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LEGAL TERMS

HOMESTEAD

(1) The house in which a family lives, plus any adjoining land and other buildings on that land. (2) Real estate which is not subject to the claims of creditors... (more...)
(1) The house in which a family lives, plus any adjoining land and other buildings on that land. (2) Real estate which is not subject to the claims of creditors as long as it is occupied as a home by the head of the household. After the head of the family dies, homestead laws often allow the surviving spouse or minor children to live on the property for as long as they choose. (3) Land acquired out of the public lands of the United States. The term 'homesteaders' refers to people who got their land by settling it and making it productive, rather than purchasing it outright.

RESTRAINT ON ALIENATION

A provision in a deed or will that attempts to restrict ownership of the property -- for example, selling your house to your daughter with the provision that it... (more...)
A provision in a deed or will that attempts to restrict ownership of the property -- for example, selling your house to your daughter with the provision that it never be sold to anyone outside the family. These provisions are generally unenforceable.

HOLD HARMLESS

In a contract, a promise by one party not to hold the other party responsible if the other party carries out the contract in a way that causes damage to the fir... (more...)
In a contract, a promise by one party not to hold the other party responsible if the other party carries out the contract in a way that causes damage to the first party. For example, many leases include a hold harmless clause in which the tenant agrees not to sue the landlord if the tenant is injured due to the landlord's failure to maintain the premises. In most states, these clauses are illegal in residential tenancies, but may be upheld in commercial settings.

REAL PROPERTY

Another term for real estate. It includes land and things permanently attached to the land, such as trees, buildings, and stationary mobile homes. Anything that... (more...)
Another term for real estate. It includes land and things permanently attached to the land, such as trees, buildings, and stationary mobile homes. Anything that is not real property is termed personal property.

AUTHOR

In terms of copyright protection, either the person who creates the work, the person or business that pays another to create the work in an employment context o... (more...)
In terms of copyright protection, either the person who creates the work, the person or business that pays another to create the work in an employment context or the person or business that commissions the work under a valid work for hire contract. For example, a songwriter may write a song, but if he is employed by a company to do so, the company is the author of that song for copyright purposes.

CONDITIONS OF CARRIAGE

The terms of your contract with an airline after you buy a ticket. Conditions of carriage cover everything from baggage limitations to the amount of compensatio... (more...)
The terms of your contract with an airline after you buy a ticket. Conditions of carriage cover everything from baggage limitations to the amount of compensation you can recover if you're injured on the flight. These provisions often vary from airline to airline. A few, but by no means most, conditions of carriage appear in the fine print on the back of your ticket. To find out about the rest, you can ask the airline for a copy; it is legally obligated to provide one. The conditions of carriage contain a lot of fine print detail and will not make for exciting reading.

DOWN PAYMENT

A lump sum cash payment paid by a buyer when he or she purchases a major piece of property, such as a car or house. The buyer typically takes out a loan for the... (more...)
A lump sum cash payment paid by a buyer when he or she purchases a major piece of property, such as a car or house. The buyer typically takes out a loan for the balance remaining, and pays it off in monthly installments over time.

TANGIBLE PERSONAL PROPERTY

Personal property that can be felt or touched. Examples include furniture, cars, jewelry and artwork. However, cash and checking accounts are not tangible perso... (more...)
Personal property that can be felt or touched. Examples include furniture, cars, jewelry and artwork. However, cash and checking accounts are not tangible personal property. The law is unsettled as to whether computer data is tangible personal property. Compare intangible property.

SUBSTITUTED SERVICE

A method for the formal delivery of court papers that takes the place of personal service. Personal service means that the papers are placed directly into the h... (more...)
A method for the formal delivery of court papers that takes the place of personal service. Personal service means that the papers are placed directly into the hands of the person to be served. Substituted service, on the other hand, may be accomplished by leaving the documents with a designated agent, with another adult in the recipient's home, with the recipient's manager at work or by posting a notice in a prominent place and then using certified mail to send copies of the documents to the recipient.