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Glossary of Terms Index

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W Z

Glossary of Legal Terms - H

 

Habeas corpus: Latin meaning 'you have the body'. A prisoner files a petition for writ of habeas corpus in order to challenge the authority of the gaol or prison warden to continue to hold him. If the judge orders a hearing after reading the writ, the prisoner gets to argue that his confinement is illegal.

Harrassment: create an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment.

Hearing: In a trial court context, a legal proceeding (other than a full-scale trial) held before a judge. A hearing is usually a proceeding before an administrative hearing officer or judge representing an agency that has the power to regulate a particular field or oversee a governmental benefit program.

Hearsay: A witness testimony about matters that she or he has heard or has been told about but has not observed directly for themselves.

Heir: A person who receives property from another peson who has died. While the traditional meaning includes only those who had a legal right to the deceased person's property, modern usage includes anyone who receives property from the estate of a deceased person.

Heir apparent: A person who expects to receive property from the estate of a family member, as long as she or he outlives that person.

Holographic will: A completed and completely handwritten will which is dated and signed by the person making it. These are generally not witnesses and therefore considered to be advised unless as a last resort.

Homicide: The killing of one person by another whether unjustified or justified (ie, war)

House closing: The final transfer of the ownership of a house to the buyer from the seller, which occurs after both have met all the contractual terms and the deed has been recorded

Hung jury: A jury that cannot agree or come to a final verdict.

 

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