Legal Terms ( R )

Ratio Decidendi: The Latin term, which refers to the reason behind a decision of a court or the principle upon which the decision rests. Ratio decidenti of the higher courts are binding on the lower courts, while deciding similar cases. So this can be considered as an important tool for a lawyer.

Real Property: Land and the permanent fixtures attached to the land constitute a real property. Hence, a building attached to land is real property, but the furniture in the building are not.

Reasonable Doubt: A legal term used in the law of criminal procedure. An accused person can be acquitted, if the prosecution fails to prove the guilt of the accused beyond ‘reasonable doubt’ and the jury is not convinced of his/her guilt. In order to pronounce an accused person to be guilty, there should not be any doubt regarding the guilt of the accused, and it should be proved with ample evidence.

Rebuttable Presumption: A presumption of fact, which is accepted by a court of law, until it is proved to the contrary.

Record Sealing: In some cases, the court records are sealed or destroyed, so as not to make it accessible to public as a public record. If anyone wants to review such records, court permission is required, and otherwise such records will be kept sealed.

Recusation: A legal term, which denotes the process by which a judge or prosecutor voluntarily excuses himself from a legal case, or is removed form a case due to various reasons, like conflict of interest, bias or relation to a party to the case, etc.

Rectification: A correction or an amendment done to a written document through a court order.

Redemption: A seller buying back the property, which has been sold, by returning the purchase price to the buyer.

Redirect Examination: Examination of a witness, after the cross examination, in order to question him about the matters, which were brought up during the cross examination.

Remainder: A legal term, which refers to a future interest, held by a person in a real property of another person. Such future interest becomes effective on the expiration of other interests over the property created at the same time as that of the future interest. This can happen when the owner of a property gives the present interest of the property to one or more persons for a stipulated period or for life, and at the same time gives a future interest to another. Such future interest is called a remainder.

Remand: The literal meaning of the word is ‘to send back’. In the legal context, a case is said to be remanded when an appellate court sends back an appeal case to the trial court for further action. In criminal cases, an accused person, presented before a judge for preliminary hearing may be remanded into custody, if the judge feels that there is sufficient reason to keep the accused in detention, before trial.

Remittitur: A legal term, which has different meanings as per the context. In case of a verdict, a remittitur means an order by a judge, reducing the award or damages granted by a jury in a civil case, as it exceeds the amount claimed by the plaintiff. Such an order is granted when a motion is moved in the court to that effect. This legal term is also used in place of ‘remand’, to denote the sending back of an appeal case from the appellate court to the trial court.

Res Ipsa Loquitur: A Latin phrase, which means, “the thing speaks for itself”. This is a legal doctrine, which presumes negligence on the part of a person who causes injury to another, when the former was in exclusive control of whatever caused the injury, and it is almost impossible for such an accident to occur without the negligence of such person.

Rotating Custody:
A custody agreement, wherein there is no primary custodial parent, as the parents alternate custody of the child. Otherwise known as split custody, rotating custody is granted by the court after taking into account many factors, like the preferences of the child, so as to avoid any disruptive effect on him/her. 


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