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Terms and Definitions

# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
There are 20 names in this directory beginning with the letter R.
Rape
An act of unlawful sexual intercourse accomplished through force or threat of force by one party and implying lack of consent and resistance by the other party.
Real Property
Land and whatever is erected or growing on it, or affixed to it. Rights issuing out of, annexed to, and exercisable within or about, the land. Compare Chattel.
Reapportionment
The changing of a legislative district or of the number of seats a state is entitled to in Congress to more clearly reflect the population of that district or state; an attempt to meet the right of every person to vote on a one-person, one-vote basis.
Reasonable Doubt
Refers to the degree of certainty required of a juror before he can make a legally valid determination of the guilt of a criminal defendant. These words are used in instructions to the jury in a criminal trial to indicate the innocence is to be presumed unless the jury can see no reasonable doubt of the guilt of the person charged. The term does not require that proof be so clear that no possibility of error exists; it means that the evidence must be so conclusive that all reasonable doubts are removed from the mind of the ordinary person.
Recess
Temporary adjournment of a trial or hearing after commencement of the trial or hearing. The recess may be short, for lunch, overnight, or for a few days. If it amounts to a substantial delay in the proceedings, it is called a continuance.
Reciprocity
Generally, a relationship between persons, corporations, states, or countries whereby privileges granted by one are returned by the other.
Record
A precise history of a suit from beginning to end, including the conclusions of law thereon, drawn by the proper office to perpetuate the exact facts. In real property law, to enter in writing in a repository maintained as a public record any mortgage, sale of land, or other interest affecting real property located within the jurisdiction of the government entity maintaining the public record.
Recovery
The establishment of a right by the judgment of a court, though recovery does not necessarily imply a return to whole or normal; the amount of the judgment; the amount of actually collected pursuant to the judgment.
Referendom
Referring of legislative acts to the voters for final approval or rejection.
Remand
To send back, as for further deliberation; to send back to the tribunal (or body) from which the matter was appealed or moved. When a judgment is reversed, the appellate court usually remands the matter for a new trial to be carried out consistent with the principles announced by the appellate court in its opinion ordering the remand.
Repeal
Abrogation or annulling of a previous law by the enactment of a subsequent statute, which either expressly declares that the former law shall be revoked, or contains provisions so irreconcilable with those of the earlier law as to abrogate the earlier law by necessary implication.
Reprieve
In criminal law, the postponement of a sentence for an interval in which the execution is suspended.
Res
Latin term meaning "a thing." The subject matter of actions that are primarily in rem, that is, actions that establish rights in relation to an object, as opposed to a person. For example, in an action that resolves a conflict over title to real property, the land in question is the res. Tangible personable property can also be a res.
Respondent
In equity cases, the party who answers a pleading.
Restraining Order
An order granted without notice or hearing, demanding the preservation of the status quo until a hearing to determine the propriety of indicative relief, temporary or permanent. A restraining order is always temporary, since it is granted pending a hearing; thus it is often called a temporary restraining order.
Restraint Of Trade
In common law and as used in the antitrust laws, illegal restraints interfering with free competition in commercial transactions, which tend to restrict production, affect prices, or otherwise control the market to the detriment of consumers of goods and services.
Retainer
Compensation paid in advance to an attorney for services to be performed in a specific case. A retainer may be the whole sum to be charged (plus expenses), but more often is a deposit, with the attorney furnishing a per final statement of how much the client owes for services rendered.
Retraction
The withdrawing of a plea, declaration, accusation, promise etc.
Retrial
A new trial in which an issue or issues already litigated, and as to which verdict or decision by the court has been rendered, are reexamined by the same court for some sufficient reason, such as a recognition that the initial trial was improper or unfair as a result of procedural errors. Compare Mistrial.
Reversal
As used in opinions, judgments and mandates, changing to the contrary the decision of a lower court or other body