Legal Definitions – S (Page 2)
Search and Seizure – A procedure used by law enforcement to search a person or premises and seize tangible items found on the person or premises. The legality of this procedure is governed by the 4th Amendment.
Search Engine Phishing – Phishing that uses websites appearing as results of legitimate searches on search engines, such as Bing and Google.
Search Warrant – An order signed by a judge that gives police officers the right to search a specific place for specific objects or materials.
Searches Made Without a Warrant – Searches made by police officers who have not obtained search warrants authorizing the searches.
Seat Belt Laws – Laws that require the driver and any passenger(s) to wear a seat belt or harness, in compliance with federal mandates on safety belt standards. These laws usually apply to passenger cars, vans, or trucks while they are in a forward motion.
Seatback Failure – The situation in which a car seatback collapses in a rearward direction, which can result in the increase of the chance of being thrown from the car in an auto accident.
Second Home Mortgage – A second mortgage that is taken out on a home, as opposed to a commercial building.
Second-Hand Smoke Lawsuits – Lawsuits brought by non-smoking people whose health has been damaged by inhaling environmental tobacco smoke.
Secondary Sales of Firearms – The transfer of firearms by persons who are not required to be licensed as firearms dealers under federal law.
Secret Trust – A type of trust in which property is devised to a person in a will document that does not mention a trust, so that only the person receiving the property knows that they are not inheriting it, but merely becoming a trustee of it until they transfer it to the rightful beneficiary.
Self-Defense – The legal right to use physical force to defend oneself from bodily harm. This is an absolute defense that justifies the committing of a crime including murder.
Seller Leaseback – A financial transaction in which a person sells property and then leases or rents from the new property owner. It is also called a "seller rent back" or "sale-leaseback."
Semi-Secret Trust – A type of trust in which property is devised to a person in a will document with the will specifying that the person is merely a trustee holding the property in trust, but without naming the beneficiaries of the trust.
Secret Auto Warranties – Little-known programs under which manufacturers offer to pay for repairs for defective parts after the factory warranty period has expired as long as the car owner asks for such assistance. They are also known as also known as "after warranty assistance" (AWA) and "good will assistance."
Section 8 Assistance – Financial assistance that the federal government gives, in the form of vouchers, to low-income families to supplement their income for housing.
Securities Act of 1933 – Federal law that requires companies to give investors truthful detailed financial and other information about the nature of their investments.
Securities Arbitration – The arbitration of disputes involving the transfer of certificates (or electronic entries) designating ownership of corporate stocks, mutual funds, corporate and government bonds, stock options, and other "negotiable instruments."
Securities Exchange Act of 1934 – A federal law that created the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which regulates brokerage firms, transfer agents, clearing agencies, and the nation’s securities self-regulatory organizations, such as the various stock exchanges.
Securities Law – An area of law that governs the sale, purchase, and creation of security interests.
Security Administration – A profession that involves overseeing the security operations of a private company.
Security Deposit – A sum of money held in trust by a landlord for a tenant in the course of a rental agreement to ensure the cost of repair in relation to any damage that the tenant would otherwise be responsible for repairing.
Security Measures for Trade Secrets – Measures taken by owners of a trade secret to ensure that the trade secret is not made public, thereby maintaining its trade secret status.
Seized Property Auction – The sale of property that has been seized by the state or local government.
Seizure of Bank Accounts and Bank Assets – The act of a creditor gaining court-ordered access to the bank account of a borrower who cannot keep up with debt payments in order to obtain the funds necessary to satisfy the borrower’s debt.
Selecting an Executor – The process of choosing who will be responsible for the complete administration of one’s estate when one dies.
Selective Drug Testing – The situation where an employer singles out a particular applicant, employee, or group of persons for drug testing based on their characteristics (such as race, gender, educational background, etc.). This can be considered a violation of employment laws such as employment discrimination statutes.
Selective Service Registration – Registration for a government program in which the U.S. gathers a list of the names of men in the country in case of a military draft. Such registration is mandatory for men ages 18 to 25, except for nonimmigrant (those with temporary visas) males, men on active duty in the military, and cadets in military colleges.
Self Help Eviction – The process of evicting a tenant without first obtaining an eviction from the court.
Self-Employment Tax – Income tax that one must pay on the income they earn while being self employed. Income of this type is usually reported to the IRS on a 1099-MISC tax form.
Self-Probating Will – A will that includes affidavits from the witnesses that are attached to the document confirming that they were there, and attesting that they were present, and all the requirements for a valid will were met. These written statements ensure that there are no issues with the validity of the will when it is entered into probate.
Self-representation in Civil Cases – The act of representing oneself in a civil case instead of retaining a lawyer for representation and also referred to as representing one’s self "pro se." This is often required in small claims courts.
Self-representation in Criminal Cases – The act of representing oneself in a criminal case instead of either retaining a private lawyer for representation or permitting a court-appointed lawyer to represent oneself in the criminal proceedings.
Self-settled Spendthrift Trust – A spendthrift trust where the trust creator is also the sole beneficiary of the trust.
Selling a Structured Settlement – The act of selling the right to payments of a damages award to a financing company.
Sentencing – The stage of a criminal trial when the defendant is informed of the sentence for their charges after being found guilty.
Separate Property – Any property that was acquired individually by a spouse before the marriage occurred, through inheritance, or as a gift. It may also be any property that is specified as separate property through an agreement made between the spouses or as stipulated by a prenuptial agreement.
Separation Agreement – An agreement between a married couple who have decided to live apart for an indefinite period of time. This agreement terminates the rights of co-habitation between the parties but it does not dissolve a marriage.
Serious Auto Crimes – Crimes involving cars that carry a heavier sentence than a traffic violation, such as vehicular manslaughter and grand theft auto.
Serious Bodily Harm – Bodily harm that creates a substantial risk of death, causes serious disfigurement, or results in long-term impairment of any part of the body. It is also referred to as serious bodily injury.
Service Mark – An identifying mark that is similar to a trademark, but is used in the sale of services instead of the sale of goods.
Service of Process – The procedure of informing someone of a pending case against them. This is a requirement of any civil complaint.
Setback Ordinance – A property law that sets forth the minimum distance from a property line that a building can be built.
Settlement Offer – An offer made by one party to another, traditionally the defendant, involving the plaintiff voluntarily dismissing the case in exchange of money or other consideration.
Settlement Statement – A standard form used at nearly all home loan closings. It lists all of the closing costs and charges and shows how the loan proceeds are paid out and who will receive them.
Severance Package – Pay and benefits an employee receives when they leave employment at a company. This is given at the employer’s discretion and is not required by law.
Sex Stereotyping – Discrimination where an employer takes an "employment action" against someone based on that person’s non-conformance with a gender stereotype.