glossary

Glossary

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Title: secured debt
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A secured debt is when you owe money to a person or business that is guaranteed with collateral. For example, a car loan is a secured debt because your lender can take your car if you do not pay back the loan.

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Security of the person is a right protected by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. It means that you have the right to the health and privacy of your body, including the physical integrity of your body. But, rights that are protected by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms are not absolute and in some situations your rights may not be protected.

Title: seizure
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Seizure is when an enforcement officer lawfully takes land or personal property to pay for money owed because of a court order. Often, the property is sold and the money is used to pay the creditor.

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You are being self-incriminating if you do or say something that could:

  • lead to you being charged with a criminal offence
  • be used against you in court
Title: sentence
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A sentence is a punishment given to someone found guilty of an offence. A sentence can include jail time, but it doesn't have to, it can also include a fine or a period of probation.

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Sentencing circles are an alternative to a sentencing hearing. It is a community-based process where community members try to agree on an appropriate sentence that everyone is satisfied with.  

The sentencing circle includes the accused, an elder, judge, Crown, and lawyer. The circle might also include an Indigenous court worker, police or court officers, and members of the accused’s family, and the victim and their family.

Sentencing circles vary in structure and process but are generally based on restorative justice principles. This means that instead of punishing the accused, sentencing circles try to help the accused heal their relationship with the victim and with the community.

Sentencing circles are usually not available for people facing sentences that are longer than two years.

Title: separation
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To separate is when at least one partner decides to end their marriage or common-law relationship, and starts to behave in a way that shows they want to end the relationship. They only have to want to live "separate and apart" from their partner to legally separate. Separation and divorce are two different things.

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A separation agreement, sometimes called a domestic contract, is a written contract that partners can make after they have separated or divorced that says how they will deal with their issues. For example, it can say how much spousal support and child support one partner will pay the other, and who will have custody of or access to the children. A separation agreement can deal with some or all of your family law issues.

Title: serious crime
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A permanent resident can be ordered deported if they’re convicted of a serious crime. A crime is serious if either:

  • the maximum sentence that the law says you can get is 10 or more years in prison, even if you get a shorter sentence or no time at all in prison, or
  • the sentence that you actually get is more than 6 months in prison or jail.
Title: serve
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Give or deliver a document to someone. Usually the law says how you can give or deliver the document, who has to get it, and the deadline by which they have to get it.

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