Questions tagged [common-law]

For questions regarding English common law, or legal systems based on judge-made law descended from it.

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9
votes
1answer
7k views

What is a contract and what is required for them to be valid?

What is a contract? What elements are required for validity?
16
votes
4answers
4k views

Can someone more wealthy than me bury me in legal fees?

USA Federal Law - I have a company worth about $6m. I got on the bad side of a person with a company worth well over $750m (with attorneys on staff). The CEO threatened to bury me in an endless sea ...
4
votes
1answer
3k views

Can you take back a gift?

Suppose that I unconditionally and unambiguously give a person a thing such as a necklace with a moderate value (say $1000): I hand it to them and say "Here, you can have this, I don't need it anymore"...
16
votes
3answers
1k views

Has a common law defence ever held water?

The UK is a common law country. It is a widely held belief of many people that statute Acts of parliament (i.e. most 'laws') only apply with the "consent of the governed"; and that one may be a "free ...
10
votes
3answers
5k views

How is the “permanent deprivation” element of theft proven in practice?

I never gave this much thought until I saw a prosecutor and then a judge dismiss charges of theft because it would be impossible to prove the accused intended to deprive the owner of the property ...
2
votes
1answer
220 views

Have there ever been any thought crimes?

Has there ever been anywhere a law criminalizing certain thoughts? The closest I can find is The Treason Act 1351, which is still in force in Britain today. This criminalizes compassing or imagining ...
9
votes
3answers
1k views

Is there one body of common law?

I'm a bit confused by the usage of the phrase "common law" on this site. The Wikipedia article initially describes it as an abstract concept. The first paragraph reads: Common law (also known as ...
5
votes
3answers
318 views

Can contracts include irrevocable terms of imprisonment for breach?

As noted here: At least in Israel, by agreeing to marry under religious law a person is irrevocably subject to that law's rulings, to the extent that a religious court can sentence one to a term in ...
2
votes
1answer
5k views

What is the difference between Common Law and Civil Law in the U.S.?

Is there a difference between Common Law and Civil Law in the U.S., and if so, what is it?
10
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3answers
2k views

What is stare decisis?

I know in general that stare decisis effectively means that once a court rules on a law that other courts can use that decision when considering their cases. But why is that the case, how is it ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

How do I interpret a court judgement? What does it mean?

So I've figured out how to read a case citation and find the text of the judgement - maybe using some of the online resources. As a novice, I'm trying to decide when the judgement actually applies. ...
6
votes
2answers
163 views

When can punching be legal?

My neighbor kissed my wife. I was pissed and wanted to punch him in his face. But I was able to suppress my anger. If I did punch him, would that be okay? I saw people punch one another over this in ...
5
votes
1answer
621 views

Can I teach those careless kids a lesson and destroy their ball?

As we learned from the hypothetical In California, if a baseball lands in my yard, is it legally mine? I could face detinue for not returning the baseball upon request. But what if: I accidentally ...
4
votes
1answer
165 views

Can a sitting president of the United States be indicted by one of the states?

Some lawyers say a sitting president cannot be indicted, other lawyers disagree. Apart from that, does what they are saying apply to both federal and state indictments? I mean could the president be ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

If a petition is dismissed without prejudice can it be refiled?

If the rules and laws of a court allow a party to bring a petition, and that petition is dismissed with an explanation but with no mention of "prejudice," can the petitioner refile what is ...
3
votes
2answers
240 views

Can a bailiff seize items belonging to a debtor's spouse or children when executing a writ of seizure?

When a writ of seizure and sale is executed against a debtor, how does the bailiff establish ownership of items that could be co-owned or bought by other family members staying in the residence. Do ...
2
votes
2answers
484 views

What statutes constrain an insurance provider's treatment of suicide?

Many insurance companies have explicit suicide clauses: exclusions that allow the company to deny benefits to the policy holder's estate. Essentially, suicide voids the benefits policy. What ...
1
vote
1answer
119 views

Grokking the difference between Civil Law and Common Law

My history teacher told us yesterday, the difference between Civil Law and Common Law, if specified in one sentence is: The Civil Law is to make and create laws, While the Common Law is to find and ...