Duhaime's Law Dictionary

S
Legal definitions for terms and concepts beginning with S

Sub Spe Rati
Latin: in the hope of ratification.
Substantial Abuse
A term of American bankruptcy law which precludes a debtor from availing him or herself of bankruptcy protection.
Substantial Awareness Test
The realization by a person of the harmful nature of a crime or a tort perpetrated against him/her.
Substantial Performance
The fulfillment of essential obligations, but not necessarily strictly all obligations, as required under a contract.
Substantive Law
Core law which determines rights and obligations, as opposed to procedural law.
Substituted Service
A method of delivery of a court document on a person other than in-person and generally subject to pre-authorization by the Court.
Successor
A person who takes over the rights of another.
Sudden Emergency Doctrine
A principle of tort law which alleviates the standard of care in emergency circumstances.
Sudden Fight
A spontaneous altercation which occurs in the heat of passion.
Sudden Heat
Anger or terror sufficient to obscure the reason of an ordinary person, preventing deliberation.
Sue and Labour Clause
A standard clause in a maritime insurance policy which allows the insured to recover from the insurer any reasonable expenses incurred by the insured in order to minimize or avert a loss to the insured property, for which loss the insurer would have been liable under the policy.
Suggestive Mark
A trademark which does not describe the product but instead suggests it, requiring some imagination to connect with the nature of the product.
Suicide
To intentionally take one's own life.
Sui Generis
Latin: of its own kind.
Sui Juris
Latin: one's own law; having full capacity.
Summa Ratio Est Quae Pro Religione Facit
Latin: The best rule is that which advances religion.
Summary Conviction Offence
In Canada, a less serious offence than indictable offences and for which both the procedure and punishment tends to be less onerous.
Summary Judgment
A court order dismissing a claim summarily, upon application, and based on the allegation that there is no claim or defence with a reasonable prospect of success.
Summary Trial
The trial of an action by way of affidavit evidence only or by use of truncated process.
Summons
In the USA, this is one of the initial documents issued in a civil suit; giving the defendant notice of the claim and an opportunity to defend it.
Sumptuary Laws
Laws which try to control personal behavior such as manners and what people eat and drink.
Sunnah
An alternate proposed source of Muslim law: in addition to the Koran.
Superficial Wound
A scrape, bruise, discoloration, or swelling, of minimal severity.
Super Injunction
An injunction obtained in a secret convening of the court where in the result, the court file, the names of the parties and even the terms of the injunction order are secret except as between the parties, counsel, the judge and the court staff.
Supersedeas
An application to a court to stay proceedings; most frequently, to stay enforcement or collection proceedings upon a judgment.
Supersedeas Bond
A contract by which a surety obligates itself to pay a final judgment rendered against its principal under the conditions stated in the bond.
Superseding Cause
An intervening act or event which overwhelms a defendant's antecedent negligence and prevents him/her from being liable.
Supervisor
An employee with limited management discretion or responsibilities.
Suppressed Evidence
The intentional non-disclosure by the prosecution of evidence favorable to an accused and asked for by the accused, where that evidence is material either to guilt or punishment.
Surety
A person who promises to answer for the debt or performance of another.
Surety Bond
A three party bond contract in which a third party (the "surety") backs up a principal by agreeing to honour the principal's obligation(s) towards the obligee of a bond in the event of the latter's default.
Surface Waters
Waters falling on the land by precipitation or rising from springs.
Surplusage
Superfluous allegations, especially in regards to pleadings.
Surrender
A declaration of an overpowered belligerent that it is ceasing hostilities.
Suspended Sentence
A judicial prerogative retained by a sentencing judge on a person convicted of a crime by which the full sentencing of a convicted person is suspended or deferred until some future time commensurate with the convicted person’s compliance with the terms of an interim probation order.
Suspicious Circumstances
Circumstances in the preparation or signing of a document that give rise to suspicion as to mental capacity of, or fraud or duress upon the signatory.
Sutler
A civilian merchant assigned to an army in the field to provision soldiers with consumer goods.
Swamp
Lands which, from excessive rainfall or other causes, retain at some seasons of the year excessive water which damages and renders them unfit for use.
Sweepstakes
A contest where prizes are awarded in a random draw.
Synallagmatic Contract
A civil law term for a reciprocal or bilateral contract: one in which both parties provide consideration.
Syndicate
A formal, informal or secret group of individuals or, more usually, corporations, formed to carry on a specified purpose.
Page1 (Sa - Se) | Page2 (Se - Sm) | Page3 (So - St) | Page4 (St - Su) | Page5 (Su - Sy)

Always looking up definitions? Save time with our search provider (modern browsers only)

If you find an error or omission in Duhaime's Law Dictionary, or if you have suggestion for a legal term, we'd love to hear from you!