Nihil Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Nihil, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Nihil?

Latin word which meaninf “nothing”. It is a word used for a statement filed by the police for their inablity or unsuccessful attempts to issue a warrant, writ or notice to someone.

History and Meaning of Nihil

The term "Nihil" originates from the Latin word that translates to "nothing." In legal contexts, it is used to refer to a statement filed by the police. Nihil serves as an indicator of their inability or failure to execute a warrant, writ, or notice to an individual. The term usually appears in the phrase "nihil habet," which means that the individual in question has nothing.

Examples of Nihil

Here are a few examples of when the term "Nihil" might be used in a legal context:

  • When a police officer tries to serve a warrant, but the individual is not at home and cannot be found, they might file a statement of Nihil to indicate their inability to serve the warrant.
  • If a court issues a writ of summons to a defendant who no longer resides at their last known address, the plaintif's attorney may file a statement of Nihil to show that the summons was unsuccessful.
  • Similarly, if a landlord tries to evict a tenant but is unable to locate them, they may file a statement of Nihil to show that the tenant has "nothing" (or no presence) in that location.

Legal Terms Similar to Nihil

A few related legal terms that you might encounter include:

  • Nolle Prosequi - meaning "unwilling to pursue" or "unwilling to prosecute," this term refers to a decision by a prosecutor to drop charges against a defendant.
  • Quashed - If a court decides to quash a summons or subpoena, it is rendering it void or null. The order might come as a result of a motion by the defendant or on a judge's own initiative.
  • In Absentia - Used to describe legal proceedings that take place without the presence of one of the main parties (such as the defendant or plaintiff).