Our Grand Children are victims of;

"Protect the "system" at all costs. The "system" is the only ultimate sacred cow - not any particular law or constitution, but only "the system." Because, ultimately, it is the system which makes certain that the individuals functioning within it - from judges to lawyers, to prosecutors, to politicians, to businessmen - have their places and positions, and opportunities and pecking order, and future."

In 1696, England first used the legal principle of parens patriae, which gave the royal crown care of "charities, infants, idiots, and lunatics returned to the chancery." This principal of parens patriae has been identified as the statutory basis for U.S. governmental intervention in families' child rearing practices.

"We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."
Preamble of the original "organic" Constitution

"We hold these truths to be self-evident. That all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; that to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness."
Excerpted from the Declaration of Independence of the original thirteen united states of America, July 4, 1776

Thursday, May 31, 2012


No matter what our kids and the new generation think about us,
OUR Lives are LIVING PROOF !!!
To Those of Us Born 1925 - 1960 :
At the end of this is a quote of the month by Jay Leno. If you don't read anything else, please read what he said.
Very well stated, Mr.Leno.
1930s, '40s, '50s, and '60s!!

First, we survived being born to mothers who may have smoked and/or drank
While they were pregnant.

They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing, tuna from a can, and didn't get tested for diabetes.

Then, after that trauma, we were
Put to sleep on our tummies
In baby cribs covered
With bright colored lead-based paints.

We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, locks on doors or cabinets,
And, when we rode our bikes,
We had baseball caps,
Not helmets, on our heads.

As infants and children, we would ride in cars with no car seats, no booster seats, no seat belts, no air bags, bald tires and sometimes no brakes..

Riding in the back of a pick- up truck on a warm day was always a special treat.

We drank water from the garden hose and not from a bottle..

We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle, and no one actually died from this.

We ate cupcakes, white bread, real butter, and bacon. We drank Kool-Aid made with real white sugar. And we weren't overweight.

Because we were always outside playing...that's why!

We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on.
No one was able to reach us all day.
--And, we were OKAY.

We would spend hours building
Our go-carts out of scraps
And then ride them down the hill,
Only to find out we forgot the brakes... After running into the bushes a few times, we learned to solve the problem..

We did not have Play Stations, Nintendos and X-boxes. There were
No video games, no 150 channels on cable,
No video movies or DVDs,
No surround-sound or CDs,
No cell phones,
No personal computers,
No Internet and no chat rooms.

And we went outside and found them!

We fell out of trees, got cut,
Broke bones and teeth,
And there were no lawsuits
From those accidents.
We would get spankings with wooden spoons, switches, ping-pong paddles, or just a bare hand, and no one would call child services to report abuse.

We ate worms, and mud pies
Made from dirt, and
The worms did not live in us forever.

We were given BB guns for our 10th birthdays, made up games with sticks and tennis balls, and
-although we were told it would happen- we did not put out very many eyes.

We rode bikes or walked to a friend's house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just walked in and talked to them.

Little League had tryouts
And not everyone made the team.
Those who didn't had to learn
To deal with disappointment.
Imagine that!!

The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law!

These generations have produced some of the best risk-takers,
Problem solvers, and inventors ever.

The past 50 to 85 years have seen an explosion of innovation and new ideas..

We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned how to deal with it all.

If YOU are one of those born
Between 1925-1960, CONGRATULATIONS!

You might want to share this with others who have had the luck to grow up as kids before the lawyers and the government regulated so much of our lives for our own good.

While you are at it, forward it to your kids, so they will know how brave and lucky their parents were.

Kind of makes you want to run through the house with scissors, doesn't it ?
The quote of the month
Jay Leno:

"With hurricanes, tornado's, earthquakes, fires out of control, mud slides, flooding, severe thunderstorms tearing up the country from one end to another, and with the threat of bird flu and terrorist attacks, are we sure this is a good time to take God out of the Pledge of Allegiance?"

Missing linkThe phrase "missing link" has been used extensively in popular writings on human evolution to refer to a perceived gap in the hominid evolutionary record. One idea related to the die out of one species and the start of a new "human" like species is the first species did not have Child Protective Services to "protect" it. Therefor, they died out.

*The posts made in this blog are of our opinion only* Without Prejudice UCC 1-207

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Sociology Needs a Public / The Idea of the Illusion

From Sociology Needs a Public
by Frances Fox Piven

..."The public regards sociologists as experts. Whether we always consider ourselves experts may be another matter. But experts, when they speak only to the powerful, can be dangerous to democracy."

"A little story about another sort of expert will make my point. The priests of the flourishing pre-Columbian Mayan kingdom in Yucatan were indeed experts. Long before the arrival of the conquistadors, they had figured out the calendar, so they knew when the rains would return each year. However, they did not share their key to the mysteries of the seasons with their people. Instead, they performed elaborate rituals as the rainy season approached, presumably to persuade the gods to bring the rains, but really to persuade their people of their own influence with the gods. In other words, the priests who had deciphered the calendar controlled a valuable political resource, not because they and their royal and warrior allies could control the seasons, but because they could use their knowledge to mystify and subdue their people."

" Social science, whether conducted in government agencies, as in Krugman’s example, or in other institutions, is regularly used to mislead or befuddle the public. Whether the issue is poverty or marriage or child-rearing or immigration or health, social scientists do not provide the findings that solve social problems, they do not help to bring the rains or reduce poverty, but rather their work is used to legitimate policies for which the claim is made that the people’s work is being done, although policies are ordinarily shaped more by the hidden interests of the powerful than by the social problems for which they are named."

"This is a serious problem for our discipline. The uses of sociology by those in power is not good for democracy because it obfuscates the consequences of policy, and also helps to delude us about the interests that shape policy."

"Put another way, we have a dilemma as social scientists. We are attracted to power, to the idea or the illusion that we can make an imprint on the course of events, to the hope that we can make a difference. We are also attracted by the dollars that government, foundations, and businesses provide to underwrite our work. We cannot wish away either of these influences."...

*The posts made in this blog are of our opinion only* Without Prejudice UCC 1-207

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Human Services Agency workers honored for 20 years of service

Human Services Agency workers honored for 20 years of service

Two Tioga County Human Services Agency (HSA) employees were honored at a luncheon on Monday for 20 years of service. Both Loretta Eaton and Dennis Stager began work in 1974, under Ina Tabor, in what was then known as Children's Services, The offices were on Walnut Street, Wellsboro, across from what is now Guthrie Clinic. Eaton worked as a clerk and Stager, as a caseworker trainee. "My office was in the hallway," Stager noted. There weren't very many people there then." The two have seen many changes during the past two decades.
One of the first was the move from Walnut Street to the office on Main Street, now occupied by state Rep. Matt Baker. "Room dividers there were hospital curtains," Stager aaid, 'It wasn't real private." After the Courthouse Annex was finished in the mid 1970s, the organization moved its offices fc to the new building's second floor.
Children's Services eventually evolved into the agency for Children and Youth and then to the Tioga County Human Services [ Agency. The Family Services Department of HSA stayed at the courthouse until 1992.
In the fall of that year, Family Services moved to offices at the agency's Shumway Hill site.
The changes have been nice — it's kept things interesting, Eaton said  " some were hard, to accept at first, but I look back now and think it was good."
One change that both agree is not so good is the increase in abuse reports over the years.
"About 1,816 abuse reports have come through since the Child Protective Services Act went into effect in 1975," Stager noted. "We started out with 30 or 40 a year, now it's 150 a year. "It's kind of a hard job," he said of his current position as Child Protective Services (CPS) supervisor. "I like it because you're busy all the time, but it's depressing in some ways that you can't do more or stop it (the abuse). There are no magic
answers for families. There are lots of different reasons why people abuse or neglect their kids. It's not real
easy to Fix."
Another change is the increasing amount of paperwork. Both Eaton and Stager know firsthand about that.
Eaton, now a clerk/typist II, distributes volumes of inter-agency mail each day, and helps to prepare the sackful that goes to the post office every afternoon. She enters information, via computer, into the agency's client information system (CIS). She also handles the payroll account for foster parents. "I've gotten an increasing amount of responsibility over the years, " Eaton said.
Stager concurred, saying that case managers face the increasingly difficult task of juggling direct service time
with clients and the time needed to do paperwork. "There's just never enough time to do everything that needs to be done," Stager $aid.
HSA Administrator John J. Kravas praised Eaton and Stager for their dedication during the 20 years the two have served the county. "It's an honor and a privilege to work with such dedicated and sensitive people," Kravas said. "Loretta and Dennis exemplify in their performance the excellence we all strive to achieve. Monday's luncheon at the Penn Wells included the presentation of commemorative certificates to Eaton and

Wellsboro Gazette,
Wellsboro, Pennsylvania Wednesday, June 29, 1994
Does the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act augment the protection of children? Difficulties in determining whether a condition is maltreatment, under-reporting by professionals, reporting of conditions not involving serious risk, and low confirmation rates for reports are not reasons for an affirmative answer. The act sanctions community surveillance of family life, which reduces privacy and autonomy in child rearing. If protection of children is not greatly increased, loss of privacy and autonomy cannot be justified. Suggestions are made for revisions of the law.

The University of Chicago Press
(For 14 USD, you too can have the full report from the above link.)
So... the intent of the Child Protective Services Act of 1975, is to reduce privacy and autonomy in child rearing. Furthering bonuses and the enhancement of the God like attitudes of child protective services. Or, as it is known,  parens patriae. Latin for "parent of the nation".

*The posts made in this blog are of our opinion only* Without Prejudice UCC 1-207

Saturday, May 19, 2012

List of legal Latin terms

In some law cases, words will pop up that sound important. In reality, they are a kick back of the old Roman language. (And we are told that Rome fell) They are (now) Latin. If your legal papers have words such as this, they are probably on this list. Look them up. Words like ad litem, parens patriae, cui bono and actus reus. They are all there. Find their meanings.

Term/Phrase Literal Translation Definition and Use
a fortiori from stronger An a fortiori argument is an "argument from a stronger reason", meaning that because one fact is true, that a second related and included fact must also be true.
a posteriori from later An argument derived from subsequent event
a priori from earlier An argument derived from previous event
a quo previous Regarding a court of first instance, or the decision/s of a previous court, known as the court a quo.
ab extra from outside Concerning a case, a person may have received some funding from a 3rd party. This funding may have been considered ab extra.
ab initio from the beginning
actus reus guilty act Part of what proves criminal liability (with mens rea)
ad coelum to the sky Abbreviated from Cuius est solum eius est usque ad coelum et ad infernos which translates to "[for] whoever owns [the] soil, [it] is his all the way [up] to Heaven and [down] to Hell." The principle that the owner of a parcel of land also owns the air above and the ground below the parcel.
ad colligenda bona to collect the goods
ad hoc for this Generally signifies a solution designed for a specific problem or task, non-generalizable, and not intended to be able to be adapted to other purposes.
ad hominem at the person Attacking an opponent's character rather than answering his argument.
ad idem to the same thing In agreement.
ad infinitum to infinity To continue forever.
ad litem for the case Describes a party designated to represent another party who is deemed incapable of representing him/herself (e.g. a child or incapacitated adult).
ad quod damnum according to the harm Used in tort law. Implies that the reward or penalty ought to correspond to the damage suffered or inflicted.
ad valorem according to value
adjournment sine die adjournment without a day When an assembly adjourns without setting a date for its next meeting.
affidavit he has sworn A formal statement of fact.
alter ego another I A second identity living within a person.
a mensa et thoro from bed and table Divorce a mensa et thoro indicates legal separation without legal divorce.
amicus curiae friend of the court A person who offers information to a court regarding a case before it.
animus nocendi mind of harming The subjective state of mind of the author of a crime, with reference to the exact knowledge of illegal content of his behaviour, and of its possible consequences.
ante before
arguendo for the sake of argument
Articulo Mortis at the point of Death Often used in probate law, as well as for testimony in the sense of a "dying declaration."
Audi alteram partem hear the other side Refers to the idea that one cannot be fairly judged unless the cases for and against them have been heard.


Term/Phrase Literal Translation Definition and Use
bona fide in good faith. Implies sincere good intention regardless of outcome.
bona vacantia ownerless goods


Term/Phrase Literal Translation Definition and Use
Cadit quaestio The question falls Indicates that a settlement to a dispute or issue has been reached, and the issue is now resolved.
Casus belli Case of war The justification for acts of war.
Caveat He may beware of When used by itself, refers to a qualification, or warning.
Caveat emptor Let the buyer beware In addition to the general warning, also refers to a legal doctrine wherein a buyer could not get relief from a seller for defects present on property which rendered it unfit for use.
Certiorari To be more fully informed A type of writ seeking judicial review.
Ceteris paribus With other things the same. More commonly rendered in English as "All other things being equal."
cogitationis poenam nemo patitur Nobody suffers punishment for mere intent
compos mentis Having command of mind Of sound mind. Also used in the negative "Non compos mentis", meaning "Not of sound mind".
Condicio sine qua non A condition without which it could not be An indispensable and essential action, condition, or ingredient.
consensus facit legem Consensus makes the law Stipulates that when two or more persons arrive at a good faith agreement, the law will insist on that agreement being carried out.
consuetudo pro lege servatur Custom is held as law Where no laws apply to a given situation, the customs of the place and time will have the force of law.
contra Against Used in case citations to indicate that the cited source directly contradicts the point being made.
contra bonos mores Against good morals Contracts so made are generally illegal and unenforceable.
contra legem Against the law Used when a court or tribunal hands down a decision that is contrary to the laws of the governing state.
Contradictio in adjecto Contradiction in itself A contradiction in terms.
contra proferentem Against the one bringing forth Used in contract law to stipulate that an ambiguous term in a contract shall be interpreted against the interests of the party that insisted upon the term's inclusion. Prevents the intentional additions of ambiguous terminology from being exploited by the party who insisted on its inclusion.
coram non judice Before one who is not a judge Refers to a legal proceeding without a judge, or with a judge who does not have proper jurisdiction.
corpus delicti Body of the crime A person cannot be convicted of a crime, unless it can be proven that the crime was even committed.
corpus juris Body of law The complete collection of laws of a particular jurisdiction or court.
corpus juris civilis Body of civil law The complete collection of civil laws of a particular jurisdiction or court. Also sometimes used to refer to the Code of Justinian.
corpus juris gentium Body of the law of nations The complete collection of international law.
corpus juris secundum
An encyclopedia of US law drawn from US Federal and State court decisions.
crimen falsi Crime of falsifying Forgery.
cui bono As a benefit to whom? Suggests that the perpetrator(s) of a crime can often be found by investigating those who would have benefited financially from the crime, even if it is not immediately obvious.
cuius est solum eius est usque ad coelum et ad inferos For whoever owns the soil, it is theirs up to Heaven and down to Hell Used in reference to the rights of property owners to the air above, and land below, their property.


Term/Phrase Literal Translation Definition and Use
de bonis asportatis Carrying goods away Specifies that larceny was taking place in addition to any other crime named. E.g. "trespass de bonis asportatis".
debellatio Warring down Complete annihilation of a warring party, bringing about the end of the conflict.
de bonis non administratis Of goods not administered Assets of an estate remaining after the death (or removal) of the designated estate administrator. An "administrator de bonis non administratis" will then be appointed to dispose of these goods.
de die in diem From day to day Generally refers to a type of labor in which the worker is paid fully at the completion of each day's work.
de facto Concerning fact Often used to mean something that is true in practice, but has not been officially instituted or endorsed. "For all intents and purposes."
de futuro Concerning the future At a future date.
de integro Concerning the whole Often used to mean "start it all over", in the context of "repeat de integro".
de jure Concerning the law Something that is established in law, whether or not it is true in general practice. C.f. de facto.
de lege ferenda Of the future law Used in the context of "how the law should be", such as for proposed legislation.
de lege lata Of the law as it exists Concerning the law as it exists, without consideration of how things should be.
delegatus non potest delegare "No delegated powers can be further delegated."
de minimis About minimal things Various legal areas concerning small amounts or small degrees.
de minimis non curat lex The law does not concern itself with minimal things There must be a minimal level of substance or impact in order to bring a legal action.
de mortuis nil nisi bonum Of the dead, [speak] nothing unless good Social convention that it is inappropriate to speak ill of the recently deceased, even if they were an enemy.
de novo Anew Often used in the context of "trial de novo"—a new trial ordered when the previous one failed to reach a conclusion.
defalcation Cutting off with a sickle Misappropriation of funds by one entrusted with them.
dictum Proverb A statement given some weight or consideration due to the respect given the person making it.
doli incapax Incapable of guilt Presumption that young children or persons with diminished mental capacity cannot form the intent to commit a crime.
dolus specialis Specific intent Heavily used in the context of genocide in international law.
dubia in meliorem partem interpretari debent Doubtful things should be interpreted in the best way Often spoken as "to give the benefit of the doubt."
duces tecum Bring with you A "subpoena duces tecum" is a summons to produce physical evidence for a trial.


Term/Phrase Literal Translation Definition and Use
ei incumbit probatio qui dicit Proof lies on him who asserts, not on him who denies. The concept that one is innocent until proven guilty.
ejusdem generis Of the same class. Known as a "canon of construction", it states that when a limited list of specific things also includes a more general class, that the scope of that more general class shall be limited to other items more like the specific items in the list.
eo nomine By that name.
erga omnes Towards all. Refers to rights or obligations that are owed towards all.
ergo Therefore
erratum Having been made in error.
et al. Among others Abbreviation of et alii, meaning "among others".
et cetera And other things. Generally used in the sense of "and so forth".
et seq. And the following ones Abbreviation of et sequens, meaning "and the following ones". Used in citations to indicate that the cited portion extends to the pages following the cited page.
et uxor And wife. Usually used instead of naming a man's wife as a party in a case.
et vir And husband. Usually used instead of naming a woman's husband as a party in a case.
ex aequo et bono Of equity and [the] good. Usually defined as "what is right and good." Used to describe the power of a judge or arbiter to consider only what is fair and good for the specific case, and not necessarily what the law may require. In courts, usually only done if all parties agree.
ex ante Of before. Essentially meaning "before the event", usually used when forecasting future events.
ex cathedra From the chair Where chair refers to authority or position. Authority derived from one's position.
ex concessis From what has been conceded already Often used in a "guilt by association" context.
ex delicto From a transgression The consequence of a crime or tort.
ex facie On the face If a contract is blatantly and obviously incorrect or illegal, it can be considered void ex facie without any further analysis or arguments.
ex gratia By favor Something done voluntarily and with no expectation a legal liability arising therefrom.
ex injuria jus non oritur Law does not arise from injustice A principle in international law that unjust acts cannot create laws.
ex officio From the office Something done or realized by the fact of holding an office or position.
ex parte From [for] one party A decision reached, or case brought, by or for one party without the other party being present.
ex post From after Based on knowledge of the past.
ex post facto From a thing done afterward Commonly said as "after the fact."
ex post facto law
A retroactive law. E.g. a law that makes a past act illegal that was not illegal when it was done.
expressio unius est exclusio alterius The express mention of one thing excludes all others When items are listed, anything not explicitly stated is assumed to not be included.
ex proprio motu By [one's] own motion Commonly spoken as "by one's own accord."
ex rel By relation Abbreviation of ex relatione, meaning "by relation", or commonly "on behalf of". Often used when the government brings a case on behalf of another party.
ex turpi causa non oritur actio From a dishonorable cause an action does not arise A party cannot bring a legal action for consequences of his own illegal act.
exempli gratia For the sake of example Usually abbreviated "e.g.".
ex tunc From the outset Term used in contract law to specify terms that are voided or confirmed in effect from the execution of the contract. C.f. ex nunc.
ex nunc From now on Term used in contract law to specify terms that are voided or confirmed in effect only in the future and not prior to the contract, or its adjudication. C.f. ex tunc.
extant Existing Refers to things that are currently existing at a given point, rather than things that are no longer so.


Term/Phrase Literal Translation Definition and Use
facio ut facias I do, that you may do A type of contract wherein one party agrees to do work for the other, in order that the second party can then perform some work for the first in exchange.
favor contractus Favor of the contract A concept in treaty law that prefers the maintaining of a contract over letting it expire for purely procedural reasons.
felo de se Felon of himself A suicide. This archaic term stems from English common law, where suicide was legally a felony, thus a person who committed suicide was treated as a felon for purposes of estate disposal.
ferae naturae Animals of nature Wild animals residing on unowned property do not belong to any party in a dispute on the land.
fiat Let it be done A warrant issued by a judge for some legal proceedings.
Fiat justitia et pereat mundus Let there be justice, though the world perish. Often used as a motto, notably by Ferdinand I, Holy Roman Emperor.
fiat justitia ruat caelum Let justice be done though the heavens fall. Also sometimes a motto, a legal maxim that justice must be done regardless of the result otherwise.
fieri facias That you cause to be made A writ ordering the local law enforcement to ensure that damages awarded by the court are properly recovered. A writ of execution.
flagrante delicto Blazing offense Refers to the actual act of committing a crime. Usually appears as in flagrante delicto, where it means "caught in the act."
forum non conveniens Forum not agreeing A concept wherein a court refuses to hear a particular matter, citing a more appropriate forum for the issue to be decided.
fumus boni iuris Smoke of a good right Refers to having a sufficient legal basis to bring legal action.
functus officio Having performed his office A person, court, statute, or legal document that has no legal authority, because its original legal purpose has been fulfilled.


Term/Phrase Literal Translation Definition and Use
generalia specialibus non derogant The general does not detract from the specific. Specifies that a certain matter of law be covered by the most specific laws pertaining, in the event that broader laws conflict with the specific one.
gravamen Things weighing down The basic element or complaint of a lawsuit.
guardian ad litem Guardian for the case. An independent party appointed in family law disputes to represent parties that cannot represent themselves, such as minors, developmentally disabled, or elderly.


Term/Phrase Literal Translation Definition and Use
habeas corpus May you have the body A writ used to challenge the legality of detention. Orders the detaining party to "have the (living) body" of the detained brought before the court where the detention will be investigated.
hostis humani generis Enemy of humanity in general. A party considered to be the enemy of all nations, such as maritime pirates.


Term/Phrase Literal Translation Definition and Use
i.e. That is Abbreviation of id est, meaning "that is", in the sense of restating something that may not have been clear.
ibid. In the same place Abbreviation of ibidem, meaning "in the same place. Used when citing sources, to indicate the cited source came from the identical location as the preceding one.
idem The same Used in citations to indicate the cited source came from the same source as the preceding one, though not necessarily the same page or location. C.f. ibid.
ignorantia juris non excusat Ignorance of the law is no excuse. A principle that states that not having knowledge of a law is not an excuse for breaking it.
imprimatur Let it be printed. An authorization for a document to be printed. Used in the context of approval by a religious body or other censoring authority.
in absentia In absence A legal proceeding conducted without the presence of one party is said to be conducted in absentia.
in camera In the chamber Conducted in private, or in secret. The opposite of in open court.
in curia In court Conducted in open court. The opposite of in camera.
in esse In existence Actually existing in reality. Opposite of in posse.
in extenso In the extended In extended form, or at full length. Often used to refer to publication of documents, where it means the full unabridged document is published.
in extremis In the extreme In extreme circumstances. Often used to refer to "at the point of death."
in flagrante delicto In blazing offense Caught in the actual act of committing a crime. Often used as a euphemism for a couple caught in the act of sexual intercourse, though it technically refers to being "caught in the act" of any misdeed.
in forma pauperis In the manner of a pauper Someone unable to afford the costs associated with a legal proceeding. As this will not be a barrier to seeking justice, such persons are given in forma pauperis status (usually abbreviated IFP), wherein most costs are waived or substantially reduced.
in futuro In the future Refers to things to come, or things that may occur later but are not so now.
in haec verba In these words Used when including text in a complaint verbatim, where its appearance in that form is germane to the case, or is required to be included.
in limine At the threshold A motion to a judge in a case that is heard and considered outside the presence of the jury.
in loco parentis In the place of a parent Used to refer to a person or entity assuming the normal parental responsibilities for a minor. This can be used in transfers of legal guardianship, or in the case of schools or other institutions that act in the place of the parents on a day-to-day basis.
in mitius In the milder A type of retroactive law that decriminalizes offenses committed in the past. Also known as an amnesty law.
in omnibus In all Used to mean "in every respect." Something applying to every aspect of a situation.
in pari delicto In equal offense Used when both parties to a case are equally at fault.
in pari materia In the same matter Refers to a situation where a law or statute may be ambiguous, and similar laws applying to the matter are used to interpret the vague one.
in personam In person Used in the context of "directed at this particular person", refers to a judgement or subpoena directed at a specific named individual. C.f. in rem.
in pleno In full
in prope persona On one's own person One who represents themselves in court without the [official] assistance of an attorney.
in propria persona In one's own proper person Alternate form of in prope persona. One who represents themselves in court without the [official] assistance of an attorney.
in re In the matter [of] Used in the title of a decision or comment to identify the matter they are related to.
in rem About a thing Used in the context of a case against property, as opposed to a particular person. C.f. in personam.
in situ In position Often used in the context of decisions or rulings about a property or thing "left in place" after the case as it was before.
in solidum For the whole Where a group of persons share liability for a debt, such as co-signers to a loan, the debtor can sue a single party in solidum, that is, to recover the entire amount owed.
in terrorem In order to frighten A warning or threat to sue, made in the hopes of convincing the other party to take action to avoid a lawsuit.
in terrorem clause Clause "in order to frighten" A clause in a will that threatens any party who contests the will with being disinherited. Also called a no-contest clause.
in toto In total
indicia Indications Often used in copyright notices. Refers to distinctive markings that identify a piece of intellectual property.
infra Below or Under
innuendo By nodding A intimation about someone or something, made indirectly or vaguely suggesting the thing being implied. Often used when the implied thing is negative or derogatory.
inter alia Among others Used to indicate an item cited has been pulled from a larger or more complete list.
inter arma enim silent leges For among arms, the law falls silent A concept that during war, many illegal activities occur. Also taken to mean that in times of war, laws are suppressed, ostensibly for the good of the country.
inter rusticos Among rustics Refers to contract, debts, or other agreements made between parties who are not legal professionals.
inter se Amongst themselves Refers to obligations between members of the same group or party, differentiated from the whole party's obligations to another party.
inter vivos Between the living Refers to a gift or other non-sale transfer between living parties. This is in contrast to a will, where the transfer takes effect upon one party's death.
intra Within
intra fauces terra Within the jaws of the land This term refers to a nation's territorial waters.
intra legem Within the law Used in various contexts to refer to the legal foundation for a thing.
intra vires Within the powers Something done which requires legal authority, and the act is performed accordingly. C.f. ultra vires.
ipse dixit He himself said it An assertion given undue weight solely by virtue of the person making the assertion.
ipsissima verba The very words Referring to a document or ruling that is being quoted by another.
ipso facto By the fact itself Used in the context that one event is a direct and immediate consequence of another. "In and of itself."
iudex non calculat The judge does not calculate A principle that calculation errors made by the court do not invalidate the judgement on a technicality. Also taken to mean that the judge does not tally up the arguments of both sides and decide in favor of the more numerous, but rather weighs all of the evidence without regard to the number of arguments made.


J is often rendered as I in Latin, so the below definitions are also seen with I as the first letter.
Term/Phrase Literal Translation Definition and Use
jura novit curia The court knows the law Concept that parties to a case to not need to define how the law applies to their case. The court is solely responsible for determining what laws apply.
jurat Sworn Appears at the end of an affidavit, where the party making the affirmation signs the oath, and the information on whom the oath was sworn before is placed.
juris et de jure Of law, and from law Incontrovertible and fundamental presumptions of law. One cannot argue against, or try to otherwise refute these.
jus That which is binding Essentially: Law.
jus ad bellum Laws to war Refers to legalities considered before entering into a war, to ensure it is legal to go to war initially. Not to be confused with ius in bello (q.v.), the "laws of war" concerning how war is carried out.
jus civile Civil law A codified set of laws concerning citizenry, and how the laws apply to them.
jus cogens Compelling law Internationally agreed laws that bear no deviation, and do not require treaties to be in effect. An example is law prohibiting genocide.
jus commune Common law Not actually referring to common law, this term refers to common facets of civil law that underlie all aspects of the law.
jus gentium Law of nations Customary law followed by all nations. Nations being at peace with one another, without having to have an actual peace treaty in force, would be an example of this concept.
jus in bello Law of war Laws governing the conduct of parties in war.
jus inter gentes Law between the peoples Laws governing treaties and international agreements.
jus naturale Natural law Laws common to all people, that the average person would find reasonable, regardless of their nationality.
jus primae noctis Law of the first night Supposed right of the lord of an estate to take the virginity of women in his estate on their wedding night.
jus sanguinis Law of blood Social law concept wherein citizenship of a nation is determined by having one or both parents being citizens.
jus soli Law of soil Social law concept wherein citizenship of a nation is determined by place of birth.
jus tertii Law of the third Arguments made by a third party in disputes over possession, the intent of which is to question one of the principal parties' claims of ownership or rights to ownership.


Term/Phrase Literal Translation Definition and Use
lacunae Void, gap A situation arising that is not covered by any law. Generally used in International Law, as all countries codify according to their own systems of law.
leges humanae nascuntur, vivunt, moriuntur The laws of man are born, live, and die Illustrates that laws are made, are in force for a period, and then become obsolete.
lex communis Common law. Alternate form of jus commune. Refers to common facets of civil law that underlie all aspects of the law.
lex lata The law borne The law as it has been enacted
lex loci The law of the place The law of the country, state, or locality where the matter under litigation took place. Usually used in contract law, to determine which laws govern the contract.
lex posterior derogat priori Later law removes the earlier More recent law overrules older ones on the same matter.
lex retro non agit The law does not operate retroactively A law cannot make something illegal that was legal at the time it was performed. See ex post facto law.
lex scripta Written law Law that specifically codifies something, as opposed to common law or customary law.
lex specialis derogat legi generali Specific law takes away from the general law Where several laws apply to the same situation, the more specific one(s) take precedence over more general ones.
liberum veto Free veto An aspect of a unanimous voting system, whereby any member can end discussion on a proposed law.
lingua franca The Frankish language A language common to an area that is spoken by all, even if not their mother tongue. Term derives from the name given to a common language used by traders in the Mediterranean basin dating from the Middle Ages.
lis alibi pendens Dispute elsewhere pending Refers to requesting a legal dispute be heard that is also being heard by another court. To avoid possibly contradictory judgements, this request will not be granted.
lis pendens Suit pending Often used in the context of public announcements of legal proceedings to come.
locus Place
locus delicti Place where the offense was committed Shorthand version of Lex locus delcti commissi. The "scene of the crime".
locus in quo The place in which The location where a cause of action arose.
locus poenitentiae Place of repentance When one party withdraws from a contract before all parties are bound.


Term/Phrase Literal Translation Definition and Use
male fide Bad faith A condition of being fraudulent or deceptive in act or belief.
malum in se Wrong in itself Something considered a universal wrong or evil, regardless of the system of laws in effect.
malum prohibitum Prohibited wrong Something wrong or illegal by virtue of it being expressly prohibited, that might not otherwise be so.
mandamus We command A writ issue by a higher court to a lower one, ordering that court or related officials to perform some administrative duty. Often used in the context of legal oversight of government agencies.
mare clausum Closed sea A body of water under the jurisdiction of a state or nation, to which access is not permitted, or is tightly regulated.
mare liberum Open sea A body of water open to all. Typically a synonym for International Waters, or in other legal parlance, the "High Seas".
mens rea Guilty mind One of the requirements for a crime to be committed, the other being actus reus, the guilt act. This essentially is the basis for the notion that those without sufficient mental capability cannot be judged guilty of a crime.
modus operandi Manner of operation A person's particular way of doing things. Used when using behavioral analysis while investigating a crime. Often abbreviated "M.O."
mos pro lege Custom for law That which is the usual custom has the force of law.
motion in limine Motion at the start Motions offered at the start of a trial, often to suppress or pre-allow certain evidence or testimony.
mutatis mutandis Having been changed that which needed to be changed A caution to a reader when using one example to illustrate a related but slightly different situation. The caution is that the reader must adapt the example to change what is needed for it to apply to the new situation.


Term/Phrase Literal Translation Definition and Use
ne exeat Let him not exit [the republic] Shortened version of ne exeat repiblica: "let him not exit the republic". A writ to prevent one party to a dispute from leaving (or being taken) from the court's jurisdiction.
ne bis in idem not twice in the same Prohibition against double jeopardy. A legal action cannot be brought twice for the same act or offense.
nemo auditur propriam turpitudinem allegans no one can be heard, who invokes his own guilt Nobody can bring a case that stems from their own illegal act
nemo dat quod non habet no one gives what he doesn't have If someone purchases something that the seller has no right to (such as stolen property), the purchaser will likewise have no legal claim to the thing bought.
nemo debet esse iudex in propria no one shall be a judge in his own case In the past it was thought that it included just two rules namely (1) nemo debet esse judex in propria causa (no one shall be a judge in his own case)
nemo judex in sua causa no one shall be a judge in his own case Prevents conflict of interest in courts. Often invoked when there is really no conflict, but when there is even the appearance of one.
nemo plus iuris ad alium transferre potest quam ipse habet no one can transfer a greater right than he himself has A purchaser of stolen goods will not become the rightful owner thereof, since the seller himself was not the owner to begin with.
nemo sibi titulum adscribit



nihil dicit



nisi prius

nolle prosequi

nolo contendere

non adimpleti contractus

non bis in idem

non compos mentis not in possession of [one's] mind not having mental capacity to perform some legal act
non constat

non est factum

non faciat malum, ut inde veniat bonum

non liquet

non obstante verdicto

non sequitur

novus actus interveniens a new action coming between a break in causation (and therefore probably liability) because something else has happened to remove the causal link
noscitur a sociisnota bene

nudum pactum

nulla bona

nulla poena sine lege

nullum crimen, nulla poena sine praevia lege poenali

nunc pro tunc

nemo moriturus prasentium mentire


Term/Phrase Literal Translation Definition and Use
pacta sunt servanda

par delictum

parens patriae

pater familias

pendente lite


per capita through the head dividing money up strictly and equally according to the number of beneficiaries
per contra

per curiam

per diem

per incuriam

per minas

per pro

per quod

per se

periculum in mora

per stirpes through the root receiving a bequest in place of a parent who has, for example, died before the testator
persona non grata

posse comitatus

post mortem

post mortem auctoris

praetor peregrinus

prima facie


prius quam exaudias ne iudices

probatio vincit praesumptionem

pro bono

pro bono publico

pro forma

pro hac vice

pro per

pro rata

pro se

pro tanto

pro tem

pro tempore

propria persona

prout patet per recordum


Term/Phrase Literal Translation Definition and Use




quantum meruit as much as it deserves partial payment for an incomplete piece of work assessed proportionately

qui facit per alium facit per se

qui tam action

quid pro quo

quo ante

quo warranto

quoad hoc

quod est necessarium est licitum


Term/Phrase Literal Translation Definition and Use
ratio decidendi

ratio scripta

rebus sic stantibus

reddendo singula singulis

res thing, matter, issue, affair
res gestae

res ipsa loquitur the thing speaks for itself used in tort law when there is no proof of what caused the harm, but it is most likely only the thing that coulf have cuased the harm
res judicata

res nullius

res publica

res publica christiana

respondeat superior

restitutio in integrum


Term/Phrase Literal Translation Definition and Use
salus populi est suprema lex

scandalum magnatum

scandalum magnum



scire facias

scire feci

se defendendo


sine die

sine qua non


stare decisis

sua sponte

sub judice

sub modo

sub nomine

sub silentio


subpoena ad testificandum

subpoena duces tecum

suggestio falsi

sui generis

sui iuris

sui juris

suo moto


suppressio veri



Term/Phrase Literal Translation Definition and Use
terra nullius

trial de novo

trinoda necessitas

tabula rasa


Term/Phrase Literal Translation Definition and Use
uberrima fides

ultra posse nemo obligatur

ultra vires

uno flatu

uti possidetis



Term/Phrase Literal Translation Definition and Use
vel non


vice versa



vinculum juris

vis major


volenti non fit injuria

vigilantibus non dormientibus aequitas subvenit

*The posts made in this blog are of our opinion only* Without Prejudice UCC 1-207