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San Antonio Land Use & Zoning Lawyer, Texas


800-923-0641

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800-943-8690

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LEGAL TERMS

STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS

The legally prescribed time limit in which a lawsuit must be filed. Statutes of limitation differ depending on the type of legal claim, and often the state. For... (more...)
The legally prescribed time limit in which a lawsuit must be filed. Statutes of limitation differ depending on the type of legal claim, and often the state. For example, many states require that a personal injury lawsuit be filed within one year from the date of injury -- or in some instances, from the date when it should reasonably have been discovered -- but some allow two years. Similarly, claims based on a written contract must be filed in court within four years from the date the contract was broken in some states and five years in others. Statute of limitations rules apply to cases filed in all courts, including federal court.

EXPRESS WARRANTY

A guarantee about the quality of goods or services made by a seller, such as 'This item is guaranteed against defects in construction for one year.' Most expres... (more...)
A guarantee about the quality of goods or services made by a seller, such as 'This item is guaranteed against defects in construction for one year.' Most express warranties come directly from the manufacturer or are included in the sales contract. If you want to hold the seller to an oral guarantee, it's best to get it in writing or have witnesses to the guarantee so that it doesn't come down to your word against the seller's if a problem arises.

EVIDENCE

The many types of information presented to a judge or jury designed to convince them of the truth or falsity of key facts. Evidence typically includes testimony... (more...)
The many types of information presented to a judge or jury designed to convince them of the truth or falsity of key facts. Evidence typically includes testimony of witnesses, documents, photographs, items of damaged property, government records, videos and laboratory reports. Rules that are as strict as they are quirky and technical govern what types of evidence can be properly admitted as part of a trial. For example, the hearsay rule purports to prevent secondhand testimony of the 'he said, she said' variety, but the existence of dozens of exceptions often means that hairsplitting lawyers can find a way to introduce such testimony into evidence. See also admissible evidence, inadmissible evidence.

ESCHEAT

The forfeit of all property to the state when a person dies without heirs.

LEASE

An oral or written agreement (a contract) between two people concerning the use by one of the property of the other. A person can lease real estate (such as an ... (more...)
An oral or written agreement (a contract) between two people concerning the use by one of the property of the other. A person can lease real estate (such as an apartment or business property) or personal property (such as a car or a boat). A lease should cover basic issues such as when the lease will begin and end, the rent or other costs, how payments should be made, and any restrictions on the use of the property. The property owner is often called the 'lessor,' and the person using the property is called the 'lessee.'

DEVISE

An old legal term that is generally used to refer to real estate left to someone under the terms of a will, or to the act of leaving such real estate. In some s... (more...)
An old legal term that is generally used to refer to real estate left to someone under the terms of a will, or to the act of leaving such real estate. In some states, 'devise' now applies to any kind of property left by will, making it identical to the term bequest. Compare legacy.

HOUSE CLOSING

The final transfer of the ownership of a house from the seller to the buyer, which occurs after both have met all the terms of their contract and the deed has b... (more...)
The final transfer of the ownership of a house from the seller to the buyer, which occurs after both have met all the terms of their contract and the deed has been recorded.

INCIDENTS OF OWNERSHIP

Any control over property. If you give away property but keep an incident of ownership--for example, you give away an apartment building but retain the right to... (more...)
Any control over property. If you give away property but keep an incident of ownership--for example, you give away an apartment building but retain the right to receive rent--then legally, no gift has been made. This distinction can be important if you're making large gifts to reduce your eventual estate tax.

CLEANING FEE

A nonrefundable fee charged by a landlord when a tenant moves in. The fee covers the cost of cleaning the rented premises after you move out, even if you leave ... (more...)
A nonrefundable fee charged by a landlord when a tenant moves in. The fee covers the cost of cleaning the rented premises after you move out, even if you leave the place spotless. Cleaning fees are illegal in some states and specifically allowed in others, but most state laws are silent on the issue. Landlords in every state are allowed to use the security deposit to clean a unit that is truly dirty.

SAMPLE LEGAL CASES

COLUMBUS MARKET v. Zoning Bd. of Galveston

Property owners appeal the district court's order affirming the decision of a municipal zoning board to uphold a decision by a city administrative agency to deny the property owners' application for a city permit to demolish property in a historical area of the city. The property owners ...

Barr v. City of Sinton

... In response, the city passed a zoning ordinance that not only precluded the use of the homes for that purpose but effectively banned the ministry from the city. ... When Barr began his ministry, the City imposed no zoning or other restrictions on his use of the homes. ...

City of Sherman v. Wayne

... In this regulatory takings case, we determine whether James Wayne's claims are ripe for adjudication and, if so, whether the evidence supports the trial court's judgment that application of the City of 39 Sherman's residential zoning ordinance to Wayne's property deprived him of ...