Glossary

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This legal glossary is a basic guide to common legal terms. A lawyer is in the best position to advise you about your legal rights and responsibilities.

Different terms may have different meanings based on the specific area of law or the context in which they are being used. For legal terms not referred to in this glossary, or for more comprehensive definitions, you may wish to refer to a legal dictionary or to an internet resource.

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Identification of Criminals Act
Federal statute that sets out the right of police to fingerprint, take photographs, and collect information on persons accused of criminal offences.
Illegal
Prohibited by law.
Imprisonment
(see Sentence)
Imputed income
In family law, when a judge finds that the amount of income a parent discloses is not accurate, the judge may attribute additional income to that person for purposes of calculating child support.
In Camera
Private/closed; said of hearings that are not open to the public or the media.
Incarceration
Imprisonment.
Indictable Offence
(see Offence)
Indictment
A formal document containing the indictable offences upon which an accused will be tried. Indictments are used in the Superior Court of Justice.
Information
A formal document containing the offences that the accused is charged with. Informations are used in the Ontario Court of Justice.
Injunction
A court order requiring someone to do something or to refrain from doing something.
Inquest
An inquiry held by a coroner or medical examiner regarding the death of a person who died in circumstances set out in the Coroner's Act.
Insolvency
The inability to pay debts as they come due.
Insolvent
A person who owes at least $1000. to creditors and is unable to pay his or her obligations as they come due.
Interest Rate
The percentage that a person owing money must pay to a creditor or recipient for the period that the money owed is outstanding.
Criminal Rate of Interest
Interest above the maximum rate allowed under the Criminal Code of Canada.
Prejudgment Interest Rate
The rate at which interest will accrue from the date the cause of action arose to the date of the order.
Postjudgment Interest Rate
The rate at which interest will accrue for money owing under a court order, including costs, calculated from the date of the order to the date of payment.
Interim or Interlocutory Order
(see Order)
Interjurisdictional Support Orders Act, 2002
Ontario statute that sets out the process for the enforcement of a support order, where one party lives in Ontario and the other party lives elsewhere in a reciprocating jurisdiction.
Intermittent Sentence
(see Sentence)
Interpleader
A court proceeding to resolve a dispute over the ownership of property that was seized, or may be seized, in an execution.
Intestate
Dying without having made a valid will.