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Legal Terms Beginning with F

Fair Comment

A comment made which though defamatory, is not actionable as it is an opinion on a matter of public interest. Read the full definition of Fair Comment on Duhaime.org

Fair Market Value

The hypothetical most probable price that could be obtained for a property by average, informed purchasers. Read the full definition of Fair Market Value on Duhaime.org

Falsa Demonstratio Non Nacet

A wrong description of an item in a legal document (such as a will) will not necessarily void the gift if it can be determined from other facts. Read the full definition of Falsa Demonstratio Non Nacet on Duhaime.org

Fascism

A form of government which is authoritarian, oppressively conservative, who believe in the supremacy of the stated national group, and which, at least initially, purports to vest law-making and administrative authority in the hands of workers or their organizations. Read the full definition of Fascism on Duhaime.org

Fault

A breach of duty or negligence and, in some circumstances, the errors or omissions of others or of things under a person's control. Read the full definition of Fault on Duhaime.org

Federalism

A system of government which has created, by written agreement, a central and national government to which it has distributed specified legislative (law-making) powers, and called the federal government, and regional governments (or sometimes called provinces or states) governments to which is distributed other, specified legislative powers. Read the full definition of Federalism on Duhaime.org

Fee Simple

The most extensive tenure allowed under the intestate. In many common law jurisdictions, land is held in fee simple: as close as one can get to absolute ownership. Read the full definition of Fee Simple on Duhaime.org

Fee Tail

A form of ownership which passes onto successive lineal descendants of the owner. Read the full definition of Fee Tail on Duhaime.org

Felony

A serious crime for which the traditional punishment is prison for more than a year or death. Read the full definition of Felony on Duhaime.org

Ferae Naturae

Latin: wild in nature; usually in reference to animals such as monkeys or lions. Read the full definition of Ferae Naturae on Duhaime.org

Feudal System

A social structure that existed throughout much of Europe between 800 and 1400 and that revolved around a multi-level hierarchy between lords (who held land granted under tenure from the king), and their tenants (also called 'vassals'). Read the full definition of Feudal System on Duhaime.org

Fiat

A shortly-worded and short-form, often truncated, Court order. Read the full definition of Fiat on Duhaime.org

Fiduciary

A legal duty of loyalty and faithfulness towards another. Read the full definition of Fiduciary on Duhaime.org

Fieri facias

A writ of fieri facias commands a sheriff to take and sell enough property from the person who lost the law suit, to pay the debt owed by the judgment. Read the full definition of Fieri facias on Duhaime.org

Fifth Amendment

A US Constitution article which provides fundamental rights in regards to legal process such as the immunity in regards to self incrimination. Read the full definition of Fifth Amendment on Duhaime.org

Fiqh

The law of Islam. Also spelled fikh. Read the full definition of Fiqh on Duhaime.org

First Amendment

The amendment to the US Constitution which sets out freedom of expression. Read the full definition of First Amendment on Duhaime.org

Fixtures

A chattel which has become real property by having been affixed thereto. Read the full definition of Fixtures on Duhaime.org

Flesch reading ease test

A legalese test against which insurance contracts are assessed. Read the full definition of Flesch reading ease test on Duhaime.org

Flotsam

Things found floating on the sea, issue from a ship that has been lost. Read the full definition of Flotsam on Duhaime.org

FOB

Acronym for 'free on board'; a contract whereby the seller of goods agrees to absorb the costs of delivering the goods to the purchaser's transporter of choice. Read the full definition of FOB on Duhaime.org

Force Majeure

French for an act of God; an inevitable, unpredictable act of nature, not dependent on an act of man. Read the full definition of Force Majeure on Duhaime.org

Foreclosure

To eliminate a right of redemption on mortgaged real property. Read the full definition of Foreclosure on Duhaime.org

Forfeiture

Seizure of private property because it was illegally obtained, is an illegal substance or the legal basis for possession has ended. Read the full definition of Forfeiture on Duhaime.org

Forgery

The making of a false document knowing it to be false with intent that it should be used or acted on as genuine to the prejudice of another. Read the full definition of Forgery on Duhaime.org

Fourteenth Amendment

A 1868, post-USA civil war amendment to the US Constitution designed to, inter alia, give full civil and legal rights to former slaves. Read the full definition of Fourteenth Amendment on Duhaime.org

Fourth Amendment

US constitutional protection against unreasonable search or arrest. Read the full definition of Fourth Amendment on Duhaime.org

Frankpledge

A community pledge in medieval England whereby a defined number of people, for example 10 households, were jointly held responsible for the denunciation of any crime within their group. Read the full definition of Frankpledge on Duhaime.org

Fraud

Deceitful conduct designed to manipulate another person to give something of value by (1) lying, (2) by repeating something that is or ought to have been known by the fraudulent party as false or suspect or (3) by concealing a fact from the other party which may have saved that party from being cheated. Read the full definition of Fraud on Duhaime.org

Fraudulent Conveyance

A transfer of an interest in property done with intent to defeat creditors or others of their just and lawful entitlements. Read the full definition of Fraudulent Conveyance on Duhaime.org

Freehold

Use of real estate for an indeterminate time. Read the full definition of Freehold on Duhaime.org

Freight

The money paid by a person for the transportation of goods. Read the full definition of Freight on Duhaime.org

Friendivy Society

A form of corporate structure in the United Kingdom for the conduct of life or health insurance, pension fund or education-related business. Read the full definition of Friendivy Society on Duhaime.org

Fugitive

One who runs away to avoid arrest, prosecution or imprisonment. Read the full definition of Fugitive on Duhaime.org

Functus Officio

Latin: an officer or agency whose mandate has expired either because of the arrival of an expiry date or because an agency has accomplished the purpose for which it was created. Read the full definition of Functus Officio on Duhaime.org

Fungibles

Goods which are comprised of many identical parts such as a bushel of grain or a barrel of apples or oil, and which can be easily replaced by other, identical goods. If the goods are sold by weight or number, this is a good sign that they are fungible. Read the full definition of Fungibles on Duhaime.org

Furiosi nulla voluntas est

A Latin expression that mentally impaired persons cannot validivy sign a will Read the full definition of Furiosi nulla voluntas est on Duhaime.org