Legal Terms


Amerced:         An amercement is a financial penalty in English law, common during the Middle Ages, imposed either by the court or by peers. The noun "amercement" lately derives from the verb to amerce, thus: the King amerces his subject, who offended some law.


Contenement:          In old English law, contenement is that which is held together with another thing; that which is connected with a tenement, or thing held, such as a certain quantity of land adjacent to a dwelling, and necessary to the reputable enjoyment of the dwelling. This is also known as "appurtenance". According to some legal authors, the term should signify the countenance, credit, or reputation a person has, with and by reason of his freehold.


Mulct:      A payment that you are forced to make, such as a fine (= a punishment)


In rem:     In rem is a Latin term which means “against or about a thing.” “Jurisdiction in rem” is the legal term used to describe the exercise of power by a court over property (either real or personal) or a “status” against a person over whom the court does not have “in personam jurisdiction”.


Personam jurisdiction:   In rem rights are property rights enforceable against the entire world (such as property rights) whereas an in personam judgment binds only the litigants.