wex definitions

Acknowledged Father

When a child is born to an unmarried couple paternity may be established by acknowledgment. The biological father can admit his paternity or sign an acknowledgement of paternity. The father will gain full parental rights to the child and will become...

Acquisition of Citizenship

Acquisition of citizenship refers to the mechanism by which certain foreign-born children acquire citizenship automatically by virtue of being born to parents who are U.S. citizens. Pursuant to the Child Citizenship Act of 2000, if a child satisfies...

Acquit

Definition

To find a defendant in a criminal trial not guilty.

See alsoAcquittalDouble jeopardy

Acquittal

Definition

At the end of a criminal trial, a finding by a judge or jury that a defendant is not guilty. An acquittal signifies that a prosecutor failed to prove his or her case beyond a reasonable doubt, not that a defendant is innocent. Thus, a person...

Act

Something done or performed by a person or body (such as a court). Formal product of a legislative body that becomes part of the law. An act may or may not concern a single subject (e.g., air quality). Acts codified in the United States Code can be...

Act of God

At common law, an overwhelming event caused exclusively by natural forces whose effects could not possibly be prevented (e.g., flood, earthquake, tornado). In modern jurisdictions, "act of God" is often broadened by statute to include all natural...

Act of Nature

See: Act of God

Action

1. A judicial proceeding that involves either civil or criminal claims. An action is brought by one or more plaintiffs against one or more defendants.

2. In general, the process of doing something.

Actionable

Where there exist sufficient facts or circumstances to meet the legal requirements for a party to file a legitimate lawsuit against another party.

Actual Authority

An agent's power to act on behalf of a principal, because such power was expressly or impliedly conferred.

See Express authority, Implied authority, Inherent authority, and Apparent authority.

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