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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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Ratify: Confirm, republish, redeclare. To approve, to confirm, to reconfirm. A legal expression denoting absolute ratification.

Ratio: Proportion; the relation between two numbers of the same kind; the relation that exists by dividing one quantity by another.

Real property: Land; immovable property on land, such as a building, an apartment house, etcetera.

Recall: 1. To call back, as a witness is recalled to the witness stand.

Receiver: A disinterested outside individual appointed by a court to manage and administer property or money that is in dispute in a lawsuit. Often when an apartment building or a hotel goes into bankruptcy, the court will appoint a receiver to manage the building until the bankruptcy proceeding has been concluded and the creditors have been paid. The receiver is responsible to the court for the administration.

Reckless Lending: Recklessness arises if

Record: A written document attesting to an event, a transaction, agreement. Contract, act, etcetera, drawn up under the authority of the law. A record is permanent evidence that some event, transaction, agreement, contract, act, etcetera, has taken place legally. Recordation of verdict. The reception by the court clerk of the jury's verdict, thus ending the trial. Such verdict will be placed by the clerk in the court records.

Recourse: 1. The seeking of assistance and help. 2. The right of a person to get his just due by taking legal actions toward that end.

Redemption: The act of redeeming; turning in something, such as a bond, for cash.

Reference: 1. The act of sending a matter to a referee for his consideration and decision. 2. An agreement between two parties to place their dispute before an arbitrator or referee for his consideration and decision.

Refusal: 1. The denial of a demand or a request. 2. A negative response to comply with an order of a court.

Register: 1. To record something formally.

Registered: To be officially recorded or listed.

Registered agent: The designated corporate contact person in a given state.

Registration: To be officially recorded or listed.

Regulation: A rule for controlling public affairs, such as a law, a statute, or an ordinance; a governing principle.

Reimburse: To pay back; to restore moneys that have been taken.

Release: 1. To give up a right or claim; to relinquish. 2. A discharge from duty or obligation.

Relief: 1. An award of damages; the receiving of a favourable judgment; the winning of a lawsuit; a decree of a court granting the plaintiff part or all of his claim or claims against a defendant.

Religious Marriage: A marriage in terms of a religion such as the Islamic or Hindu faith.

Relinquish: To abandon; to give up; to renounce a claim or right.

Remainder: 1. The rest; the portion remaining after a part has been taken away; the residue. 2. The portion of an estate or property which is to be distributed after other portions have been disposed of. 3. An estate to take effect and be enjoyed after another estate has been determined.

Remaining assets: Trust assets that remain after paying debts and expenses of the trust and making the specific distributions as specified in the trust.

Remedies: The means employed by the law to correct injuries or to enforce legal rights.

Remission: A pardon; a release from a debt or obligation; an exoneration; the act of remittance (payment).

Removal: A change in residence; the depriving of one's position, such as taking one's job away, the transfer of a thing or person from one place to another.

Remuneration: Payment for services rendered; salary; reward; recompense.

Render: To perform, such as to render a service; to deliver; to yield; to give up.

Renewal: The giving of more time for the payment of a debt or the fulfilment of an obligation; the revival or reestablishment of an issue that is in dispute.

Rent: 1. To pay for the temporary use of a property, such as the renting of an apartment or an automobile. 2. Moneys paid in exchange for the use of property.

Reorganization: The process of planning anew and of making changes, frequently referring to the reorganization of a corporation that is in financial trouble so as to make it into a profitable business.

Reparation: The act of making amends for an injury or for damages that have been committed; the making good of a wrong.

Repeal: The annulment of an existing statute or law; to revoke a law and to substitute a new one in its place.

Reply: A replication; the plaintiff's answer to the defence by the defendant of charges he has levelled against him.

Represent: 1. To make an appearance in place of another, such as attorney who appears in behalf of his client. 2. To state as factual.

Representative: A person given the authority to act on another's behalf, such as a trustee, an executor, an officer of a company, an elected member of a legislative body, etc.

Rescission: An application to cancel a judgment. The rescission may be opposed or unopposed.

Residuary assets: What is left in an estate or trust after paying debts, expenses and specific bequests and distributions.

Residuary estate: The remaining assets of an estate after payment of debts, expenses, and specific bequests.

Resignation: The formal notification of giving up one's office.

Resolution: Written documentation of the formal approval of certain action by a corporation.

Retirement: 1. The voluntary fulfilment of an obligation or payment of a debt. 2. The giving up of one's work, position, or professional activities.

Return: 1. The act of an officer of the court, such as a sheriff, in bringing back to the court the process (summons, subpoena, etcetera) that he was ordered to serve, along with a report of his activities. 2. A written report of one's earnings, expenses, etcetera, as recorded in a tax return. 3. The amount of interest or profit one earns from an investment of money. 4. To give back; to bring back; to place in the custody of.

Revenue: Sales; gross receipts of a business before deducting expenses.

Revocable: The voiding, annulling or revoking of a thing.

Revocable Living Trust: A trust established while the maker (grantor) is still alive and which can be changed or cancelled by the grantor.

Revocable Trust: A cancelable arrangement created by a person ("Grantor"), whereby the Grantor transfers property to a trustee to be held for the benefit of the Grantor while alive, then distributed to named beneficiaries.

Revocation: The voiding, annulling or revoking of a thing.

Revoke: The voiding, annulling or revoking of a thing.

Right of first refusal: The priority right to purchase property simply by meeting a competing offer.

Right of representation: Per stirpes. The method of determining how a gift will be distributed, especially if a beneficiary is dead, namely, in equal shares to the deceased beneficiary's surviving children, with the share of a deceased child distributed, in turn, in equal shares to that deceased child's children, etcetera.

Risk: The possibility of loss or harm.

Roll: 1. A record of court or other official proceedings. 2. A list of taxable properties or persons.

Royalty: 1. A payment to an author by a publisher, usually based upon a percentage of the retail price at which a book is sold. 2. A payment made by a person or company who leases oil, mineral, or natural gas rights to the owner of the land above the oil, gas, or minerals.

Rule: 1. A regulation, ordinance, or principle set up by an authority, such as a local, state, or federal government. 2. A regulation or order of a court concerning the manner in which its business shall be conducted.

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