Does court go by the dictionary definitions or by legal definitions as defined by law? 2 Answers as of December 07, 2015

Like the difference between what Neglect is defined in the dictionary verses as it is defined in State Family Court Law 1012. Which must the court follow, dictionary’s definition or the legal definition?

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Law Office of Barton R. Resnicoff | Barton R. Resnicoff
Legal definitions govern, but dictionary definitions can be very relevant.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 12/7/2015
Glenn Milgraum PC
Glenn Milgraum PC | Glenn P. Milgraum
Your inquiry tends to answer your own question. The "legal definition" is what the Courts will use as it contains the definition that has been assigned by statute and/or case law. The "dictionary definition" is the general understanding of the term as used in by individuals in their everyday life. However, if no legal definition is assigned, it is not uncommon for the Court to refer to the "dictionary definition". The major source for general "legal" definitions is Black's Law Dictionary, published by West Publishing company.
Answer Applies to: New Jersey
Replied: 12/3/2015
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