Jargon Buster Civil Law Category - M-O


(see Registrar) Judicial officer of the High Court in the Royal Courts of Justice who normally deals with preliminary matters before trial


A process for resolving disagreements in which an impartial third party (the mediator) helps people in dispute to find a mutually acceptable resolution. If mediation fails court proceedings can be initiated or re-activated

Mesne Profits

Sum of money claimed by the owner of property against someone not legally entitled to be in possession. Calculated from the date the notice to quit expires until the date possession is given up


Someone below 18 years of age and unable to sue or be sued without representation, other than for wages. A minor sues by a next friend and defends by a guardian

Money Claim

A claim for money only in the county court. The claim can be for a fixed on unspecified amount. See also unspecified amount of money


A loan of money advanced to purchase property. The transfer of the property is withheld as security for payment


The party obtaining the loan


The party that advances the loan

Multi Track

The path that defended claims over £15000 are allocated to

Master of the Rolls

Senior judge of the Court of Appeal (Civil Division)


(see Originating Application) Proceedings commenced by way of originating application

Notice of Issue

Notice sent by a Court to the claimant giving notification of the case number allocated to their action and details of fees paid. Confirms date of service

Notice to Quit

Gives prior notice, when served in possession proceedings, of termination of a tenancy


To call upon God to witness that what you say at the hearing is the truth or binding. (see affirmation)


Disagreement with an argument or set out by another at the hearing

Official Receiver

A civil servant who works for the Department of trade and Industry and is appointed by the Court to act as:-

i) a liquidator when a company is being wound up;

ii) a trustee when an individual is made bankrupt. The duties of an official receiver will include examining the company/bankrupt's property which is available to pay the debts and distributing the money amongst the creditors

Official Solicitor

A solicitor or barrister appointed by the Lord Chancellor and working in the Lord Chancellor's Department. The duties include representing, in legal proceedings, people who are incapable of looking after their own affairs i.e. children/persons suffering from mental illness


Independent ‘referees’ who consider complaints against public and private organisations in a wide range of fields including housing, health and banking. They are often used as a last resort when complaints cannot be resolved through an organisation’s own complaints procedure. Ombudsman services are free to use. Recommendations made by ombudsmen are not binding on the person making the complaint (complainant). They can still go to court even if the ombudsman decided against them

Oral evidence

Evidence given to a court, verbally rather than in writing

Oral Examination

A method of questioning a person under oath before an officer of the Court to obtain details of their financial affairs


A direction by a Court

Originating Application

(see MATTER) A method of commencing proceedings under the authority of a specific act of parliament, e.g. Landlord and Tenant Act, whereby the applicant asks the Court to grant an order in their favour


An order within an injunction to force a person to leave a property