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Elizabeth  Jennings Lawyer

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LEGAL TERMS

QUANTUM MERUIT

The reasonable value of services provided, which a winning party may be able to recover from an opponent who broke a contract.

HOMESTEAD DECLARATION

A form filed with the county recorder's office to put on record your right to a homestead exemption. In most states, the homestead exemption is automatic--that ... (more...)
A form filed with the county recorder's office to put on record your right to a homestead exemption. In most states, the homestead exemption is automatic--that is, you are not required to record a homestead declaration in order to claim the homestead exemption. A few states do require such a recording, however.

INURE

To take effect, or to benefit someone. In property law, the term means 'to vest.' For example, Jim buys a beach house that includes the right to travel across t... (more...)
To take effect, or to benefit someone. In property law, the term means 'to vest.' For example, Jim buys a beach house that includes the right to travel across the neighbor's property to get to the water. That right of way is said, cryptically, 'to inure to the benefit of Jim.'

EASEMENT

A right to use another person's real estate for a specific purpose. The most common type of easement is the right to travel over another person's land, known as... (more...)
A right to use another person's real estate for a specific purpose. The most common type of easement is the right to travel over another person's land, known as a right of way. In addition, property owners commonly grant easements for the placement of utility poles, utility trenches, water lines or sewer lines. The owner of property that is subject to an easement is said to be 'burdened' with the easement, because he or she is not allowed to interfere with its use. For example, if the deed to John's property permits Sue to travel across John's main road to reach her own home, John cannot do anything to block the road. On the other hand, Sue cannot do anything that exceeds the scope of her easement, such as widening the roadway.

PRIVATE MORTGAGE INSURANCE (PMI)

Insurance that reimburses a mortgage lender if the buyer defaults on the loan and the foreclosure sale price is less than the amount owed the lender (the mortga... (more...)
Insurance that reimburses a mortgage lender if the buyer defaults on the loan and the foreclosure sale price is less than the amount owed the lender (the mortgage plus the costs of the sale). A home buyer who makes less than a 20% down payment may have to purchase PMI.

ELECTRONIC SIGNATURE

A paperless method of entering into an electronic contract. To 'sign' a contract electronically, a person may be asked to click an 'I Accept' button or use a 'k... (more...)
A paperless method of entering into an electronic contract. To 'sign' a contract electronically, a person may be asked to click an 'I Accept' button or use a 'key' to encrypt (scramble) information that uniquely identifies the signer using a method called Public Key Infrastructure (PKI). Electronic signatures are as binding as those in ink.

SERVIENT TENEMENT

Property that is subject to use by another for a specific purpose. For example, a beachfront house that has a public walkway to the beach on its premises would ... (more...)
Property that is subject to use by another for a specific purpose. For example, a beachfront house that has a public walkway to the beach on its premises would be a servient tenement.

SECURITY DEPOSIT

A payment required by a landlord to ensure that a tenant pays rent on time and keeps the rental unit in good condition. If the tenant damages the property or le... (more...)
A payment required by a landlord to ensure that a tenant pays rent on time and keeps the rental unit in good condition. If the tenant damages the property or leaves owing rent, the landlord can use the security deposit to cover what the tenant owes.

PATENT CLAIM

A statement included in a patent application that describes the structure of an invention in precise and exact terms, using a long established formal style and ... (more...)
A statement included in a patent application that describes the structure of an invention in precise and exact terms, using a long established formal style and precise terminology. Patent claims serve as a way for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) to determine whether an invention is patentable, and as a way for a court to determine whether a patent has been infringed. In concept, a patent claim marks the boundaries of the patent in the same way as the legal description in a deed specifies the boundaries of the property.