Glossary of Legal Terms E
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ELECTRONIC MONITORING: type of sentencing or arrest wherein an individual is required to wear an electronic device which transmits the individual's whereabouts to a receiver that is monitored for violations. Usually used in connection with house arrest.
ELEMENTS OF A CRIME: specific factors that define a crime, which the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt in order to obtain conviction. Elements that must be proven are 1) that a crime actually occurred (actus reus), 2) that the accused intended the crime to happen (mens rea), 3) a timely relationship between the first two factors.
EMBEZZLEMENT: fraudulently taking property or money entrusted to one individual by another.
EMINENT DOMAIN: power of the government to take private property for public use, after paying the owner reasonable compensation.
EN BANC: all judges of a court sitting together. Appellate courts often hear cases in panels of three judges. If a case is heard or reheard by the full court, it is heard en banc.
ENCUMBRANCE: a claim against property.
ENJOIN: to require a person, via an injunction, to perform or to abstain from performing some specific act.
ENTRAPMENT: defense to criminal charges alleging that agents of the government induced a person to commit a crime he/she otherwise would not have committed.
EQUAL PROTECTION OF THE LAW: guarantee in the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that all persons or classes of persons be treated equally by law.
EQUITABLE ACTION: action which seeks just, fair, nonmonetary remedy, e.g., an injunction.
EQUITY: generally justice or fairness; body of principles that determine what is just or fair. Historically, refers to a system of law developed in England in reaction to the legal inability of common law courts to consider or provide remedy for every injury. The king established a court of chancery to do justice between parties in cases where common law would give inadequate redress.
ESCHEAT (iss SHEET): process by which the property of one who has died goes to the state if no heir can be found.
ESCROW: money or documents (e.g. a deed), which are held ("in escrow") by a neutral third party until all conditions of an agreement are met.
ESTATE: all properties owned by an individual when he/she dies.
ESTATE TAX: tax paid on an estate as it passes to the heirs.
ESTOPPEL: principle that prevents someone from claiming or denying something in court that contradicts what has already been established as fact.
ET AL: and others
EVIDENCE: information presented in court to prove or disprove alleged facts. See also specific types, including admissible, best, character, circumstantial, clear and convincing, corroborating, direct, hearsay, and expert evidence.
EX DELICTO (ex dee LICK toh): arising from a tort; breach of duty.
EX PARTE (ex PART ee): on behalf of only one party, without notice to any other party. E.g., request for a search warrant is an ex parte proceeding since person subject to the search is not notified of proceeding.
EX PARTE PROCEEDING: one in which only one side is represented. Differs from adversary system or proceeding.
EX POST FACTO (ex post FAC toh): after the fact. E.g., ex post facto laws permit conviction and punishment for a lawful act performed before law was changed and act was made illegal. The U.S. Constitution prohibits these.
EXCEPTION: formal objection to a court's ruling by either side in a civil or criminal case in order to reserve right to appeal judge's ruling upon a motion. Also, in regulatory cases, objections by one side to points made by the other side or to rulings by an agency or one of its hearing officers.
EXCLUSIONARY RULE: rule preventing illegally obtained evidence to be used in any trial.
EXCULPATE: to free from blame or accusation, particularly in matters of small importance.
EXECUTE: (a judgment or decree) to put final judgment of court into effect.
EXECUTOR: personal representative, named in a will, who administers an estate.
EXEMPT PROPERTY: certain property protected by law from creditors.
EXHIBIT: document or other article introduced as evidence in court.
EXONERATE: removal of a charge, duty, or responsibility. Also, to clear completely from accusation or blame and any attendant suspicion of guilt.
EXPERT EVIDENCE: testimony relating to scientific, technical, or professional matters given by persons particularly qualified by reason of special training, skill, or familiarity with subject.
EXPUNGEMENT: official and formal removal of conviction from a criminal record.
EXTORTION: illegally obtaining money or property by force, threat, intimidation, or undue or illegal power.
EXTRADITION: process by which one state or nation surrenders to another state or nation a person accused or convicted of a crime in the requesting state/nation.