Legal Terms ( N )

Naked: In a legal context, this word is used to denote something, which is devoid of any power or effectiveness, or something that is not complete. A ‘naked title’ is a title which does not give the holder any rights over the property. A naked contract (nudum pactum) means a contract which lacks consideration, so that it is not a proper contract.

Named Plaintiff: In a class action (a lawsuit, in which large number of people collectively bring a claim to court), a small group of plaintiffs are identified by their name, and they represent the interests of the larger group. This is done with the approval of the court.

Negligence: The failure to exercise reasonable care to avoid causing harm to another person or other’s property is called negligence. The factors which constitute negligence varies with the facts of individual cases. It can be an action or an inaction.

Negotiable Instrument: A written instrument signed by the maker for the purpose of unconditional payment of a fixed amount of money, at a specified future date or on demand, to the payee or to his order or to the bearer. E.g.: check and bill of exchange.

Next Friend: A term used to denote a person, who appears for another in litigation without any official appointment. The next friend may or may not be a close relative, but the person for whom he appears must be unable to maintain a suit, or does not have an appointed legal guardian or must be an infant.

Next of Kin: A legal term used to denote the nearest blood relatives of a person, who dies intestate.

No-fault Divorce: A no-fault divorce is granted in such cases, where there is no prospects of reconciliation and the incompatibility between the spouses is considered as a ground for divorce. This type of divorce does not require the finding of any fault-based grounds for dissolution of the marriage.

Notary or Notary Public: Notary public is an official appointed by the state, and has the power to administer oaths, certify documents, take acknowledgments, and to take depositions (if he/she is also a court reporter). In case of attestation of affidavits by a notary, the signature and seal of that official is necessary. 

Notice: Information or knowledge, communicated through various means. It is said to be an actual notice, if the information can be shown to have reached the other party. It is constructive notice, when it is presumed by law that the information has been communicated, when certain acts are done.

Novation: Displacing an existing valid contract with a new one, which happens with the mutual agreement of all the concerned parties. This gives rise to new rights and obligations, which is accomplished by substituting any of the parties to the contract or the performance to be made under the contract.

Nuisance: Any activity (intentional, negligent or ultra hazardous), which causes substantial interference with the occupation and enjoyment of property. Nuisance violates the right of another person to use and enjoy his/her property and may lead to a lawsuit for damages or injunction.

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