Legal Terms ( H )

Habeas Corpus: A writ of habeas corpus is a prerogative writ of the highest constitutional importance. It is designed to afford immediate relief from illegal confinement or restraint. Such a court order directs the authorities to bring the detained person before the judge for a hearing to determine the legality of the detention.

Habitual Offender: A person, who has been convicted of multiple felonies, and who by force or habit has grown accustomed to a life in crime. Such offenders are usually, in case of further criminal convictions, given a severe punishment.

Halliday Order: A special court order which is specially designed for reasons of privilege, privacy, confidentiality or the potential personal embarrassment of the party, wherein the plaintiff first obtains the records sought by the defendants to determine what in his or her view is private and confidential, and what is relevant, before the documents reach the defendants.

Harassment: Employment discrimination consisting of unwelcome verbal or physical conduct that is so severe or pervasive, that it affects the terms and conditions of the victims employment. It can be in the form of words, actions gestures, demands, etc.

Hatch Act: The Hatch Act is a Federal law whose aim is to “prohibit Federal employees from engaging in partisan political groups or any political organization which advocates the overthrow of our constitutional form of government.”

Hazard Insurance: An insurance policy that protects against physical damage to the property caused by unexpected and sudden events such as fire or storms.

Healthcare Power of Attorney: A document giving another person the right to take medical or health care decisions on behalf of the maker if he is unable to do so.

Hearing: The entire process of the trial before a tribunal, judge or jury, beginning with the examination of witnesses, presenting evidence and argument until the final decision or order of the court is termed as a hearing.

Hearsay: When a witness testifies in the court providing evidence, that he or she does not know personally, but what he has heard someone else say.

Heir: Any person who is entitled under state law to succeed to the property of a deceased person is called an heir. Though usually it includes the family members of the deceased, it may also include any person who is to inherit his property.

Hidden Asset: Something of value that is not declared as an asset in the books of business, mostly for escaping from taxes.

High Seas: High seas denotes all parts of the sea not included in the territorial sea, and international waters of any state.

Himalaya Clause: A provision included in the contract to protect the third party who is not a part of the contract. It is mostly applicable to marine matters and stevedores.

Holding Over: A tenant who continues in possession after the efflux of time with the consent, express or implied, of the landlord, is said to be holding over tenant.

Holograph Will: A will that is written by the testator with his own hand is called a holograph will.

Home Invasion: Home invasion is an unauthorized and forceful entry into a residential premises with forced confinement, assault or battery of the occupants.

Homicide: The killing of a human being by another human being is known as a homicide. Homicide may be culpable (criminal), justifiable or excusable.

Hostile Possession: Occupation or possession of real property, in contravention of the owner’s rights, with the intention, whether express or implied, to possess the land exclusively.

Hostile Witness: A witness who testifies against the party, who called the witness to testify is called a hostile witness.

Hotchpot: In a partition suit, all the properties are mixed together in order to facilitate a proportional division between all the parties. This blending of properties is called hotchpot.

Human Rights: Human rights are basic rights or freedom to which all human beings are entitled to, without the government interference. Some examples of human rights are liberty, freedom of expression, equality, etc.

Hung Jury: If a jury cannot reach a final decision in a particular case, it is called a hung jury. In such a case it results in a mistrial.

Husband- wife Privilege: A right wherein the married couple is not obligated to divulge their private conversations even to the court.

Hypothecation: The act of pledging a thing as a security for a debt or demand without parting with the possession.


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