Glossary of Legal Terms – F

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From “Fair market value” to “Fraud”

Fair market value
The value for which a reasonable seller would sell an item of property and for which a reasonable buyer would buy it.

False arrest
Any unlawful physical restraint of another’s personal liberty, whether or not carried out by a peace officer.

False pretenses
Representation of some fact or circumstance which is not true and is calculated to mislead, whereby a person obtains another’s money or goods.

Family law
Those areas of the law pertaining to families, i.e., marriage, divorce, child custody, juvenile, paternity, etc.

Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
A federal agency which investigates all violations of federal laws.

Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
A federal agency which regulates interstate and foreign communications by wire and radio.

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)
An agency which insures deposits in banking institutions in the event of financial failure.

Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service
An agency which provides mediators to assist in labor-management disputes.

Federal Register
A daily publication which contains federal administrative rules and regulations.

Fee simple absolute
The most complete, unlimited form of ownership of real property.

Felony
A serious criminal offense. Under federal law any offense punishable by death or imprisonment for a term exceeding one year.

Fiduciary
A person or institution who manages money or property for another and who must exercise a standard care imposed by law, i.e., personal representative or executor of an estate, a trustee, etc.

Fifth Amendment
Among other rights, the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees that a person cannot be compelled to present self-incriminating testimony in a criminal proceeding.

File
To place a paper in the official custody of the clerk of court/court administrator to enter into the files or records of a case.

Filing Fee
The fee required for filing various documents.

Finding
Formal conclusion by a judge or regulatory agency on issues of fact. Also, a conclusion by a jury regarding a fact.

Fine
A sum of money paid as part of a penalty of conviction for a particular criminal offense.

Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
A federal agency which sets safety and quality standards for food, drugs, cosmetics, and household substances.

Foreclosure
A court proceeding upon default in a mortgage to vest title in the mortgagee.

Forfeiture
A cancellation. A legal action whereby a contract purchaser following default loses all his interest in the property.

Fourteenth Amendment
Among other matters, the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution prohibits states from depriving any person of life, liberty, or property without adequate due process.

Fourth Amendment
The 4th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects every person against unreasonable search and seizure by government officials.

Fraud
A false representation of a matter of fact which is intended to deceive another.

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