​ሕግንና ደንብን በተመለከተ እርዳታ ማግኘት ይፈልጋሉን? - Amharic | هل تحتاج لمساعدة قانونية؟ - Arabic | ܤܢܝܼܩܵܐ ܝ݇ܘ̤ܬ ܠܗܲܝܵܪܬܵܐ ܩܵܢܘܿܢܵܝܬܵܐ؟ - Assyrian | Need Legal Help? - Auslan | Treba li vam pravna pomoc? - Bosnian | Burmese â Need Legal Help? | 需要法律帮助吗? - Chinese Simplified | 需要法律幫助嗎? - Chinese Traditional | Trebate li pravnu pomoć? - Croatian | ضرورت به کمک قانونی دارید؟ - Dari | Wïc Kuɔɔny në Wɛ̈t Löŋ? - Dinka | آیا به کمک حقوقی نیاز دارید؟ - Farsi | Gadreva na Veivuke Vakalawa? - Fijian | Kailangan ninyo ba ng tulong na panglegal? - Filipino | Besoin d’aide juridique ? - French | Χρειάζεστε βοήθεια σε νομικά ζητήματα - Greek | क्या आपको कानूनी सलाह चाहिए? - Hindi | Butuhkan Bantuan dalam Masalah Hukum? - Indonesian | Hai bisogno di assistenza legale? - Italian | ត្រូវការជំនួយលើបញ្ហាផ្លូវច្បាប់ឬទេ? - Khmer | 법적인 도움이 필요하십니까? - Korean | Ви треба ли помош со правни работи? - Macedonian | कानूनी सहयोग चाहिएको छ? - Nepalese | Necessita de ajuda com questões jurídicas? - Portuguese | Вам нужна юридическая помощь? - Russian | E Manaomia Fesoasoani i Mea Tau Tulafono? - Samoan | а ли вам треба помоћ у правним питањима? - Serbian | Ma u baahan tahay Caawimmad xagga sharciga ah?- Somali | ¿Necesita ayuda con cuestiones jurídicas? - Spanish | சட்ட உதவி தேவையா? - Tamil | ท่านต้องการความช่วยเหลือทางด้านกฎหมายไหม? - Thai | Fiema’u ha tokoni Fakalao? - Tongan | Yasal Danışmaya İhtiyacınız mı var? - Turkish | Cần Được Giúp Đỡ Về Luật Pháp? - Vietnamese |
LawAccess NSW > Representing Yourself

Legal Dictionary - M to Z

This dictionary provides meanings of many of the legal words and phrases used on the Representing Yourself website.

If you can't find a word you are looking for please send us your feedback.

The dictionary is divided into two parts:

  • Legal Dictionary A to L - For words or phrases starting with A to L
  • Legal Dictionary M to Z - For words or phrases starting with M to Z

M

N

O

P

Q

R

S

T

U

V

W

X

Y

Z

M

Word or phrase

Definition

Magistrate

A judicial officer appointed to hear and determine civil and criminal matters in the Local Court.
Magistrates Early Referral Into Treatment (MERIT) A program for adult offenders who have a drug and/or alcohol problem and have been charged with an offence. The program allows them to be released on bail and voluntarily work towards rehabilitation. Also called 'MERIT'. 
Mandatory orders The orders that must be in all AVOs. These orders are sometimes called 'standard orders'.

The orders state that the defendant must not assault, molest, harass, threaten, intimidate, stalk or in any way interfere with the protected person or anyone the protected person has a domestic relationship with.
Marked for identification An object or document produced at a court hearing that is marked with a letter or number until evidence has been given to confirm that it is authentic and/or relevant. Once confirmed, the object or document becomes an exhibit.
Marriage

​The union of two people to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life.

McKenzie friend A support person who sits with you in court and helps you by taking notes, organising evidence and materials and giving you advice. You need permission from the court to have a McKenzie friend.
Mediation Confidential meetings where an independent third person (a 'mediator') tries to help parties to a dispute come to an agreement about their matter.
Mention A short court appearance where: a party may ask for an adjournment, the court can set a hearing date, or the court may give some other directions. The first time parties go to court in a case is often a mention.
MERIT See Magistrates Early Referral Into Treatment

Mini brief

The main parts of the Brief of Evidence, which consists of statements, photos and other evidence that the police have collected. This is usually given to (served on) the defendant by the police after a person is charged with an offence, or given to them by the prosecutor at the mention.
Minimum wage
The lowest amount of pay an employer can pay an employee.
Mitigating factors Facts that a person can present to the court about their personal circumstances or about the crime that may result in a lesser sentence.
Modern award Modern awards are awards that set out the minimum pay and conditions for people in an industry or profession. They cover employers and employees in the national workplace relations system.

Most employees in Australia are covered by modern awards.
Mortgage A contract where money is lent using property as security for the loan. For example, a home loan.
Mortgagee A person or company lending money under a mortgage contract.
Mortgagor A person or company borrowing money under a mortgage contract.
Motion A written or verbal application to the court after a case has started. The application asks the court to make an order about something. For example, a motion asking to move the case to a different court.
Motor Accidents Authority See State Insurance Regulatory Authority 

 

N

 

Word or phrase Definition
National Employment Standards (NES) Ten minimum standards that apply to the employment of all employees in the national workplace relations system.

The standards cover a range of entitlements, including: maximum weekly hours, requests for flexible working arrangements, parental leave and related entitlements, annual leave, personal/carer's leave and compassionate leave, community service leave, long service leave, public holidays, notice of termination and redundancy pay.
National system employeeAn employee covered by the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth​). It excludes employees working in the NSW public service, for a local council, or a state owned corporation. 
Negligence When a person doesn't take reasonable care to avoid harm likely to occur to other people or their property. For example, negligent acts could include drink driving, speeding, failing to obey a traffic light or sign, and failing to keep a proper lookout.
Negotiation Discussions, letters or emails between two or more people where they try to reach an agreement about an issue in dispute.
NES See National Employment Standards
NESB Non- English Speaking Background.
A term used to refer to people who do not speak English as their first language.
Next of kin The deceased person's closest living relative. This includes a de facto partner and same sex partner. 
No claim bonus A discount on your insurance premium given by your insurance company, depending on your claim history.

​Non-local Domestic Violence Order (Non-local DVO)

​A domestic violence order made interstate or in New Zealand.

Not guilty When a person did not commit a criminal offence or they did commit a criminal offence but they had a defence.
Notice of Discontinuance A form filed with the court by a person making a claim to withdraw their civil case. A copy of the form must be served on the defendant.
Notice of Disposal A form that should be completed and given to the RTA within 14 days of a car being sold. It records that the owner of the car has changed.
Notice of Motion A written application to the court after a case has started asking the court to make an order(s) about something. The notice also tells the other party where and when the court will hear the application.
Notice of Payment A form filed with the court, confirming that the defendant has paid the plaintiff a sum of money in a case.

 

O

 

Word or phrase Definition
Oath
A sincere promise to tell the truth, sworn on a Bible or other religious text.
Objective test A test comparing the conduct, mental state or behaviour of a person with an average person in the same situation. For example, comparing a PINOP with a reasonable person to determine if they would also have fear in that situation.
Offer A proposal put to one party by another party in a case to try and settle a dispute.
Office of Legal Services Commissioner (OLSC) An agency that oversees investigations of complaints about lawyers and is involved in resolving consumer complaints. Also called the 'OLSC'.
OLSC See Office of Legal Services Commissioner 
Onus of proof See  Burden of proof
Opinion A person's belief or judgment that is not based on any proof or certainty. For example, an opinion would be to say "The defendant signed the contract so he must have known about the interest rate".
Order A decision by a court that may require a person to do something, or to stop doing something.
Overtime Any work a person does outside of their normal working hours.

 

 

P

Word or phrase Definition
Panel beater A person who repairs damage to the body and frame of a car or other vehicle.
Parental leave Time off work for the birth or adoption of a child.
Parenting Order An order made by the court under the Family Law Act about arrangements for the care of children.
Party/party costs An order made by the court that the losing party in a case pay some of the legal costs of the winning party. Sometimes, two parties can agree to a settlement where one party will pay party/party costs to the other.
Payment in lieu of notice A payment made by an employer to an employee instead of asking the employee to work the notice period.
PCA Prescribed Concentration of Alcohol. The measure used by police to record the amount of alcohol on a driver's breath or in their blood.
Penalty Notice A fine issued by an authorised officer, such as a police officer, council ranger, or transit officer.
Penalty rate A higher rate of pay an employee may receive for working late nights, early mornings, weekends or public holidays.
Penalty Reminder Notice  A reminder sent to you 21 days after the Penalty Notice, telling you your fine is outstanding and giving you a further 28 days to pay it or elect to go to court.
Personal injury claim A claim made by a person who is hurt against another person who they claim is legally responsible for their injury. For example, Sandra slipped as she was walking up the steps of the community hall. She grabbed the handrail but it was broken and Sandra fell. She broke her arm. Sandra has suffered a personal injury and may be able to claim against the people responsible for looking after the community hall.
Personal leave  Time off work if an employee is sick or they need to look after an immediate family member or a member of their household.
Personal Service Giving documents to a party personally, that is, face to face.
Personal Violence Any violence between people who are not in a domestic relationship. For example, neighbours. Violence occurs when one person tries to dominate and control another person. This involves an abuse of power and can include physical violence, sexual abuse, emotional or psychological abuse, verbal abuse, stalking and intimidation, isolating someone, financial abuse, damage to property or threats to be violent in these ways.
Person in Need of Protection (PINOP)  The person who needs protection from the defendant. Also the 'PINOP' or the protected person.
PINOP See Person in Need of Protection
Plaintiff A person who starts a civil case against another person in a court.
Plea When a person tells the court whether they are guilty or not guilty of an offence.
Pleadings In a civil case, a section in court documents that sets out the facts relied on by a plaintiff in a claim, or by a defendant in a defence.
Police application (AVO) An application for an AVO made by the police on behalf of the person in need of protection.
Police Assistance Line A 24-hour telephone service provided by the NSW Police, that can assist you with general police enquiries and which allows people to make non-urgent reports. You can report the following types of crimes:
  • Break and Enter
  • Fraud
  • Motor Vehicle Theft
  • Stealing
  • Malicious Damage, including Graffiti
  • Minor Motor Vehicle Accidents
  • Lost Property.
Police Facts Sheet A document which sets out the police's version of events about a criminal charge.
Police prosecutor A specially trained police officer appearing in court representing the police in relation to criminal cases and AVO cases. The police prosecutor represents protected persons where the police have applied for an AVO. Police prosecutors do not wear police uniforms.
Post judgment interest Interest on a judgment debt charged at the rate set out in Schedule 5 of the Uniform Civil Procedure Rules. This interest runs from the time of the judgment to the time the judgment debt is repaid.
Practice Note A rule or instruction, made by the Chief Magistrate regarding how the court will run certain types of cases or how the court will deal with certain issues.

Practising Certificate

A certificate given to a person who is approved to work as a lawyer.
Pre accident value How much a car was worth before it was damaged in a car accident.
Pre Sentence Report A report prepared for the court by Corrective Services outlining an offender's background, present circumstances, and future plans. It also makes recommendations about sentencing.
Pre Trial Review The first stage of a debt case in the Small Claims Division of the Local Court. At the Pre Trial Review the registrar will try and help the parties settle the case. If the case does not settle the registrar may set a date for the hearing and tell the parties what to do to prepare for the hearing.
Prima facie Latin words meaning 'at first look' or 'on the face of it'. A 'prima facie case' is a case that looks like there is enough evidence to support the claim or charge, before evidence from the defendant is taken into account.
Principal
  1. The original amount of money being claimed in a court case, not including interest, filing and service fees.
  2. A person who gives another person authority to do something on their behalf. See Agency.
Private application(AVO) An application made by a person who needs an AVO through the Local Court.
Probate The legal process of proving the will. A legal document issued under the seal of the Supreme Court of NSW, certifying that the will has been proved and granting the executor authority to administer the estate. 
Procedural fairness A legal principle that says people must be made aware of claims or charges against them, and have the opportunity to defend the claim or charge.
Process server A person who is employed to deliver court papers.
Product Disclosure Statement A document provided by an insurance company, which tells you what is and is not covered under your insurance policy.
Professional driver A person who has an unrestricted driver's licence and who drives to transport goods either inter and/or intra-state or drives a bus, taxi or hire car.
Proof Evidence showing that a fact in a case is true. For example, a bank statement can be proof that money was withdrawn from an account on a particular date.
Property docket A document that records any personal items in a person's possession when they are taken into police custody.
Property Recovery order An order made by the court that allows a defendant to collect their property from the residence of the protected person, or that allows the PINOP to collect their property from the residence of the defendant.
Property Seizure Order An order that allows the sheriff to seize (take) your personal property and sell it to pay the amount you owe.
Protected person The person who is protected by an AVO or who needs the protection of an AVO. The protected person is sometimes referred to as the 'Person In Need Of Protection' or 'PINOP'.
Provisional AVO An AVO that can only be applied for by the police, where the police believe that someone needs urgent protection.
Provisional P1 driver licence A licence issued to a person who has not previously held a licence continuously for at least 12 months (not including any period of suspension). A provisional P1 licence is to be issued for a period of up to 18 months.
Provisional P2 driver licence A licence issued to a person who has not previously held a licence for a period or periods totalling at least 36 months (not including any period of suspension). A provisional P2 licence is to be issued for a period of up to 30 months.
Public Passenger Vehicle A vehicle that is licensed by the NSW State Government to be used to transport the public for payment of money, including:
  • a bus that picks up public passengers, or
  • a ferry that has a regular timetable for picking up passengers, or
  • a taxi or private hire vehicle.
                    

 

Q

Word or phrase   Definition
Quantum                                  Latin word often used in court to describe the amount of a debt or compensation that a party is claiming.
Quantum meruit Latin phrase meaning 'what the job is worth' or 'the amount the party deserves'. For example, Pam made curtains for Kelly's new house and gave Kelly an invoice for $4000. The invoice amount included:
  • the cost of the material
  • the cost of Pam's time
  • profit for the job.
Kelly didn't pay the invoice because she didn't think the curtains were made properly. Pam started a court case. Pam's claim was for payment of the invoice ($4000) but she also made an alternate claim for quantum meruit. The quantum meruit amount included:
  • the cost of the material
  • the cost of Pam's time.
This means that, even if the Magistrate decides the curtains weren't made properly, Pam may still get some money back for the materials she used and the time she spent making the curtains.

                                         

 

R

 

Word or phrase

Definition

RailCorp transit

officer

An employee of RailCorp who patrols trains and train stations in New South Wales and has the power to give fines for offences related to trains.
Real property Land or a building that is part of land. Does not include personal goods. 
Reasonable care If a person owes a duty of care, the level of care they need to take should not be more than what is expected of a 'reasonable' person. For example, Dimitri was driving at the speed limit on a rainy day. Dimitri may not be taking reasonable care because driving the speed limit on a wet road can be dangerous.

Receiver/

Receivership      

If a company cannot pay all of its debts when they are due, a receiver will be appointed to take control of some or all of the company's assets.
Redeployment Transferring an employee to:
  • another position within a business, or
  • an associated entity.
Redundancy A position is made redundant when an employer no longer needs a role to be performed, or no longer needs the same number of employees to perform certain tasks.
Redundancy pay A payment offered to an employee because an employer no longer needs anyone to do their job.
Registered External Protection Order An External Protection Order that has been registered in New South Wales. Once registered an External Protection Order has the same force as an AVO made by a court in New South Wales.
Registration number The numbers and letters on a number plate that identify a car, motorcycle or other vehicle. The plate must match the details on the vehicle's Certificate of Registration.
Registrar A judicial officer who runs the court registry, and sits in court to deal with preliminary and procedural matters. For example, registrars may deal with mentions, Pre Trial Reviews, and some Notices of Motion.
RegistrarGeneral The government officer who controls and manages records about all land owned in New South Wales. The Registrar General can make a Boundary determination.
Registry A counter at the court house where people can file documents and make enquiries.
Regulations Rules made connected to an Act, usually outlining procedure or how the Act works.
Reinstatement Getting your job back after being dismissed.

Reinstatement can mean going back to the exact same job or going back to another position within the business (redeployment).
Relevance When using evidence in a case, it must be relevant. This means it must be shown to have a direct relationship to the legal issues being considered in the case.
Relief The outcome that a plaintiff is asking for in their claim. For example, an order from the court that the defendant must pay them a certain amount of money.
Repair quote A document given by a panel beater or repairer that lists the repairs that need to be done to a car damaged in an accident and the cost of those repairs.
Replacement value The amount of money it would cost to replace something.
Res Ipsa Loquitur Latin phrase meaning 'The thing speaks for itself'. When a plaintiff can't prove what caused an accident, the fact that the accident happened may be used as evidence that it was caused by the defendant's negligence. For example, where a car is being driven on the wrong side of the road and hits another car.
Residue The remaining assets of the estate of a person who has died with a will, after all specific gifts have been made. 
Retaining wall A structure built to support or hold back earth.
Revenue NSW

​The debt collector for the New South Wales government. If you do not pay a penalty notice or a court fine by the due date, the fine is sent to Revenue NSW who can take steps to get you to pay the debt.

Review An application to a court to ask for the decision of a registrar to be changed or cancelled.
Review of a fine A check performed by Revenue NSW or other agency to ensure a fine has been issued correctly, or if there are other circumstances for withdrawing the fine or issuing a caution.
Right of way Where a person or vehicle has a right to move in traffic first and other road users are expected to give way, under the Road Rules.
RMS See Roads and Maritime Services
Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) The New South Wales Government department that looks after the road safety, driver licensing and vehicle registration systems in NSW. Also called the RMS.

The RMS was previously called the Roads and Traffic Authority or RTA.
Roads and Traffic Authority(RTA) See Roads and Maritime Services
Road Rules Road Rules 2014 NSW. The rules that apply to drivers, riders and pedestrians who use public roads in NSW.
RTA See Roads and Traffic Authority
RTA Licence Appeal An application to the Local Court, by a person who has had their licence suspended by RMS (formerly the RTA) (for demerit points or speeding) to keep their licence.
Rules Parliament gives courts the power to make laws about procedure in court. These are called 'court rules' or 'rules of court'. The rules that apply in the Local Court are the Local Court Rules 2009 and the Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 2005.

 

          

 

S

 

Word or phrase Definition
Safe room A room available in some courts for female protected persons in AVO cases. In some cases the safe room is also available to female defendants.

 

Salvage value      A car's worth after it has been in an accident and has been written-off because it can't be repaired.
Sealed copy A document or form that has been filed with the court and has a court stamp on it.

 

Section 10 An order under section 10 of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999, where the court finds a person guilty of an offence, but chooses not to record a conviction.

Sentence

The punishment imposed by the court if you are convicted of an offence.
Serious or wilful misconduct Wrongful, improper or unlawful actions by a person, which are considered to be severe, such as driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or causing an accident on purpose.
Serve documents  Formally giving someone court documents, or bringing those documents to that person's attention.
Service The formal process of giving or sending a document to another party in a case.
Service fee The fee paid to a court or process server to serve a court document.
Set aside   To cancel, annul or revoke a judgment or order.
Set off A defendant in a case may argue that the amount they owe to the plaintiff should be reduced by an amount of money that the plaintiff owes to the defendant. This is called a 'set off'. For example, a court may find that Max owes Yi Ming $2,000 for childcare services. The court may also find that Yi Ming owes Max $1500 for accounting services. The court may set off the two amounts so that Max only needs to pay Yi Ming $500.
Settlement When the parties in a case come to an agreement to resolve their dispute before the court makes a decision.
Settlement agreement A written document that outlines the terms of the agreement reached between two parties to a dispute. Also called a 'Settlement Contract', 'Terms of Agreement' or 'Terms of Settlement Contract'.
Sexual harassment​Unwelcome sexual advances, requests or behaviour of a sexual nature, which a reasonable person would expect to offend, humiliate or intimidate.​
Sham agreements Where an employer tells you that you are being hired as a contractor when you are really an employee, or when you are dismissed so an employer can hire you as a contractor doing the same work.
Sheriff Officers who serve court documents and enforce writs, warrants or other court orders. They are also responsible for court security.
Sick leave Time off work because an employee is sick or injured.
Small Business Fair Dismissal Code A Code of practice that applies to small business employers in the national workplace relations system. It sets out what a small business needs to do to fairly dismiss employees.

If your employer is a small business and is covered by national employment laws, it should comply with the Small Business Fair Dismissal Code (the 'Code') when it dismisses an employee.
Small claims division This division of the Local Court deals with debts and claims up to $10,000.
Solicitor (NSW) A lawyer who holds a current practising certificate issued by the NSW Law Society. Solicitors have a right to appear in courts representing their clients.
Solicitor/client costs The fees a solicitor charges their clients for legal services.
Stalk To follow or watch a person, or attend their home, place of work or any other place that the person regularly attends.

 

Standard orders See Mandatory orders
​State Insurance Regulatory Authority​The State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA) of NSW​, (previously known as the Motor Accidents Authority (MAA))  is in charge of the Compulsory Third Party (CTP) personal injury insurance scheme for motor vehicles registered in NSW.
Statement Verbal or written evidence used to support a case.
Statement of Claim A plaintiff files a 'Statement of Claim' form to start a civil case in court. It tells the court and the defendant what the plaintiff is claiming and why.
Statute law Laws made by parliament such as Acts, Regulations and Rules.
Statutory declaration A written statement made by a person under the Oaths Act 1900. The statement must be affirmed or sworn in front of an authorised witness such as a solicitor or a Justice of the Peace. If the person deliberately said something in their statutory declaration that is untrue, they can be charged with a criminal offence.
Stay of proceedings An order of the court stopping a court case from continuing, either permanently or temporarily.
Strict liability Offences where the police prosecutor only has to prove that a person committed the offence and not that they meant to (intended) to break the law.
Subjective test A test based on what the person actually feels.
Substituted service Giving documents to a party other than by personal service, in a situation where the court has ordered that personal service (or another authorised type of service) is not practicable. Substituted service can only be used if the court has made an order that it is acceptable.
Submissions Verbal or written arguments made to the court about the facts of the case and the law that applies to a case.
Subpoena A court order telling a person or company to bring certain documents to court or to appear at court to give evidence.
Subrogation Where a person or company 'stands in the place of' another person or company. For example, when Mark was doing building work at Danica's store, he broke one of Danica's water pipes. Mark didn't have any insurance. Danica asked her insurance company to pay the cost of repairing the damage. Danica's insurance company then started a court case against Mark to claim back the cost of the repairs. Danica's insurance company has stood in place of Danica through the right of subrogation.
Substituted service When you haven't been able to serve the other party personally with a court document, you can ask the court for permission to try other ways to bring the document to the party's attention. For example, if you haven't been able to serve a Statement of Claim on the defendant at their home or place of work, you may ask the court for permission to try and serve the document on the defendant's parents instead.
Sufficient dividing fence A fence that adequately separates your land from your neighbour's land.
Summary dismissal When an employee is dismissed straight away (without notice or warnings).
Summons A notice that you are required to go to court or to produce specific documents to the court. A summons may also be used by tribunals.
Superannuation A payment made by an employer on behalf of an employee to the employee's superannuation fund.
Surveyor A person who inspects or investigates land in order to determine boundaries.
Suspended sentence When an offender is convicted and the court orders a term of imprisonment, but the term does not have to be served. If the offender commits another offence, they will breach the sentence and may then be sent to prison to serve the term of imprisonment.
Sworn evidence Evidence that is given under oath or affirmation. When someone takes an oath or makes an affirmation they promise to tell the truth in court or in an affidavit.


 

 

T

 

Word or phrase Definition
Taxi or Bus Operator            The person or company who manages a taxi service or bus service.
Taxi network A taxi-cab network takes bookings for taxis. Networks are not responsible for damage caused by taxis.
Tenants in common When a person owns real property with another person, in divided shares. It is different to a joint tenance because there is no right of survivorship. If one of the tenants in common dies, their share forms part of the deceased estate. 
Terms of Settlement A document that records how two or more parties have agreed to settle a case.
Testate A person who has left a valid will.
Testator The person who makes a will. 
Testamentary document A written document by the testator that explains who they want to leave their estate to.
Third party claim
  1. A claim by a defendant against a party who was not involved in the original court case. This is now called a 'cross-claim'.
  2. A claim for compensation for personal injury suffered in a motor vehicle accident. The claim is brought against the 'compulsory third party insurer' of the driver at fault.
Third Party Property Damage Damage caused to another persons property.
Third Party Property Insurance Insurance that covers the damage caused to another person's property. This kind of insurance doesn't usually cover damage to the insured person's property.
Time limits For different kinds of cases, laws give people a set amount of time to start a court case. Sometimes an extension can be granted to start a case outside the time limit.

Time limits also apply to the time you have to do certain things during a court case.
Title search A search carried out through the Land and Property Information (LPI) office that shows:
  • who owns a particular property
  • where that property is located
  • other interests (including mortgages, easements, and covenants) in that land.
TOIP

See Traffic Offenders Intervention Program

Traffic offence When a law about vehicles or road use is broken.

Traffic Offenders Intervention Program (TOIP) 

A program for people who have pleaded guilty to, or been found guilty of a driving offence. The program is designed to provide traffic offenders with information and skills for safer driving. An offender must usually complete the course and then return to court to be sentenced. Also called 'TOIP'. 
Traffic record See Driving record
Tribunal   A body that resolves disputes between parties. There are different tribunals that deal with specific matters.

For example, the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) deals with a broad and diverse range of matters from disputes about residential tenancy and building works to guardianship and administrative review of government decisions. Orders made by a tribunal are legally enforceable. 

                      

 

U

 

Word or phrase   

Definition

Undertaking (AVO)
  1. A formal promise made by a person to the court that they will or will not do something.
  2. In an AVO case, a promise made to the court, usually agreeing not to assault, harass, intimidate or stalk a protected person. An undertaking is not enforceable, and breach of an undertaking is not a criminal offence.
Under the influence When a person is affected by drugs or alcohol.
Unfair dismissal When an employee's employment is terminated and this is harsh, unjust or unreasonable.
Uniform Civil Procedure Rules The rules setting out how civil cases are run in NSW courts, including the Local Court.
Unincorporated association An organisation or association can choose to become incorporated as a legal entity called an 'incorporated association'. If an association is not incorporated each person in the group is personally responsible for any debts in the name of the association.
Unlawful discrimination​When someone is treated differently because of a particular ground (for ​example their sex (including transgender), race, age, sexual preference, disability or illness, marital status or pregnancy and family or carer's responsibilities in a particular area (for example, work, education, accommodation, in the provision of goods and services).
Unrestricted driver's licence

A licence that allows a person to drive a car in NSW without any of the specific restrictions placed on learner or provisional licence holders.

 

 

V

Word or phrase Definition
VSL        See Victims Support Levy
Venue The location of a court. For example, Downing Centre or Bankstown or Wollongong.
Vexatious

A claim or application made against someone to embarrass or annoy them and made without a good cause. See Frivolous and vexatious.

Vicarious liability When a person or company is responsible for the wrong doing of another person because of the legal relationship between them.

For example, Henry owns a mechanic shop. One of his employees, Curtis, failed to properly reattach a wheel on Seri's car and when it fell off, Seri had an accident. As Curtis' employer, Henry is likely to be vicariously liable for Curtis' negligence, even though Henry didn't do the work himself.
Victim A person harmed, injured, or killed as a result of a crime, accident, or other action.
Victims Support Levy A fee that must be paid by any person who is convicted of any offence in NSW, except offences relating to:
  • parking
  • offensive language
  • travelling on public transport without paying the fare or without a ticket
  • engaging in offensive conduct.
                    

 

W

Word orphrase

Definition
Wages The payment a person receives from their employer for working for them.
Waive To give up. For example, to waive a debt is to give up the right to be paid that debt.
Warrant for arrest An order made by a judge or magistrate that a person be arrested and brought before the court.
WDO See Work and Development Order

Work and Development Order

An order made by Revenue NSW directing a person to:
  • perform unpaid work
  • undergo medical or mental health treatment
  • undertake an educational, vocational or life skills course
  • undergo drug or alcohol treatment, or
  • undertake a mentoring program by an approved organisation (if your under 25 years of age),
to satisfy an unpaid fine.
WDVCAS See Women's Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Service
Without prejudice When these words are said at the beginning of a conversation or written on a document it means that the information is not a confession or admission. Anything the party has said or written cannot be used as evidence against them by the other party in a current or future court case. There are some exceptions to this rule.
Witness A person who saw, heard or experienced something and can give a first hand account.

For example, someone who was at the scene when the incident happened.
Witness box Where a witness sits in the courtroom when they are giving evidence.
Witness statements Written version of the evidence of a witness.
Women's Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Service(WDVCAS) A service that provides court advocacy, referrals and information for women and children involved in Apprehended Domestic Violence Order (ADVO) matters and some Apprehended Personal Violence Order (APVO) matters.
Workplace right Rights that employees have at work, and that are protected by the Fair Work Act, such as:
  • the right to take leave and get paid
  • the right to be in a union and take part in union activity (or to not do this)
  • the right to take time off work if you are sick or injured
  • the right not to be discriminated against.
Wrecker A person or company in the business of removing reusable items from damaged cars and reducing the rest to scrap metal.
Writ for Levy of Property A court order to the sheriff, telling the sheriff to go to the judgment debtor's house and seize property to be sold at auction. The money raised from the auction is used to pay off a judgment debt.

Writ for theDelivery of Goods

A court order telling the sheriff to take goods from a person and deliver them to another person.
Write off 1. A car that has been so badly damaged that it is either not safe to repair or the cost of repairing it is more than its value.

2. When a creditor (person who is owed money) decides not to try and get their money back from a debtor (person who is being chased for money).
Write off of a fine When a person has serious and ongoing financial, medical or other problems and cannot pay a fine, it may be reduced or cancelled. This is called "writing the fine off".
Written Notice of Pleading A form that you can send to the court saying that you want to plead guilty and have the case heard without you (in your absence) or you want to plead not guilty and get a hearing date.
Written representations A letter to the police requesting that they withdraw or change a criminal or driving charge.
 
                    

 

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