Text: Larger | Smaller

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.

Browse the glossary

To browse the glossary alphabetically, use the following links:


Search the Glossary

Search the glossary for term/phrase:

R. v. (name)/The Queen v. (name)
The title of proceeding of a criminal case. The 'R.' stands for Regina or Rex, which are the Latin words for Queen or King. The 'v.' stands for versus, but it is often read aloud by using the term "and" instead.
Real Property
(see Property)
In family law cases, a person who is entitled to receive support under an order or agreement.
Reciprocating Jurisdiction
In family law cases, another province, territory or country that has entered into an agreement with Ontario for the enforcement of support orders and the making or changing of support orders. Reciprocating jurisdictions are listed in a regulation under the Interjurisdictional Support Orders Act, 2002.
  1. A legislated form used by the court that sets out the terms under which a person will be released on bail or on a peace bond and when he or she is expected to return to appear before the court.
  2. In family law cases, an acknowledgment entered into before a judge, justice of the peace or clerk when a bond is posted that money is owed if certain conditions are not met. (see Bond)
Record of the Proceeding
In regard to a particular case, the listing or recording by the court of all of the appearances and proceedings and their outcomes before the court.
Refraining Order
(see Order)
With respect to a court, the administrative officer who has been assigned some or all of the responsibilities of registrar, such as filing and issuing particular documents, maintaining the court's record and performing other duties under the Rules of Civil Procedure, the Courts of Justice Act, and other legislation.
Delegated legislation made by the government, not the legislature. Regulations are a form of law.
Regulatory Offence
(see Offence)
The remedy a party asks for in a proceeding.
Corollary Relief
In a case under the Divorce Act, claims and orders for parenting time, decision-making responsibility and contact, child support and spousal support.
To adjourn a hearing to a future date, most often used in criminal cases when the accused is in custody.
The award a party seeks in a proceeding to enforce a right or redress a wrong.
A response to a claim.
To cancel.
Reserved Judgment
When the judge postpones making a decision to research, study the law, or review the evidence presented during the proceeding.
  1. A person against whom a claim is made in an application, answer or appeal.
  2. A person against whom one issues a summons.
Restitution (Order)
(see Sentence)
Restraining Order
  1. In family law cases, an order restraining harassment that prohibits a person from molesting, annoying, harassing or communicating with their spouse, their children, or a person having lawful custody.
  2. In family law cases, an order stopping one spouse from selling or depleting his or her property.
Resulting Trust
(see Trust)
Review Board
Established by the Criminal Code, each province has a Review Board to oversee the cases of persons found unfit to stand trial or not criminally responsible because of a mental disorder.
Rule of Law
Fundamental legal principle that everyone – including the government – is subject to the same law that regulates behaviour and preserves order.
Rules of Civil Procedure
(see Rules of the Court)
Rules of (the) Court
The procedures which govern the proceedings in the court and which are to be followed by the parties. In civil cases, the Rules of Civil Procedure are the rules of court. In family law cases, the Family Law Rules are the rules of court. In criminal law, Criminal Appeal Rules and Criminal Proceeding Rules are the rules of court.
A lawyer, paralegal or other person representing a person in a Small Claims Court proceeding.