grandfather clause
grandfather clause n: a clause creating an exemption (as from a law or regulation) based on circumstances previously existing; specif: a provision inserted in the constitutions of some southern states after the Civil War requiring high standards of literacy and substantial property qualifications of voters except for descendants of men voting before 1867

Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of Law. . 1996.

grandfather clause
n.
A clause in a new statute that exempts those who are already engaged in the enterprise or activity it regulates from the new requirements.

The Essential Law Dictionary. — Sphinx Publishing, An imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. . 2008.


grandfather clause
1) A provision in a new law that limits its application to individuals or businesses that are new to the system, while those already in the system are exempt from the new regulation. For example, when Washington, DC, raised its drinking age from 18 to 21, people between those ages, who could drink under the old law, were allowed to retain the right to legally consume alcohol under a grandfather clause.
2) A provision of several Southern states' constitutions in the late 1800s designed to to keep blacks from voting; now unconstitutional, these grandfather clauses denied the vote to people who were illiterate or did not own property, unless their descendants had voted before 1867.
Category: Business, LLCs & Corporations
Category: Personal Finance & Retirement
Category: Real Estate & Rental Property
Category: Small Claims Court & Lawsuits

Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary. . 2009.


grandfather clause
n. A legislative provision stating that anyone who has previously enjoyed a particular status may continue to do so, despite a change in the applicable law or rules denying that status to anyone newly applying for it.

Webster's New World Law Dictionary. . 2000.


grandfather clause
A portion of a statute that provides that the law is not applicable in certain circumstances due to preexisting facts.

Dictionary from West's Encyclopedia of American Law. 2005.


grandfather clause
A portion of a statute that provides that the law is not applicable in certain circumstances due to preexisting facts.

Short Dictionary of (mostly American) Legal Terms and Abbreviations.

grandfather clause
n.
   1) a clause in a statute or zoning ordinance (particularly a city ordinance) which permits the operator of a business or a land owner to be exempt from restrictions on use if the business or property continues to be used as it was when the law was adopted. Upon passage of the statute or regulation, the specific property may be referred to as "grandfathered in." Example: the city passes an ordinance which does not permit retail businesses in a particular zone, but any existing store can continue to function in the area, even with new owners. However, if the premises stop being a retail outlet then the grandfather clause will lapse.
   2) among the state constitutional amendments passed by southern states in the late 1800s to keep blacks from voting, "grandfather clauses" denied voter registration to people who were illiterate, who did not own property or could not pass a test on citizenship obligations, unless their grandfathers had served in the Confederate Army. Such laws are now unconstitutional.

Law dictionary. . 2013.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • grandfather clause — ☆ grandfather clause n. 1. a former law in some Southern states waiving electoral literacy requirements for those whose forebears voted before the Civil War, thus keeping the franchise for illiterate whites 2. a clause in some legislation… …   English World dictionary

  • grandfather clause — An existing condition, usually in a contract or other agreement, that cannot be changed, even if the conditions are changed for others …   The small dictionary of idiomes

  • Grandfather clause — A grandfather clause is a term used in U.S. English for an exception that allows an old rule to continue to apply to some existing situations, when a new rule will apply to all future situations. It is often used as a verb: to grandfather means… …   Wikipedia

  • grandfather clause — A provision included in a new rule or regulation that exempts a business that is already conducting business in the area addressed by the regulation from penalty or restriction . Bloomberg Financial Dictionary * * * grandfather clause grandfather …   Financial and business terms

  • grandfather clause — 1. U.S. Hist. a clause in the constitutions of some Southern states after 1890 intended to permit whites to vote while disfranchising blacks: it exempted from new literacy and property qualifications for voting those men entitled to vote before… …   Universalium

  • grandfather clause — noun A clause or section, especially in a law, granting exceptions for people or organisations who were affected by previous conditions. Many building codes include a grandfather clause exempting older buildings until some amount of remodeling… …   Wiktionary

  • grandfather clause — Provision in a new law or regulation exempting those already in or a part of the existing system which is being regulated. An exception to a restriction that allows all those already doing something to continue doing it even if they would be… …   Black's law dictionary

  • grandfather clause — Provision in a new law or regulation exempting those already in or a part of the existing system which is being regulated. An exception to a restriction that allows all those already doing something to continue doing it even if they would be… …   Black's law dictionary

  • Grandfather Clause — An exemption that allows persons or entities to continue with an activity they were engaging in before it became illegal through a change in regulation. For example, imagine there s a passing of a new law that states restaurants can serve only… …   Investment dictionary

  • grandfather clause — a written statement that protects an employee, a right, a privilege, etc.    They can t demote him or delete his position because he has a grandfather clause …   English idioms

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