Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary1) An agreement between the parties to a lawsuit. For example, if the parties enter into a stipulation of facts, neither party will have to prove those facts: The stipulation will be presented to the jury...

Stop and frisk


A stop-and-frisk refers to a brief non-intrusive police stop of a suspect. The Fourth Amendment requires that before stopping the suspect, the police must have a reasonable suspicion that a crime has been, is being, or is about to be committed...

strict construction

Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law DictionaryInterpreting a legal provision (usually a constitutional protection) narrowly. Strict constructionists often look only at the literal meaning of the words in question, or at their historical meaning at...

Strict Liability

**(Contrast with general intent and specific intent)**


In both tort and criminal law, strict liability exists when a defendant is liable for committing an action, regardless of what his/her intent or mental state was when...

Strict scrutiny


Strict scrutiny is a form of judicial review that courts use to determine the constitutionality of certain laws. Strict scrutiny is often used by courts when a plaintiff sues the government for discrimination. To pass strict scrutiny, the...

Strip Search

A strip search is an inspection of a naked person. Strip searches are generally improper unless supported by probable cause. When determining the reasonableness and legitimacy of a strip search, the court will consider the totality of circumstances...

Sua sponte

Latin for "of one's own accord; voluntarily." Used to indicate that a court has taken notice of an issue on its own motion without prompting or suggestion from either party.

As a general rule, where grounds for dismissal exist, an action is...

Subject matter jurisdiction


The power of a court to adjudicate a particular type of matter and provide the remedy demanded.


A court must have jurisdiction to enter a valid, enforceable judgment on a claim. Where jurisdiction is lacking, litigants, through...


Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law DictionaryTo finish presenting evidence or an argument in a hearing or trial and give the matter over to the judge for a decision.

Definition provided by Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary.

Subornation of perjury

At common law, this was a separate offense from perjury. It consisted of procuring or somehow inducing another person to commit perjury.