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Legal Terms Glossary


The legal way a child between the ages of 16 and 18 can be freed from his or her parents' control. When the child is emancipated, he or she is treated like an adult and can make important decisions on his or her own.
To take legal action to make sure someone does what the judgment or order says they must do.
To forbid; restrain; stop someone from doing a specific act by court order.
The transfer of ownership of property to the state. It happens when a person dies and has no heirs or family member to give it to and no will or trust saying that someone else should get it.
as in paternity: the process to prove a man is the biological (and therefore, the legal) father of a child and get a child support order.
1. The ownership (whether full or partial) someone has in real or personal property. Examples: property that was owned by a person who has died is referred to as a decedent's estate. Property held in trust for the benefit of another is a trust estate. The property of a person or corporation that has declared bankruptcy is an estate in bankruptcy or bankrupt estate.
2. The assets or property over which the court has power to manage and pay out.
Michigan laws that govern wills, decedent's estates, trusts, and guardianships or conservatorships over minors or legally incapacitated persons.
A court case to remove someone from a place they are renting because he or she broke the rental agreement or lease or did not move out when the lease was up.
The warning (in writing) that a landlord must give the tenant or person renting from him or her that the tenant must move out and why. Some notices give the tenant the chance to fix the problem like pay the rent or stop doing something the lease says they can't do (like have an extra roommate or a dog). See also NOTICE TO QUIT.
Testimony, documents, physical objects, or other things presented at a trial or court hearing to prove you are right or the other side is wrong. Only certain things may be used as evidence. The Michigan Rules of Evidence control what may be admitted (or allowed to be considered) at trial.
A hearing where the parties present evidence to the judge, and don't just argue what the law is.
Involving only one party to a lawsuit, without telling any other party.
A motion or request to the court, made by one party to a lawsuit without first telling the other side.
The court's order given after one party to the lawsuit asks the court to do something without first telling the other side.
An inspection or investigation. The term is used to describe a hearing (called the preliminary examination) in the district court where the judge decides whether there is enough evidence to hold a trial in the circuit court on a felony charge. It is also used to describe when a lawyer asks a witness questions. See DIRECT EXAMINATION and CROSS EXAMINATION.
1. To do all the things that a contract or court order says to do
2. To sign a contract or other document.
3. To kill someone as punishment for breaking the law.
A way to collect a money judgment after the trial is over and a formal judgment has been issued. The court gives the power to a certain person to take property to sell to pay the amount owed in the judgment.
Executor (male). Executrix (female). A person named in a will to carry out its terms, that is, to execute the will. Now called a personal representative.
To erase. In legal terms it means to void or erase a criminal record so that it isn't in the computer files anymore and you don't have to "check the box" for a criminal conviction when you fill out a job application.
The formal process of bringing a person found in one state to the government officials of another state where that person has been accused or convicted of a crime.