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Glossary of Legal Terms Index


Glossary of Legal Terms – S

Sanction: A legal punishment or penalty.

Sans recours: Latin meaning ‘without recourse’.

Satisfy: An obligation, to discharge.

Seal: A formal binding signature.

Scienter: An allegation that a person knowingly did something.

Security: A right to dispose of or take something if a debt is not paid or an obligation not discharged.

Section 86 Agreement: An agreement in writing between spouses which evidences a property settlement that is registered with the family court.

Section 87 Agreement: An agreement in writing between spouses which evidences a property settlement that has been approved by the family court, and cannot be changed without some difficulty.

Secured transaction: A loan where the lender has the power to seize the property offered by the borrower as collateral security if the borrower defaults on that loan.

Security bond: Money deposited by a tenant to a landlord to cover any damage caused or any rent not paid.

Sentence: A court judgement given in criminal proceedings.

Sequestrate: To order that a person’s property be taken away from him or her and dealt with by another.

Serve: To deliver a document or documents to.


1. To compromise a legal case.

2. To complete a transaction.

Sign judgment: To obtain a judgment in default legal proceedings.

Slander: A defamatory and false statement concerning a person made by word of mouth or in other transient form which allows the right to take action for damages.

Small claims tribunal: A law court involving no lawyers where each party represents themselves and presents there own case, dealing only with small amounts of money.

Solicit: To ask or encourage someone to commit a crime or felony.

Solicitor: A lawyer who generally conducts and handles legal matters and gives legal advice.

Solvent: The ability to pay debts as they fall due.

Specific performance: An order which compels a party to do something.

Stamp duty: Tax paid for various types of transactions.

Star Chamber: A committee or tribunal that proceeds by unfair or arbitrary methods.

Stare decisis: Latin meaning ‘the principle of precedent’.

Status quo: Latin meaning ‘as things were’.

Statute: An Act of Parliament. A law passed by state or federal parliament which prohibits, declares or demands something.

Statute of frauds: Law which requires certain contracts to be made in writing if they are to be enforceable.

Statute of limitations: Law which requires a criminal prosecution or a lawsuit to be started within a certain time period if it is to be able to be taken in and heard by a court.

Statutory: A law passed by Federal or State Parliament.

Strata title: An arrangement where all the owners in a block of townhouses or units have an interest in the overall matters of the whole complex but retain individual ownership of there own unit.

Strict liability: Where fault does not have to be proved in the party accused of any wrong doing.

Struck Jury: To choose a jury by deleting or striking names from a list of prospective jurors by each party or their lawyers.

Sublease: An agreement where a tenant rents to a third person usually referred to as a sub-tenant.

Subpoena: An order by a court to someone to produce certain documents or give evidence.

Subrogate: To stand in the place of another, to transfer rights.

Sue: To initiate civil legal proceedings against a person or company or civil authority.

Sui juris: Latin meaning ‘of full legal capacity’.

Suit: In legal terms meaning a legal proceeding.

Summons: A document made by a court which initiates legal proceedings.

Surety bond: A guarantee made in writing to pay another person a debt that the bonded person did not meet or to pay for a job which he or she failed to do.

Surrender: To give up a legal right.

Surrogate: A person substituted or appointed in the place of another.

Sustain: To support or uphold.