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


Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act.
North American Free-Trade Agreement.
1 : characterized by the lack of an interest or of exclusive control, use, or possession 2 : not backed by the option writer's ownership of the commodity, the contract for the commodity, or the ...
Naked Land Trust
see trust
Naked Licensee
: bare licensee
Naked Option
see option
Naked Owner
see owner
Naked Power
see power
Naked Promise
see promise
Naked Trust
see trust
A machine on a network that enables a hostname to be resolved into an IP address.
A person owing permanent allegiance to a state.
National Bank
see bank
National Credit Repositories
currently, there are three companies that maintain national credit - reporting databases. These are Equifax, Experian, and Trans Union, referred to as Credit Bureaus.
National Interest Waiver
This is for physicians and doctors who work in an area without adequate health care workers or who work in Veterans Affairs' facilities. These physicians and doctors can file immigrant visa petitions ...
National Labor Relations Board
(NLRB) Hears disputes between employers and unionized employees.
National Origin Discrimination
Discrimination on the basis of an employee's ethnicity
National Visa Center (Nvc)
A Department of State facility located in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. It supports the worldwide operations of the Bureau of Consular Affairs Visa Office. The NVC processes immigrant visa petitions from ...
A person born in a particular country is a native of that country.
Nato Official
As a nonimmigrant class of admission, an alien coming temporarily to the United States as a member of the armed forces or as a civilian employed by the armed forces on assignment with a foreign ...
1 : based on an inherent sense of right and wrong [ justice] see also natural law, natural right 2 a : existing as part of or determined by nature [the condition of the land] b : being in ...
Natural And Probable Consequence
: a consequence that one could reasonably expect to result from an act [the injury was determined to be a natural and probable consequence of the defendant's negligence]
Natural Fruit
see fruit
Natural Guardian
see guardian
Natural Heir
see heir
Natural Law
: a body of law or a specific principle of law that is held to be derived from nature and binding upon human society in the absence of or in addition to positive law NOTE: While natural law, based on ...
Natural Object
: a person likely to be the recipient of some thing or action ;esp : a person who is close to or related to a person dying whether testate or intestate, who would reasonably be expected to receive a ...
Natural Obligation
see obligation
Natural Person
: a human being as distinguished from a person (as a corporation) created by operation of law compare juridical person, legal person
Natural Right
: a right considered to be conferred by natural law [James Madison…distinguished natural rights, such as life and liberty, from rights that are part of the compact between citizen and ...
Natural Servitude
see servitude
To grant citizenship to a foreign-born person under statutory authority.
Naturalization Application
The form used by a lawful permanent resident to apply for U.S. citizenship. The application is filed with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services at the Service Center with jurisdiction over the ...
-ized -iz·ing : to admit (a person) to citizenship nat·u·ral·iza·tion [na-chə-rə-lə-zā-shən] n
Navigable Water
Any body of water that is usable for commerce or travel under the Commerce Clause.
Navigable Waters
: waters that are capable of being navigated (as for commerce) and to which federal admiralty jurisdiction and specific environmental regulations apply [it is the national goal that the discharge of ...
Ne Varietur
: it must not be changed used as an inscription on notarized documents esp. that are evidence of an encumbrance (as a mortgage)
1 : goods, services, or expenses that are considered necessary: as a : such goods, services, or expenses as are essential to the maintenance and support of a present or former spouse or of the child ...
Necessary And Proper Clause
often cap N&P&C [from the words of the clause] : the clause in Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution that empowers the Congress to make all laws necessary for executing its other ...
Necessary Deposit
see deposit
Necessary Party
see party
pl: -ties 1 a : the presence or pressure of circumstances that justify or compel a certain course of action ;esp : a need to respond or react to a dangerous situation by committing a criminal act b ...
Negative Act
: act
Negative Amortization
amortization means that monthly payments are large enough to pay the interest and reduce the principal on your mortgage. Negative amortization occurs when the monthly payments do not cover all of the ...
Negative Averment
: a negative statement or allegation (as in a pleading) that constitutes a statement of fact and that must be proved by the party making it [a negative averment alleging that the plaintiff did not ...
Negative Easement
see easement
Negative Testimony
see testimony
: a disregard of duty resulting from carelessness, indifference, or willfulness ;esp : a failure to provide a child under one's care with proper food, clothing, shelter, supervision, medical care, ...
: failure to exercise the degree of care expected of a person of ordinary prudence in like circumstances in protecting others from a foreseeable and unreasonable risk of harm in a particular ...
Negligence Per Se
see negligence
: marked by, given to, or produced by negligence [a act] [the defendant was ] neg·li·gent·ly adv
Negligent Entrustment
: the entrusting of a dangerous article (as a motor vehicle) to one who is reckless or too inexperienced or incompetent to use it safely ;also : a theory or doctrine making one liable for injury ...
Negligent Homicide
see homicide
: capable of being negotiated ;esp : transferable from one party to another by delivery with or without endorsement so that title passes to the transferee [ securities] [a certificate of deposit] ...
Negotiable Bill Of Lading
see bill of lading
Negotiable Instrument
: a transferable instrument (as a note, check, or draft) containing an unconditional promise or order to pay to a holder or to the order of a holder upon issue, possession, demand, or at a specified ...
Negotiable Instruments
A written document signed by the maker that includes an unconditional promise to pay a sum of money.
-at·ed -at·ing vi : to confer with another so as to settle some matter vt 1 : to bring about through conference, discussion, and agreement or compromise [ a contract] 2 a : to transfer ...
Negotiorum Gestio
[Late Latin, from Latin, management of business] in the civil law of Louisiana : the management of or interference with the business or affairs of another without authority
Negotiorum Gestor
[Late Latin, from Latin, manager of business] in the civil law of Louisiana : an agent undertaking negotiorum gestio
[Anglo-French, clean, pure, from Latin nitidus bright, neat, from nitēre to shine] : remaining after deduction of all charges, outlay, or loss [the proceeds] compare gross
Net Asset Value
: the portion represented by one share of stock of the excess of the market value of a corporation's assets over its liabilities
Net Assets
see asset
Net Income
: the balance of gross income remaining after all allowable deductions and exemptions are taken
Net Lease
see lease
Net Listing
see listing
Net Premium
: an insurance premium consisting of the amount required to pay the insurance liability on its becoming due without paying any expenses or contingent charges
Net Profit After Taxes
A company's net profit before taxes, minus federal, state or local income or franchise taxes
Net Profit Before Taxes
Net sales or total receipts of a business minus all expenses except taxes
Net Quick Assets
see asset
Net Sales
Total sales of a business minus discounts, returns and pricing adjustments
Net Valuation Premium
: a premium for a life insurance policy set after a determination of the amount needed to cover liabilities and maintain policy reserves
Net Worth
: the excess of the value of assets over liabilities : net assets at asset
Net Worth Method
: a method used by the Internal Revenue Service to detect and calculate tax evasion in which the change in a taxpayer's net worth is compared to reported taxable income taking into account living ...
Network is a broad term that can apply to any number of multiple-computer interconnections, series of points or nodes interconnected by communication paths. Networks can be described in terms of its ...
Network Interface
Hardware in a computer which enables the transmission of information over a line, wire or cable. Examples include a modem or an Ethernet card.
: one that is neutral ;specif : an impartial person used in alternative dispute resolution to help resolve or to determine the matters in dispute
New Consideration
see consideration
New Contract Dispute
: major dispute
New Trial
: a repeat inquiry by the same court into all or some of the issues in an action for the purpose of correcting a problem (as the improper admission of evidence) in the prior trial, determining the ...
New Value
: something of value (as money, goods, services, credit, or release of previously transferred property) that is newly given NOTE: A transfer by a debtor to a creditor that is intended as a ...
Next Friend
: a person appearing in or appointed by a court to act on behalf of a person (as a child) lacking legal capacity
Next Of Kin
1 : one or more living persons in the nearest degree of relationship to a particular individual 2 : those persons entitled by statute to receive the property in an intestate's estate compare heir
pl: nex·us·es or: nexus [-səs, -süs] [Latin, bond, tie, from nectere to bind] : a connection or link between things, persons, or events esp. that is or is part of a chain of ...
1 : the time from dusk to dawn 2 : a statutorily set period usually beginning shortly after dusk and ending shortly after dawn
: a person who roams about at night soliciting others for illicit sexual acts often preceded by common
Nihil Dicit
[Latin, he says nothing] 1 : refusal or neglect by a defendant to plead or answer 2 : a judgment rendered against a defendant who refuses or neglects to plead or answer
Nihil-Dicit Judgment
see judgment
[Latin, unless] : taking effect at a later specified time unless previously modified or avoided by cause shown, further proceedings, or a condition fulfilled [an order ] compare absolute
Nisi Prius
[Medieval Latin, unless before, the words introducing a clause in an English writ commanding a sheriff to provide a jury at the Court of Westminster on a certain day unless the judges of assize ...
National Labor Relations Act see also the Important Laws section
National Labor Relations Board see also the Important Agencies section
no middle initial
No Bill
see bill
No Cash Out Refinance
a refinance of an existing loan only for the amount remaining on the mortgage. The borrower does not get any cash against the equity of the home. Also called a "rate and term refinance."
No Contest
: nolo contendere
No Contest Clause
: a clause inserted in a will that causes a legacy to be forfeited if the legatee challenges the will by bringing a will contest
No Cost Loan
there are many variations of a no cost loan. Generally, it is a loan that does not charge for items such as title insurance, escrow fees, settlement fees, appraisal, recording fees or notary fees. It ...
No Evidence
see evidence
No Par
: having no par value [a no par share]
No True Bill
: no bill at bill
No-Action Clause
: a clause in an insurance contract providing that the insurer does not have to pay unless and until a judgment against the insured is obtained
No-Action Letter
see letter
No-Asset Case
A chapter 7 case where there are no assets available to satisfy any portion of the creditors' unsecured claims.
No-Duty Doctrine
: a doctrine in tort law: a defendant cannot be held liable for an injury if no duty is owed to the plaintiff ;specif : a doctrine holding that a person in possession of property is under no duty to ...
No-Eyewitness Rule
: a rule in tort law: in the absence of testimony by eyewitnesses a jury may assume that a person has exercised reasonable care to preserve his or her own safety used esp. in Iowa
1 : of, relating to, or being a motor vehicle insurance plan under which someone injured in an accident is compensated usually up to a stipulated limit for esp. actual losses (as for property damage, ...
No-Fault Divorce
see divorce
No-Fault Protection
Coverage available in many states which pays you, or those people covered under your policy, for medical expenses or injuries which occur as the result of an accident, regardless of who was at fault ...
: of, relating to, or being entry by police (as to make an arrest) into private premises without knocking and without identifying themselves [a raid] no-knock n
: charging no sales commission [a mutual fund] compare load no-load n
No-Par Stock
: no-par value stock at stock
No-Par Value Stock
see stock
: of, relating to, or being a provision in a collective bargaining agreement prohibiting employees from striking
Noerr-Pennington Doctrine
[after Eastern Railroad Presidents Conference v. Noerr Motor Freight, Inc., 365 U.S. 127 (1961), and United Mine Workers v. Pennington, 381 U.S. 657 (1965), U.S. Supreme Court cases that established ...
net operating loss
nol-prossed nol-pros·sing vt : to discontinue by entering a nolle prosequi vi : to enter a nolle prosequi
: nolle prosequi nolle vt
Nolle Pros
nolle prossed nolle pros·sing : nol-pros
Nolle Prosequi
[Latin, to be unwilling to pursue] : an entry in a criminal action denoting that the prosecutor will not prosecute the case further in whole or as to one or more of several counts or one or more of ...
: nolo contendere
Nolo Contendere
[Latin, I do not wish to contend] : a plea by a defendant in a criminal prosecution that without admitting guilt subjects the defendant to conviction as in the case of a guilty plea but that does not ...
Nolo Contendere Plea
a plea in which the defendant does not admit guilt, but does waive the right to trial and authorize the court to impose punishment at sentencing. Nolo contendere is a Latin term that means "it is not ...
1 : existing or being something in name or form but usually not in reality [defenses…raised by the corporation as defendant in a derivative suit "R. C. Clark"] 2 : being so small or trivial as ...
Nominal Consideration
see consideration
Nominal Damages
see damage
Nominal Party
see party
[Latin nominatus, past participle of nominare to call by name, from nomin- nomen name] in the civil law of Louisiana : having a special or certain name compare innominate
Nominate Contract
see contract
1 : a person named as the recipient of a grant, conveyance, or annuity 2 : a person named or proposed for an office, duty, or position: as a : a person named to act as another's agent or ...
Nominee Trust
see trust
Non Compos Mentis
[Latin, literally, not having mastery of one's mind] : not of sound mind : lacking mental ability to understand the nature, consequences, and effect of a situation or transaction
Non Est Factum
[New Latin, (it) is not (his or her) deed] : a defense by way of denial of a deed (as the execution of a contract)
Non Est Inventus
[Latin, he or she has not been found] : the return of a sheriff on a writ or process when the defendant or person to be served or arrested is not found in the jurisdiction
Non Prosequitur
[Late Latin, he or she does not prosecute] : a judgment entered against a plaintiff for failure to appear to prosecute a suit compare nolle prosequi
Non Vult Contendere
[Latin, he or she does not wish to contend] : nolo contendere called also non vult
: not : other than : reverse of : absence of
Non-Commercial Partnership
: nontrading partnership at partnership
Non-Conforming Loan
is a loan that exceeds Fannie Mae's and Freddie Mac's loan limits. Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae loans are referred to as conforming loans.
: of, relating to, or being a non-core proceeding
Non-Core Proceeding
see proceeding
Non-Custodial Parent
The parent who does not have physical custody of the child(ren).
: of or relating to a case that is heard and decided by a judge or other qualified judicial officer (as a magistrate) without a jury
Non-Marital Property
Generally, property owned by either spouse prior to marriage or acquired by them individually, such as by gift or inheritance, during the marriage.
Non-Purchase Money
: not involving or being a debt secured by the property purchased with the money borrowed
: of, relating to, or being a debt whose satisfaction may be obtained on default only out of the particular collateral given and not out of the debtor's other assets [a mortgage] [a creditor] compare ...
Non-Skip Person
: a person who is not a skip person
pl: -ties : lack of legal capacity ;also : a plea or exception raising lack of legal capacity
: an administrative agency's disagreement with and refusal to follow judicial precedent in cases before the agency to which the precedent applies
Nonadmitted Asset
see asset
: failure to appear in court to prosecute or defend
: not arbitrary
: not assignable
: being, done by, or involving some entity other than a bank [ lenders] [a depositor] non·bank·ing adj
Nonbank Bank
see bank
: not binding [a referendum]
: not breaching [a party]
: not involving the death penalty [a case]
: being other than cash [ income]
: one who is not a citizen
Nonclaim Statute
: a statute prohibiting the initiation of a suit beyond a particular time period : statute of limitations
Noncompetition Agreement
A contract (or part of a contract) in which an employee promises not to work for a competing employer (or to set up a competing business) during, or for a certain length of time after, the employment ...
: failing to conform or comply (as with contract requirements or specifications or a law)
pl: -ties 1 : failure to conform to or comply with something (as contract requirements) [acceptance of goods occurs when the buyer…will take or retain them in spite of their "Uniform Commercial ...
: not involving consent : not consented to
: a thing (as land, furniture, or shares of stock) that may be enjoyed without altering its substance except for natural deterioration over time
: making or involving no contribution ;specif : involving, relating to, or being an employee benefit plan (as a pension plan) in which the employer pays the entire cost
: not controlling
: not criminal [ conduct] [ proceedings]
1 : not taking place while in custody [a interrogation of a suspect] 2 : of or being a parent who does not have sole custody of a child or who has custody a smaller portion of the time
Nondeadly Force
see force
Nondeductible Terminable Interest Rule
: a rule in estate tax law: the value of a property interest that passes to a surviving spouse may not be deducted if it passes from the surviving spouse to another person for less than adequate ...
: not capable of being or permitted to be delegated non·del·e·ga·bil·i·ty [-de-li-gə-bi-lə-tē] n
Nondelegation Doctrine
: a doctrine that Congress may not delegate its duties under the Constitution to other branches of government without violating the principle of separation of powers
Nondischargeable Debt
A debt that cannot be eliminated in bankruptcy. Examples include a home mortgage, debts for alimony or child support, certain taxes, debts for most government funded or guaranteed educational loans or ...
: failure to disclose
: having the same citizenship as another party in a lawsuit [a defendant] compare diverse
Nonexclusive Easement
see easement
Nonexclusive Listing
: open listing at listing
[non- + obsolete English feasance doing, execution, from Anglo-French fesance, from Old French faisance act, from fais-, stem of faire to do, from Latin facere] : the failure or omission to do ...
An alien who seeks temporary entry to the United States for a specific purpose. The alien must have a permanent residence abroad (for most classes of admission) and qualify for the nonimmigrant ...
Nonimmigrant Visa (Niv)
A U.S. visa allows the bearer, a foreign citizen, to apply to enter the United States temporarily for a specific purpose. Examples of persons who may receive nonimmigrant visas are tourists, student, ...
: the failure to join a party to a lawsuit
: not judicial
: not juridical
: not appropriate or proper for judicial consideration or resolution non·jus·ti·cia·bil·i·ty [-sti-shə-bi-lə-tē] n
: not negotiable non·ne·go·tia·bil·i·ty [-nə-gō-shə-bi-lə-tē] n
Nonnegotiable Bill Of Lading
see bill of lading
: nonparticipating
: not participating ;specif : not participating or not giving the right to participate in surplus or profit
: the failure to perfect
: neglect or failure to perform
Nonperforming Asset
an asset such as a mortgage that is not currently accruing interest or which interest is not being paid.
: not involving or involved in a probate proceeding [a asset]
Nonprofit Corporation
A corporation formed for some charitable or benevolent purpose and not for profit. Such corporations are afforded special tax treatment.
: not proprietary
non·prossed non·pros·sing : to enter a non prosequitur against
Nonpublic Forum
: public property that has not by tradition or designation been opened as a public forum
: failure to renew
: a judgment entered against a plaintiff for failure to prosecute a case or inability to establish a prima facie case : dismissal nonsuit vt
: failure (as of a parent) to honor a statutory or contractual obligation to provide support ;also : the crime of such failure to support
Nontaxable Income
Income that is not taxed.
Nontrading Partnership
see partnership
1 : not belonging to or connected with a labor union [ carpenters] 2 : not recognizing or favoring labor unions or their members 3 : not produced or worked on by members of a labor union [ lettuce] ...
1 : failure to use [ of land] 2 : the fact or condition of not being used
Noscitur A Sociis
[Latin, it is known by its associates] : a doctrine or rule of construction: the meaning of an unclear or ambiguous word (as in a statute or contract) should be determined by considering the words ...
Not Guilty
1 : a plea by a criminal defendant who intends to contest the charges compare guilty, nolo contendere NOTE: Under the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, if a defendant refuses to plead or if the ...
Not Guilty By Reason Of Insanity
1 : a plea by a criminal defendant who intends to raise an insanity defense used in jurisdictions that require such a plea in order for an insanity defense to be presented 2 : a verdict rendered by ...
: of, relating to, or characteristic of a notary public ;also : done, executed, framed, or taken by a notary public [ documents] no·tar·i·al·ly adv
-rized -riz·ing : to acknowledge or attest as notary public [ a document]
Notary Public
pl: no·ta·ries public or: notary publics [Latin notarius stenographer, from nota note, shorthand character] : a public officer who certifies and attests to the authenticity of writings (as ...
1 a : a written promise to pay a debt ;specif : promissory note in this entry bank note : a promissory note issued by a bank payable to bearer on demand but without interest and circulating as ...
Note Rate
the interest rate stated on a mortgage note.
1 a : a notification or communication of a fact, claim, demand, or proceeding see also process, service NOTE: The requirements of when, how, and what notice must be given to a person are often ...
Notice Of Abandonment
A written notification from the USPTO that an application has been declared abandoned or, in other words, is no longer pending.
Notice Of Action
A Department of Homeland Security, U. S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) immigration form, Notice of Action, Form I-797 that says that USCIS has received a petition you submitted, taken ...
Notice Of Allowance
A written notification from the USPTO that a specific mark has survived the opposition period following publication in the Official Gazette, and has consequently been allowed for registration. It does ...
Notice Of Default
a formal written notice to a borrower that there is a default on a loan and that legal action is possible.
Notice Of Intent To Dissolve
A document informing the secretary of state that your corporation will be dissolving
Notice Of Publication
A written statement from the USPTO notifying an applicant that its mark will be published in the Official Gazette.
Notice Pleading
see pleading
Notice-And-Comment Rulemaking
: informal rulemaking
Notional Principal Amount
the proposed amount which interest rate swap payments are based but generally not paid or received by either party.
: generally known and talked of [adverse possession created by open, continuous, , and adverse use]
Notorious Possession
see possession
[Late Latin novatio renewal, legal novation, from Latin novare to make new, from novus new] : the substitution by mutual agreement of one obligation for another with or without a change of parties ...
pl: -ties : the quality or state of being new : quality of being different from anything in prior existence [satisfied the requirement of for a patent on the design]
Nsf Check
see check
Nudum Pactum
[Medieval Latin, naked pact] : an agreement or promise that is made without consideration and hence unenforceable [a mere nudum pactum] compare gratuitous promise at promise
[Latin nugatorius, from nugari to trifle, from nugae trifles] : being without operative legal effect [held that such an interpretation would render the statute ]
[Anglo-French nusaunce, from Old French nuire to harm, from Latin nocēre] : something (as an act, object, or practice) that invades or interferes with another's rights or interests (as the use ...
Nuisance At Law
see nuisance
Nuisance In Fact
see nuisance
Nuisance Per Accidens
: nuisance in fact at nuisance
Nuisance Per Se
see nuisance
[Anglo-French nul, literally, not any, from Latin nullus, from ne- not + ullus any] : having no legal or binding force : void [a contract]
: the act of nullifying : the state of being nullified see also jury nullification
-fied -fy·ing : to make null [ a contract]
pl: -ties 1 : the quality or state of being null 2 : an act, proceeding, or contract void of legal effect compare impediment absolute nullity in the civil law of Louisiana : a contract or act ...
Numerical Limit, Exempt From
Those aliens accorded lawful permanent residence who are exempt from the provisions of the flexible numerical limit of 675,000 set by the Immigration Act of 1990. Exempt categories include immediate ...
: the requirement that members of a proposed class formed for a class action be so numerous as to make joinder of the members impracticable
Nunc Pro Tunc
: now for then used in reference to a judicial or procedural act that corrects an omission in the record, has effect as of an earlier date, or takes place after a deadline has expired [a nunc pro ...
[Medieval Latin nuncupativus, from Late Latin, so-called, from Latin nuncupatus, past participle of nuncupare to name, probably ultimately from nomen name + capere to take] : stated by spoken word
Nuncupative Will
see will
See National Visa Center.
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