The law Essay

This essay has a total of 731 words and 4 pages.


the law





not guilty
n. 1) plea of a person who claims not to have committed the crime of which he/she is
accused, made in court when arraigned (first brought before a judge) or at a later time
set by the court. The choices of what one can plea are: guilty, not guilty, no contest,
not guilty by reason of insanity, or incompetent to stand trial. 2) verdict after trial by
a judge sitting without a jury or by a jury (unanimous decision in all but two states,
which allow a verdict by only 10 of 12 jurors), stating that the prosecution has not
proved the defendant guilty of a crime or that it believes the accused person was insane
at the time the crime was committed. The accused cannot be tried again for the crime
charged


statute of limitations
n. a law which sets the maximum period which one can wait before filing a lawsuit,
depending on the type of case or claim. The periods vary by state. Federal statutes set
the limitations for suits filed in federal courts. If the lawsuit or claim is not filed
before the statutory deadline, the right to sue or make a claim is forever dead (barred).
The types of cases and statute of limitations periods are broken down among: personal
injury from negligence or intentional wrongdoing, property damage from negligence or
intentional wrongdoing, breach of an oral contract, breach of a written contract,
professional malpractice, libel, slander, fraud, trespass, a claim against a governmental
entity (usually a short time), and some other variations. In some instances a statute of
limitations can be extended ("tolled") based on delay in discovery of the injury or on
reasonable reliance on a trusted person (a fiduciary or confidential adviser who has
hidden his/her own misuse of someone else's funds or failure to pay). A minor's right to
bring an action for injuries due to negligence is tolled until the minor turns 18 (except
for a claim against a governmental agency). There are also statutes of limitations on
bringing criminal charges, but homicide generally has no time limitation on prosecution.
The limitations (depending on the state) generally range from 1 to 6 years except for in
Rhode Island, which uses 10 years for several causes of action. Louisiana has the
strictest limitations, cutting off lawsuit rights at one year for almost all types of
cases except contracts. California also has short periods, usually one year, with two
years for most property damage and oral contracts and four years for written contracts.
There are also statutes of limitations on the right to enforce a judgment, ranging from
five to 25 years, depending on the state. Some states have special requirements before a
lawsuit can be filed, such as a written warning to a physician in a claim of malpractice,
making a demand upon a state agency and then waiting for the claim to be denied or ignored
for a particular period, first demanding a retraction before filing a libel suit, and
Continues for 2 more pages >>