Sequester Definition and Legal Meaning

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

What is Sequester?

(v) Sequester is the process of isolating a person, specifically a jury commission etc., who were entrusted with an assignment of deciding an issue, with a purpose to prevent such persons from being influenced by external factors and opinions.

History and Meaning of Sequester

Sequester is a legal term that dates back to the 14th century. In its original usage, it referred to the act of seizing property or assets that were subject to dispute. Over time, the meaning evolved to include the act of isolating a group of people, such as a jury or witnesses, to prevent them from being influenced by outside factors. The purpose of sequestering a jury is to ensure that the jury is not biased and that they make their decision based only on the facts presented in court.

Examples of Sequester

Here are a few examples of how the term sequester might be used in different contexts:

  • During a high-profile trial, the jury may be sequestered to prevent them from being influenced by media coverage or other outside opinions.
  • In a research study, participants might be sequestered in order to control for environmental factors that could influence the outcome of the study.
  • After a natural disaster or public health emergency, people in affected areas might be sequestered in order to prevent the spread of disease.

Legal Terms Similar to Sequester

Here are a few related legal terms that are similar to sequester:

  • Contempt of court: Disobeying or disrespecting the court can lead to a charge of contempt of court, which can result in fines or even jail time.
  • Jury nullification: When a jury disregards the law and acquits a defendant despite evidence of guilt, it is known as jury nullification.
  • Subpoena: A subpoena is a legal order requiring a person to appear in court or provide evidence to the court.
  • Witness tampering: Tampering with a witness, either by threatening or bribing them, is a serious crime that can result in severe penalties.