Legal Terms ( U )

Unalienable: A thing or a right, which cannot be transferred to another. While some rights like the right to life cannot be transferred, the transfer of some things are prohibited by law (for example, pension granted by the government cannot be sold or transferred).

Under Color of Law: An act done by a state official, during the course of his official duties (whether or not within his power), is said to be an act under color of law. An action under color of law, which deprives the federal civil rights of an individual is in itself a crime.

Ultra Vires: A Latin term, which means, “beyond powers”. Mostly used as a doctrine in the law of corporations, ultra vires denotes an action by a corporation or the officials of the corporation, which is outside the powers granted to them by law. Such actions are considered to be illegal. In short, any action done by any individual or entity beyond their powers is considered as ultra vires.

Undue Influence: Any act by a person, which influences the free will of another or persuades another to do something, which he would not have done otherwise, amounts to undue influence. But such an act does not involve any force or threat, and is often used as a defense in will contests to refer to outside influences that affected the free will of the testator or the maker of the will.

Unjust Enrichment: Availing benefits from the action or property of other person without any legal justification is called unjust enrichment. It is an equitable doctrine which can be applied when there is no contract between the parties, and is used to prevent unjust enrichment. The person who is getting unfair benefits must return the same.

Unlawful Assembly: A gathering or three or more persons, with an intention to commit a crime, to disturb the peace or that creates a fear in the mind of the observers that some unlawful action, which involves violence will result.

Unnatural Will: Otherwise known as undutiful wills, unnatural wills are made to bestow the estates of the testator to complete strangers, rather than close relatives. Unlike an unnatural wills, an officious will is made to distribute the testator’s estates to his natural heirs.

Usufruct: The right to use and enjoy the property of another for a stipulated time period or for life. A person with this right can use the property, enjoy the benefits or income arising from it, can rent it out and collect the rents for himself. He need not share anything with the real owner of the property, but cannot alter or destroy anything in it and should not dispose it.

Usury: Charging a person with interest rates more than what is allowed by the law is called usury. If it is proved before a court that the interest rates on a loan is higher than the legally allowed one, the court may order the person to pay the principal amount only and makes the interest due void.

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