South Weymouth Land Use & Zoning Lawyer, Massachusetts

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LEGAL TERMS

JUS COGENS

Principles of international law so fundamental that no nation may ignore them or attempt to contract out of them through treaties. For example, genocide and par... (more...)
Principles of international law so fundamental that no nation may ignore them or attempt to contract out of them through treaties. For example, genocide and participating in a slave trade are thought to be jus cogens.

UNCLEAN HANDS

A legal doctrine that prevents a plaintiff who has acted unethically in relation to a lawsuit from winning the suit or from recovering as much money as she woul... (more...)
A legal doctrine that prevents a plaintiff who has acted unethically in relation to a lawsuit from winning the suit or from recovering as much money as she would have if she had behaved honorably. For example, if a contractor is suing a homeowner to recover the price of work he did on the home, his failure to perform the work as specified would leave him with unclean hands.

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.

ASYLUM

A legal status granted to an individual who is in the United States and fears political persecution if he or she is forced to return to their home country.

MECHANIC'S LIEN

A legal claim placed on real estate by someone who is owed money for labor, services or supplies contributed to the property for the purpose of improving it. Ty... (more...)
A legal claim placed on real estate by someone who is owed money for labor, services or supplies contributed to the property for the purpose of improving it. Typical lien claimants are general contractors, subcontractors and suppliers of building materials. A mechanics' lien claimant can sue to have the real estate sold at auction and recover the debt from the proceeds. Because property with a lien on it cannot be easily sold until the lien is satisfied (paid off), owners have a great incentive to pay their bills.

FORFEITURE

The loss of property or a privilege due to breaking a law. For example, a landlord may forfeit his or her property to the federal or state government if the lan... (more...)
The loss of property or a privilege due to breaking a law. For example, a landlord may forfeit his or her property to the federal or state government if the landlord knows it is a drug-dealing site but fails to stop the illegal activity. Or, you may have to forfeit your driver's license if you commit too many moving violations or are convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

UNJUST ENRICHMENT

A legal doctrine stating that if a person receives money or other property through no effort of his own, at the expense of another, the recipient should return ... (more...)
A legal doctrine stating that if a person receives money or other property through no effort of his own, at the expense of another, the recipient should return the property to the rightful owner, even if the property was not obtained illegally. Most courts will order that the property be returned if the party who has suffered the loss brings a lawsuit.

LIMITED EQUITY HOUSING

An arrangement designed to encourage low-and moderate-income families to purchase housing, in which the housing is offered at an extremely favorable price with ... (more...)
An arrangement designed to encourage low-and moderate-income families to purchase housing, in which the housing is offered at an extremely favorable price with a low down payment. The catch is that when the owner sells, she gets none of the profit if the market value of the unit has gone up. Any profit returns to the organization that built the home, which then resells the unit at an affordable price.

NONDISCLOSURE AGREEMENT

A legally binding contract in which a person or business promises to treat specific information as a trade secret and not disclose it to others without proper a... (more...)
A legally binding contract in which a person or business promises to treat specific information as a trade secret and not disclose it to others without proper authorization. Nondisclosure agreements are often used when a business discloses a trade secret to another person or business for such purposes as development, marketing, evaluation or securing financial backing. Although nondisclosure agreements are usually in the form of written contracts, they may also be implied if the context of a business relationship suggests that the parties intended to make an agreement. For example, a business that conducts patent searches for inventors is expected to keep information about the invention secret, even if no written agreement is signed, because the nature of the business is to deal in confidential information.

SAMPLE LEGAL CASES

Bjorklund v. Zoning Board of Appeals of Norwell

Prospect Street is winding with elevation changes. To the north of the plaintiffs' property are nine homes containing an average of 2,638 square feet of living area, all located on lots that are at least one acre. To the south of the property are fourteen homes containing an average of ...

Kitras v. Zoning Administrator of Aquinnah

1. Background. On March 29, 1999, the town's planning board nominated the entire town as a DCPC. See St. 1977, c. 831, § 8. The commission voted on April 22, 1999, to accept this nomination for consideration. [8] See id. On June 17, 1999, the commission designated the entire ...

Elles v. ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS OF QUINCY

As a general rule, an aggrieved litigant cannot as a matter of 674 right pursue an immediate appeal from an interlocutory order unless a statute or rule authorizes it. Maddocks v. Ricker, 403 Mass. 592, 597 (1988), and cases cited. One narrow exception to this principle is where ...