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Index of Legal Terms

A definitive collection of legal terms that are used by attorneys in contracts, agreements and other legal documents in South Africa.


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Hanging: Suspending a person from the neck by a rope until dead; a common death penalty prior to the twentieth century.

Harassment: Unreasonable (abusive, rude, extreme or excessive conduct) behaviour by the Respondent (a Wrongdoer) who causes harm (mental, psychological, physical or financial harm) or makes the Complainant (the Victim, which includes a child) believe that harm may be caused by – 1. following, communicating with, watching, or bothering the Complainant; or 2. sending letters, gifts, faxes, or emails to the Complainant. Harassment includes sexual harassment which means unwelcome sexual attention, behaviour, suggestions, messages, or remarks of a sexual nature that will offend, intimidate or humiliate the complainant; a promise or reward for sexual deeds; or a sexual threat

Hazard: 1. A danger; a risk. 2. To wager; to risk.

Health Care Power of Attorney: A document in which a competent adult grants another person the authority to make Healthcare decisions for him or her.

Health insurance: An arrangement whereby an insurance carrier, in return for the payment of a specified premium, agrees to pay for part or all of the medical expenses incurred by the insured when he, or a member of his immediate family, is ill or has met with an accident.

Hearing: 1. The ability to hear; the auditory sense. 2. A procedure during which evidence is taken to determine an issue of fact and to come to a decision based on that evidence. A hearing may take place out of court, but it must be presided over by someone with judicial authority.

Heir: A person who inherits money or property, or who will naturally inherit property if someone dies without making a will.

Heirs-at-law: People who inherit money or property, or who will naturally inherit property if someone dies without making a will.

Held in trust: Property held by someone other than the owner, such as a trustee or an agent. Such trustee or agent is responsible to the owner and, for a fee, may manage the property and turn over to him any moneys earned by the property.

Herein: An adverb referring to a certain phrase, sentence, clause, paragraph, or page in a document.

High Court: The High Court of South Africa.

Hoc: This (Latin).

Hold: 1. To possess, such as a title or a piece of property. 2. To judge, as a court holds someone to be innocent or guilty. 3. To be a tenant of another. 4. To hold in custody, such as a prisoner. 5. To administer. 6. To keep.

Hold harmless: An agreement in which one party agrees to protect the other party from liability for any damage that may occur in connection with a particular transaction, such as a lease.

Homestead: The house and land upon which a person or family makes their permanent residence. A personÆs homestead is generally exempt from debt collection (except by the lender who financed the homestead). The extent and definition of the homestead exemption varies by state.

Homicide: Murder; the killing of a human being by another human being. There are many types of homicide.

Honorable: A vague title of respect, given to various public officials, judges, etcetera, as the honorable justice.

Hospital records: Medical records of patients who are, or have been confined to a hospital. Such records belong to the hospital, but they can be subpoenaed and brought into court, if necessary.

House of Representatives: Legislative body of the United States government to which members are elected every two years from various congressional districts, such districts being determined by population. Various states also have legislative bodies known as houses of representatives.

Household goods: Items in a home of a permanent nature. This phrase often appears in a will.




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