Glossary of Legal Terms – H
Habeas corpus: Latin meaning ‘you have the body’. A prisoner files a petition for writ of habeas corpus in order to challenge the authority of the gaol or prison warden to continue to hold him. If the judge orders a hearing after reading the writ, the prisoner gets to argue that his confinement is illegal.
Harrassment: create an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment.
Hearing: In a trial court context, a legal proceeding (other than a full-scale trial) held before a judge. A hearing is usually a proceeding before an administrative hearing
officer or judge representing an agency that has the power to regulate
a particular field or oversee a governmental benefit program.
Hearsay: A witness testimony about matters that she or he has heard or has been told about but has not observed directly for themselves.
Heir: A person who receives property from another peson who has died. While the
traditional meaning includes only those who had a legal right to the
deceased person’s property, modern usage includes anyone who receives
property from the estate of a deceased person.
Heir apparent: A person who expects to receive property from the estate of a family member, as long as she or he outlives that person.
Holographic will: A completed and completely handwritten will which is dated and signed by the person making it. These are generally not witnesses and therefore considered to be advised unless as a last resort.
Homicide: The killing of one person by another whether unjustified or justified (ie, war)
House closing: The final transfer of the ownership of a house to the buyer from the seller, which occurs after both have met all the contractual terms
and the deed has been recorded
Hung jury: A jury that cannot agree or come to a final verdict.