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Capital gains tax

A tax payable if a person is making a profit when selling an asset. It is not usually payable when selling a home, apart from in certain circumstances.


A caravan is defined as defined as 'any structure designed or adapted for human habitation which is capable of being moved from one place to another... and any motor vehicle so designed or adapted'.

Care leavers

Those who have left care which was provided by or through social services.

Case management conference

A court hearing sometimes held in multi-track cases at the allocation stage or after. The purpose of the conference is to enable the court to assess how a case is progressing, to encourage the parties to agree on as many matters as possible, and to lay down future directions for the conduct of the case.

Case management directions

Directions given by a court about how the case is to be conducted before the final hearing.


A judge's office where hearings that are not open to the public are held. The hearing is referred to as being held 'in chambers'. Also applies to the office of a barrister.

Charging order

A court order that imposes a charge on the property of a debtor in order to secure payment of a debt.


A person under the age of 18.

Child curfews

A child curfew bans children under the age of 16 from being in a public place during designated hours (between 9pm and 6am). For children under 10, contravening a ban imposed by a curfew notice is a condition under which family proceedings could make the child subject to a child safety order.

Child in need

A child, for the purposes of the Children Act 1989, is a person under 18. A child is defined as being 'in need' if s/he needs services in order to maintain or achieve a reasonable standard of health or development or is disabled.

Child safety orders

Child safety orders are intended for children below the age of criminal responsibility (those under the age of 10). A child safety order will be applied to a child who has committed an offence, breached a child curfew or caused harassment, distress or alarm to others. Social services or a worker of the youth offending team supervises the child. If the order is not complied with then the parents can be made subject to a parenting order if that would be in the interests of preventing repetition of behaviour that initially led to a child safety order.

Circuit judge

A judge appointed by the Crown to serve in the High Court or the county court in one of the six circuits of the Court Service in England and Wales.

Citizens of British Overseas Territories

Auguilla, Bermuda, British Antartic Territory, British Indian Ocean Territory, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Monserrat, Pitcairn Islands, St Helena and Dependencies, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, and the Turks and Caicos Islands.

Civil legal aid

Range of legal services available to eligible people otherwise unable to meet the costs of legal advice and representation at court. The different legal services (known as 'forms of civil legal services') provided can range from basic legal advice or letter writing to full representation through the court system.

Civil Legal Advice Gateway

Civil Legal Advice (CLA) - formerly Community Legal Advice (CLA) - is a national advice line which assesses client’s initial financial eligibility for civil legal aid, provides initial advice, and when appropriate, refer clients on to a legal aid provider for face-to-face advice.

Civil partnership

Civil partnerships allow same-sex couples to register their partnership and to obtain the same rights as heterosexual married couples. Civil partnerships were introduced by the Civil Partnership Act 2004.

Civil Procedure Rules (CPR)

These rules govern how cases are conducted in the civil courts, and were introduced in April 1999 to ensure fair and efficient hearings within the civil court system.

Claim for possession

The court procedure most landlords, lenders or freeholders have to follow in order to evict a tenant or homeowner.


The person who initiates the court action/makes the claim.

Clear days

A period of time expressed in days by a court. Where the court rules specify that an act must be done by reference to an event, the day on which the period begins and the day on which the event occurs are not included.

Closure order

A closure order is an order which secures premises for a period of up to six months. The magistrates court must be satisfied that an order is necessary and that the premises are associated with the use or production or supply of class A drugs, and associated with serious antisocial behaviour.


Housing that is jointly owned or managed by the occupiers.

Committal proceedings

Proceedings for contempt of court brought against a party who has breached a court judgment or order that included a penal notice, eg an injunction. A person in breach may be sent to prison for a period not exceeding two years, or may be fined.

Common law

Any law that does not have statute as its source, eg law made by judges (case law).


A type of home ownership that allows freehold ownership of a property, usually a flat, within a building or estate. The owner of each flat has the freehold of that 'unit'. All other 'common parts' of the building (eg stairs, entrance foyer) are owned by a limited company called a Commonhold Association, of which the owner of each flat is automatically a member.

Common Travel Area

The United Kingdom, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man and the Republic of Ireland collectively. A person who is a citizen of or resident in the Common Travel Area can travel freely within this area. A person who requires leave to enter or remain, or who is a person subject to immigration control who arrives in the UK via Ireland, remains subject to immigration control at her/his first point of entry to the UK.

Completion date

The date on which the sale of a property is final and the buyer becomes the legal owner. The seller cannot enter the property after completion without the buyer's permission.

Consent Judgment or Consent Order

A judgment or order, the terms of which are agreed by all the parties to the proceedings.

Contempt of court

A disregard for the authority of the court, punishable by imprisonment of the offender or a fine.

Contents insurance

Insurance to protect the contents of the home - such as personal belongings, household items, furniture, and carpets - from damage or theft.


When a court hearing is continued to another date, usually at the request of one or both of the parties.

Contractual tenancy

The initial stage of a tenancy, when the terms of the original agreement continue to apply (eg until a fixed term tenancy expires).

Contributory negligence

Where a person contributes to the events that lead to an accident or other occurrence to her/himself, even though the accident or occurrence is partly or mainly due to the negligence of another.


The legal work involved in transferring ownership of a property from the seller to the buyer. It includes checking the documents confirming ownership, Land Registry and local authority searches, and preparing the contract for the sale.

Costs assessment

This is the procedure used by the courts to assess the level of costs to be paid by one party to another. There are two types of assessment: detailed assessments and summary assessments.

Costs Order

A court order specifying the level of costs and how the costs are to be paid.


Another name for a barrister.

County court appeal

The reconsideration by the court of an adverse decision made by a local authority, for example a review of that upheld the original adverse homelessness decision. Such an appeal can generally only be brought on a point of law, not on the facts of the case.

Court order

A direction made by the court that orders something to be done (eg eviction or payment of debt).