joinder of criminal charges or defendants compare duplicity, multifarious, multiplicity
-led [-led] -lead·ing vt : to lead into a mistaken action or belief : to cause to have a false impression vi : to create a false impression compare deceive
: possessing the capacity or tendency to create a mistaken understanding or impression compare deceptive, fraudulent
[Anglo-French mesnomer, from mesnomer to misname, from Middle French mes- wrongly + nommer to name, from Latin nominare, from nomin- nomen name] : the misnaming of a person in a legal document or ...
[Anglo-French, error, wrongdoing, from Old French, from mesprendre to make a mistake, from mes- wrongly + prendre to take, from Latin prehendere to seize] 1 : neglectful or wrongful performance of an ...
: to make a misrepresentation about vi : to make a misrepresentation mis·rep·re·sen·ta·tive [-re-pri-zen-tə-tiv] adj mis·rep·re·sen·ter n
: an intentionally or sometimes negligently false representation made verbally, by conduct, or sometimes by nondisclosure or concealment and often for the purpose of deceiving, defrauding, or causing ...
Missionary Work
Work performed for a religious organization to spread the faith (religion) and advance the principles and doctrines of the religion. Such work may include religious instruction, help for the elderly ...
1 : an unintentional error esp. in legal procedure or form that does not indicate bad faith and that commonly warrants excuse or relief by the court [the court's power to revise a judgment because of ...
Mistake Of Fact
see mistake
Mistake Of Law
see mistake
: a trial that terminates without a verdict because of error, necessity, prejudicial misconduct, or a hung jury see also manifest necessity compare dismissal, trial de novo
-gat·ed -gat·ing vt : to lessen or minimize the severity of [what actions the State took to the hazardous conditions "Estate of Arrowwood v. State, 894 P.2d 642 (1995)"] [factors that the ...
Mitigating Circumstance
: a circumstance in the commission of an act that lessens the degree of criminal culpability [was convicted of manslaughter rather than murder because of mitigating circumstances] ;also : a ...
term usually used to refer to various changes or improvements made in a home; for instance, to reduce the average level of radon.
Mitigation Of Damages
1 : a doctrine in tort and contract law: a person injured by another is required to mitigate his or her losses resulting from the injury [whether the patient shares any fault and whether the patient ...
: one that mitigates ;specif : mitigating circumstance [a statutory ] mit·i·ga·to·ry [mi-ti-gə-tȯr-ē] adj
[Latin, we send] : a warrant issued to a sheriff commanding the delivery to prison of a person named in the warrant
modus operandi
Mobile Goods
see good
Model Penal Code Test
: substantial capacity test
Internal or external hardware which enables the computer to send and receive information over a telephone line.
Moderate Force
see force
when a lender agrees to modify the terms of a mortgage without refinancing the loan.
Modified Adjusted Gross Income
There are different definitions for different purposes. It is usually the adjusted gross income with various items added back in.
Modus Operandi
[New Latin, manner of operating] : a distinct pattern or method of operation esp. that indicates or suggests the work of a single criminal in more than one crime
pl: -ties : half of something (as an estate) [an interest exceeding a ] compare entirety
1 : to annoy, disturb, or persecute esp. with hostile intent or injurious effect 2 : to make annoying sexual advances to ;specif : to force physical and usually sexual contact on (as a child) ...
pl: moneys or: mon·ies [mə-nēz] 1 : an accepted or authorized medium of exchange ;esp : coinage or negotiable paper issued as legal tender by a government 2 a : assets or ...
Money Bill
see bill
Money Judgment
see judgment
Money Market
: the trade in short-term negotiable instruments (as certificates of deposit or U.S. Treasury securities)
Money Order
: an order issued by a post office, bank, or telegraph office for payment of a specified sum of money usually at any branch of the issuing organization
: consisting in or derived from money [a obligation]
Moneyed Capital
see capital
Moneyed Corporation
see corporation
pl of money
-lized -liz·ing : to get a monopoly of [ an industry] mo·nop·o·li·za·tion [-nÄ -pə-lə-zā-shən] n
pl: -lies 1 : exclusive control of a particular market that is marked by the power to control prices and exclude competition and that esp. is developed willfully rather than as the result of superior ...
: to make moot [statute of limitations would the effort "S. R. Sontag"]
Moot Court
: a mock court in which law students argue hypothetical cases for practice
Mootness Doctrine
: a doctrine in judicial procedure: a court will not hear or decide a moot case unless it includes an issue that is not considered moot because it involves the public interest or constitutional ...
Moral Certainty
: a state of subjective certainty leaving no real doubt about a matter (as a defendant's guilt) : certainty beyond a reasonable doubt
Moral Hazard
: the possibility of loss to an insurance company (as by arson) arising from the character or circumstances of the insured [deductibles decrease moral hazard]
Moral Turpitude
What is the legal definition of moral turpitude? How is it used in immigration and other areas of law?
pl of moratorium
pl: -riums or: -ria [New Latin, from Late Latin, neuter of moratorius dilatory, from morari to delay, from mora delay] 1 a : an authorized period of delay in the performance of an obligation (as the ...
[French moratoire, from Late Latin moratorius] : of, relating to, or resulting from delay in the payment or performance of an obligation [ interest]
Moratory Damages
see damage
: a place where the bodies of persons found dead are kept until identified and claimed by relatives or released for burial or autopsy
: a moderately or mildly retarded person used esp. formerly see also idiot
[Anglo-French, from Old French, from mort dead (from Latin mortuus) + gage security] 1 a : a conveyance of title to property that is given to secure an obligation (as a debt) and that is defeated ...
Mortgage Acceleration Clause
a clause allowing a lender, under certain circumstances, demand the entire balance of a loan is repaid in a lump sum. The acceleration clause is usually triggered if the home is sold, title to the ...
Mortgage Banker
a company that originates loans and resells them to secondary mortgage lenders like Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.
Mortgage Bond
see bond
Mortgage Broker
a firm that originates and processes loans for a number of lenders.
Mortgage Clause
: a clause in an insurance contract (as for fire insurance) that entitles a named mortgagee to be paid for damage or loss to the property see also open mortgage clause, standard mortgage clause
Mortgage Insurance
a policy that protects lenders against some or most of the losses that can occur when a borrower defaults on a mortgage loan; mortgage insurance is required primarily for borrowers with a down payment ...
Mortgage Insurance Premium (Mip)
a monthly payment -usually part of the mortgage payment - paid by a borrower for mortgage insurance.
Mortgage Interest Deduction
the interest cost of a mortgage, which is a tax - deductible expense. The interest reduces the taxable income of taxpayers.
Mortgage Life And Disability Insurance
term life insurance bought by borrowers to pay off a mortgage in the event of death or make monthly payments in the case of disability. The amount of coverage decreases as the principal balance ...
Mortgage Modification
a loss mitigation option that allows a borrower to refinance and/or extend the term of the mortgage loan and thus reduce the monthly payments.
Mortgage Note
a legal document obligating a borrower to repay a loan at a stated interest rate during a specified period; the agreement is secured by a mortgage that is recorded in the public records along with the ...
Mortgage Qualifying Ratio
Used to calculate the maximum amount of funds that an individual traditionally may be able to afford. A typical mortgage qualifying ratio is 28
Mortgage Score
a score based on a combination of information about the borrower that is obtained from the loan application, the credit report, and property value information. The score is a comprehensive analysis of ...
Mortgage-Backed Security (Mbs)
a Fannie Mae security that represents an undivided interest in a group of mortgages. Principal and interest payments from the individual mortgage loans are grouped and paid out to the MBS holders.
: susceptible or capable of being mortgaged [mineral rights are not in this jurisdiction] mort·gage·abil·i·ty [mȯr-gi-jə-bi-lə-tē] n
: a party (as a business or individual) to whom or in whose favor property is mortgaged
: a person who mortgages property
Mortis Causa
: causa mortis
[Anglo-French, from Old French mortemain, from morte (feminine of mort dead, from Latin mortuus) + main hand, from Latin manus] 1 : the possession of real property in perpetuity by a corporate body ...
Mortmain Statute
: a statute that prohibits corporate bodies (as charities) from holding real property in perpetuity or that otherwise limits or regulates testamentary dispositions to usually charitable corporations ...
Most-Favored-Nation Clause
: a clause in a treaty granting to a nation in certain stipulated matters the same terms as are then or may thereafter be granted to any other nation
[Anglo-French, from Latin motion- motio movement, from movēre to move] 1 : a proposal for action ;esp : a formal proposal made in a legislative assembly [made a to refer the bill to committee] ...
Motion In Bar
see motion
Motion In Limine
see motion
Motion To Lift The Automatic Stay
A request by a creditor to allow the creditor to take action against the debtor or the debtor's property that would otherwise be prohibited by the automatic stay.
Motion To Suppress
see motion
[Anglo-French motif, from Middle French motif adjective, moving, from Medieval Latin motivus, from Latin motus, past participle of movēre to move] : something (as a need or desire) that causes a ...
Motor Vehicle Record (Mvr)
The written record of a particular driver's accidents and traffic violations. An MVR may be reviewed when an insurance agent is giving a quote for automobile insurance rates: the more accidents and ...
or move·able [mü-və-bəl] adj : capable of being moved
Movable Property
see property
or mov·ent [mü-vənt] n : the party who makes a motion
moved mov·ing vi : to make a motion [moved to seize the property] vt : to request (a court) by means of a motion [moved the court to vacate the order]
var of movable
var of movant
Moving Expense
see expense
Moving Papers
: the documents (as affidavits) containing and supporting a motion
Moving Violation
: a violation (as speeding or drunk driving) of motor vehicle or traffic laws that is made while the vehicle is moving
See Machine Readable Visa.
mugged mug·ging : to assault (an individual) usually with intent to rob
Mug Shot
: a police photograph of a suspect's face or profile that is taken when the suspect is booked
[Latin multa mulcta] : fine penalty mulct vt
Multifamily Housing
a building with more than four residential rental units.
: having or occurring in great variety : diverse ;also : uniting usually in an improper way distinct and independent matters, subjects, or causes [point one is , and we must break it down for ...
Multiple Listing
see listing
Multiple Listing Service (Mls)
within the Metro Columbus area, Realtors submit listings and agree to attempt to sell all properties in the MLS. The MLS is a service of the local Columbus Board of Realtors. The local MLS has a ...
Multiple-Line Insurance
: an insurance contract that provides coverage against multiple perils (as liability and loss of property)
: giving rise to or resulting from multiplicity [a indictment] [they are not charges]
pl: -ties 1 a : the quality or state of being multiple or various b : the charging of a single criminal act or offense as multiple separate charges or counts of an indictment or information [ does ...
1 : of or relating to the internal affairs of a major political unit (as a nation) [was sentenced by a court of , not international, jurisdiction] compare domestic 2 a : of, relating to, or ...
Municipal Bond
see bond
Municipal Charter
A legislative enactment conferring governmental powers of the state upon its local agencies.
Municipal Corporation
see corporation
Municipal Court
: a court that sits in some cities and larger towns and that usually has limited civil and criminal jurisdiction over cases arising within the municipality ;also : police court
pl: -ties : a primarily urban municipal corporation ;also : the governing body of a municipality
[Anglo-French, from Middle French, defense, from Latin munimentum, from munire to fortify] : a record (as a deed, statutory grant, or judgment) that passes title to real property and enables a person ...
[partly from Old English morthor; partly from Old French murdre, of Germanic origin] : the crime of unlawfully and unjustifiably killing another under circumstances defined by statute (as with ...
: a person who commits murder
1 : directed by each toward the other : reciprocal [ orders of protection in domestic violence cases "L. H. Schafran and Norman Wikler"] 2 : shared in common : joint [spouses' obligation to ...
Mutual Company
see company
Mutual Fund
see fund
Mutual Mistake
see mistake
Mutual Will
see will
: the quality or state of being mutual: as a : the quality of a contract under which both parties are bound by obligations b : the state of debts for purposes of set-off under bankruptcy law in ...
[Latin, from neuter of mutuus borrowed, lent] : loan for consumption at loan
Mysterious Disappearance
: the loss of property under unknown or puzzling circumstances which are difficult to explain or understand
Mystic Testament
: mystic will at will
Mystic Will
see will
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