wex definitions

one-bite rule


A rule that says that the owner of a domesticated animal (e.g., a dog) will be held strictly liable for injuries caused by the animal only if the owner knew or should have known about the animal’s dangerous or vicious propensities, which have been manifested in the past. The burden of proof is on the injured party to show that the animal owner possessed this knowledge. The “one-bite” rule originated in common law and has been rejected or modified by most states, either by statute or by case law, with regard to dogs.



A nonimmigrant is a foreign citizen present in the United States (U.S.) on a temporary basis. A non-immigrant visa is required for entry into the U.S. and authorizes a stay for a limited period of time for a specific purpose. Once a person is admitted as a nonimmigrant, they are restricted to the activity for which they were admitted. The type of visa required is defined by immigration law, and relates to the principal purpose of the travel. Foreigners come to the U.S. for a wide variety of reasons, including tourism, business, study and transit.

Bureau of Consular Affairs, travel.state.gov/visa/temp/temp_1305.html

Becoming a Nonimmigrant Student in the United States, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, www.ice.gov/sevis/becoming_nonimmigrant_student_52007.htm#_Toc129683762

Mitigating circumstances


Factors that lessen the severity or culpability of a criminal act, including, but not limited to, defendant's age or extreme mental or emotional disturbance at the time the crime was committed, mental retardation, and lack of a prior criminal record. Recognition of particular mitigating circumstances varies by jurisdiction. 

Illustrative caselaw

See, e.g. Magwood v. Patterson, 130 S.Ct. 2788 (2010).

See also


minimum contacts


A nonresident defendant’s connections with the forum state (i.e., the state where the lawsuit is brought) that are sufficient for jurisdiction over that defendant to be proper. Lack of minimum contacts violates the nonresident defendant’s constitutional right to due process and “offends traditional notions of fair play and substantial justice” (International Shoe Co. v. Washington, 326 U.S. 310 (1945)). Examples of minimum contacts include conducting business within the state, incorporating in the state, and visiting the state.





1. A local official whose authority is limited to whatever has been granted by statute or specified in the appointment.

2. In local or state courts, a justice of the peace or other judicial officer who has strictly limited authority and jurisdiction to hear certain cases, often criminal cases or small claims.

3. In U.S. federal courts, a judicial officer who has been appointed by a federal district judge to expedite the judicial process by conducting routine hearings and other proceedings.




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