Law Library Legal Dictionary – S (Page 4)

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Legal Definitions – S (Page 4)

Specific Intent Crime – A type of crime that requires the prosecution to prove that the defendant had a particular purpose or intention that was driving them to commit the crime. The required motive is usually listed in the statute or code governing the crime. 

Specific Performance – A court order requiring a party to fulfill their part of a contract. This is a type of remedy available where one party refuses to perform their obligations under a contract, but the only way to make up for the harm the party caused is to force them to perform anyway.

Specific Will Devise – A particular item or property in an estate that is transferred to the recipient upon the owner’s death. It may be a certain piece of property, such as a unique collectible, or a particular plot of land that is specifically described in the will.

Spendthrift Trust – A type of trust where the trustee controls how and when the assets are distributed to the beneficiary, which prevents the beneficiary from having a right to the specific distributions until they are made by the trustee.

Sport Spectator Injury – An injury suffered by a spectator at a sporting event. Others may be liable for the injury, such as the venue hosting the event, or they may not be, especially if the court finds that the nature of the injury is the type of injury that the spectator reasonably expected to encounter by attending the event.

Sports Law – Several different types of law that govern the legal issues related to athletic competition, such as personal injury and contract law.

Spot Zoning – A practice related to zoning ordinances and laws in which the use of a parcel of land differs from the surrounding properties in that zone.

Spousal Abuse Laws – Any abusive conduct between intimate partners who are married, dating, or residing in the same residence. It can refer to single instances of abuse, although it usually refers to a pattern of repeated or cyclical abuse over time.

Spousal Agreement – An agreement before marriage or during marriage that alters or maintains the nature of the property that is the subject of the agreement.

Spousal Support – Regular payments made from one spouse to the other during a separation or after a divorce in order to continue to provide needed financial support to that spouse. It is also known as alimony.

Spouse Visa – A visa that allows a husband or wife of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident to obtain entry into the U.S.

Sprinkling/Spray Trust – A unique type of trust in which the trustee is given broad discretion to distribute trust assets to the beneficiaries as their need arises. The trustee can release "a little here and a little there" of the funds, in effect "sprinkling" or "spraying" the trust funds to the beneficiaries over time.

Spyware – A type of computer program that oversees and tracks what users do with their computer in cyberspace, and relays this information to a separate third party.

SSA Request for Reconsideration – A request filed with the Social Security Administration (SSA) by completing the SSA-561-U2 that asks the SSA to reconsider the amount being paid.

Stadium Liability – The liability a stadium owner faces when they fail to exercise reasonable care to see that the stadium and the outside of the stadium are reasonably safe for patrons.

Stale Checks – A check that was written long ago and the person to whom it was written never cashed it, rendering it void.

Stalking – Unwanted or obsessive attention by an individual or group toward another person. Such behavior has been criminalized by many states.

Standard of Care – The level of care that a professional must exhibit while engaging in the activity in which they are a professional.

Stark Law – A federal law that prohibits medical physicians from referring clients to other clinics or hospitals in which they have a financial interest.

Start-Up Business – A company that is coming into existence with little to no amounts of operating history in the past. See Also: Hiring an Accountant for a Startup Business, Start up Business Regulation

State Fair Employment Practices Agencies – State government agencies that are in charge of handling violations of state employment anti-discrimination laws.

State-Held Unclaimed Property – Funds that are held by the state whenever an individual abandons or neglects their account.

Status of a Will After Childbirth or Adoption – The change in the legality of a will when the testator has adopted or given birth to a child after the will was created.

Statute of Frauds – A type of law that requires certain types of contracts to be in writing.

Statutory Damages – A very specific type of damages that is based on the requirements and guidelines that are listed in state statutes.

Statutory Rape – Sexual intercourse between someone over the age of consent and someone below the age of consent. This has been made illegal in all states.

Statutory Will – A will that follows the standard language contained in a state wills statute. It is generally a standardized form that the testator completes.

Stay of Removal – A temporary postponing of removal of an alien from the United States.

Step-parent Adoption – An adoption of a child by their step-parent, making the step-parent the child’s legal parent.

Stipulation – A statement of agreement or admission of factual information in legal proceedings.

Stock – A share of ownership in a company that entitles the stock owner to a share of the company’s assets and earnings.

Stock Option – A privilege that gives the option owner the right to buy or sell a stock at an agreed-upon price within a certain period or on a specific date. It is often given by employers to employees as an employment benefit.

Stock Purchase Agreement – A legal document that lay out the terms and conditions for a sale of company stocks. It is a legally binding contract that helps ensures transparency of such sales by providing records of the parties’ intentions and agreements.

Stop and Frisk – A type of search in which a police officer stops an individual and briefly runs their hands on their outer clothing in order to detect concealed weapons.

Strategic Mortgage Default – A deliberate decision by a homeowner to skip one or more mortgage payments, an action that will place the owner into default on their mortgage.

Strict Liability – A form of civil liability, similar to negligence.

Strict Liability Crime – A crime that requires no mens rea, meaning that the perpetrator does not need to intend to do something wrong or morally blameworthy to commit the crime.

Strip Search – A method of search used by police, usually for the purpose of finding drugs or a weapon being carried by a suspect. It is more invasive than a regular pat-down search.

Structured Settlement Cash Payout – A type of arrangement where a financial company actually purchases the plaintiff’s structured settlement. The company then distributes an immediate lump sum to the plaintiff in exchange for the structured settlement.

Student Discipline – Punishment enacted by a school against one of its students. Typical forms of this sort of punishment include detention and suspension.

Student Visa – A visa that allows a non-citizen foreign national to enter the U.S. and stay temporarily while enrolled in a sponsoring academic institution.

Subletting – The act of leasing a rented property to a subtenant.

Subpoena – A written order from a court commanding a person to appear before it.

Subpoena Duces Tecum – A court order requiring a person to produce certain documents.

Subprime Mortgage – A loan to buyers who may have a difficult time repaying the loan.

Subrogation – An equitable doctrine that allows one party to be substituted for the creditor in a creditor-debtor situation.

Substantial Performance in Contracts – A principle that allows for a party to a contract to be paid under (or retain the benefit of) the contract even though they have not fully complied with the specific terms of the contract.

Substantiation Requirement for Certain Business Expenses – A legal requirement that taxpayers be able to provide adequate records or sufficient evidence to prove certain business expenses or otherwise they cannot be taken as deductions.

Substitute Condemnation – A situation in which the owner of property being condemned can only be adequately compensated by receiving other property in exchange.

Succession Laws – Laws that determine how property will be distributed upon the death of the estate holder when the estate holder dies without a valid will.

Summary Dissolution – A kind of divorce where a marriage is terminated without a court hearing.

Superfund Site – Any land in the United States that has been contaminated with so much waste and pollution that the Environmental Protection Agency has ordered the land to be cleaned up because it poses a risk to human health.

Supervised Probation – An alternative form of sentencing where the offender is released back into the community, but must follow a strict set of rules and meet regularly with a probation officer, who monitors the offender during the probationary period.

Supervised Visitation – A type of child visitation where the non-custodial parent is only allowed to visit with the child if a designated adult is present.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) – A federal cash benefit program that is funded through general tax revenue, not social security taxes.

Support Guidelines – A set of factors used in the calculation of child support amounts.

Support Order – A court order requiring one party to pay monetary support to the other party, such as child support or alimony.

Suppression of Evidence – The act of preventing evidence to be admitted into trial because it was obtained through an illegal search. This act is required by the exclusionary rule.

Surety Bond – A promise to pay one party a certain amount if a second party fails to meet some obligation.

Suretyship – A promise by one party to take over the obligations of another party that were imposed by a contract if the second party fails to perform as required by the contract.

Surgical Consent – Permission that a patient has given to their doctor to perform a medical procedure. This consent is necessary for the doctor to avoid committing a battery to the patient.

Surrogacy Contract – An agreement in which a couple contracts with a woman to carry their fertilized embryo. These contracts are often found to be against public policy and therefore unenforceable.

Surrogate – A woman who gives birth to a child or children on behalf of other parents, often using only their genetic material.

Surviving Child Benefits – Social Security benefits given to a biological child, adopted child, or step-child, who is a minor, upon the death of their parent, provided that the parent worked in a job where they paid Social Security taxes.

Suspension – A form of student discipline in which a student loses some of their rights and privileges for a specified period of time.

Sweepstakes Scam – A scam in which the perpetrator claims that the victim has won a sweepstakes in order to induce the victim into purchasing various items in connection with the alleged sweepstakes.

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Last Modified: 03-1-2017 02:42 AM UTC