A pardon is a government decision to allow a person who has been convicted
of a crime, to be free and absolved of that conviction, as if never convicted.
It is typically used to remove a criminal record against a good citizen
for a small crime that may have been committed during adolescence or young
adulthood. Although procedures vary from one state to another, the request
for a pardon usually involves a lengthy period of time of impeccable behaviour
and a reference check. Generally speaking, the more serious the crime,
the longer the time requirement for excellent behaviour. In the USA, the
power to pardon for federal offences belongs to the President.
Latin: A British common law creation whereby the courts have
the right to make unfettered decisions concerning people who are not able
to take care of themselves. For example, court can make custody decisions
regarding a child or an insane person, even without statute law to allow
them to do so, based on their residual, common law-based parens patriae
Latin for "of equal fault." For example, if two parties complain
to a judge of the non-performance of a contract by the other, the judge
could refuse to provide a remedy to either of them because of "pari
delicto": a finding that they were equally at fault in causing the
Latin: Equitably and without preference. This term is often used in bankruptcy
proceedings where creditors are said to be "pari passu" which
means that they are all equal and that distribution of the assets will
occur without preference between them.
Latin: during litigation. For example, if the validity of a will is challenged,
a court might appoint an administrator pendente lite with limited powers
to do such things as may be necessary to preserve the assets of the deceased
until a hearing can be convened on the validity of the will. Another example
is an injunction pendente lite, to last only during the litigation and,
again, designed simply to preserve something until the decisive court
order is issued.