warrant,n.1. A writ directing or authorizing someone to do an act, esp. one directing a law enforcer to make an arrest, a search, or a seizure.

administrative warrant.A warrant issued by a judge at the request of an administrative agency. • This type of warrant is sought to conduct an administrative search. See administrative search under SEARCH. — Also termed administrative search warrant. [Cases: Searches and Seizures 129. C.J.S. Searches and Seizures § 189.] anticipatory search warrant.See SEARCH WARRANT.

arrest warrant.A warrant, issued only on probable cause, directing a law-enforcement officer to arrest and bring a person to court. — Also termed warrant of arrest. [Cases: Criminal Law 215–220. C.J.S. Criminal Law §§ 334–335, 337–338.] bench warrant.See BENCH WARRANT. blanket search warrant.See SEARCH WARRANT.

border warrant.A writ of arrest or other warrant concerning debts owed, issued on one side of a national border for execution on the other side; esp., such a warrant issued on either side of the border between England and Scotland.

commitment warrant.See warrant of commitment.

death warrant.A warrant authorizing a warden or other prison official to carry out a death sentence. • A death warrant typically sets the time and place for a prisoner’s execution. [Cases: Sentencing and Punishment  1795. C.J.S. Criminal Law §§ 1591–1592.]

distress warrant. 1. A warrant authorizing a court officer to distrain property. See DISTRESS. 2. A writ allowing an officer to seize a tenant’s goods for failing to pay rent due to the landlord. [Cases: Landlord and Tenant  270(6). C.J.S. Landlord and Tenant § 688.]

escape warrant. 1. A warrant directing a peace officer to rearrest an escaped prisoner. 2.Hist. A warrant granted to retake a prisoner who had escaped from a royal prison after being committed there. • The warrant was obtained on affidavit from the judge of the court in which the action had been brought, and was directed to all sheriffs throughout England, commanding them to retake and commit the prisoner to the nearest jail.

extradition warrant.A warrant for the return of a fugitive from one jurisdiction to another. Cf. rendition warrant. [Cases: Extradition and Detainers  12, 36.]

fugitive warrant.A warrant that authorizes law-enforcement officers to take into custody a person who has fled from one state to another to avoid prosecution or punishment.

general warrant. 1.Hist. A warrant issued by the English Secretary of State for the arrest of the author, printer, or publisher of a seditious libel, without naming the persons to be arrested. • General warrants were banned by Par-liament in 1766.

“A practice had obtained in the secretaries office ever since the restoration, grounded on some clauses in the acts for regulating the press, of issuing general warrants to take up (without naming any person in particular) the authors, printers and publishers of such obscene or seditious libels, as were particularly specified in the warrant. When those acts expired in 1694, the same practice was inadvertently continued, in every reign and under every administration, except the four last years of queen Anne, down to the year 1763: when such a warrant being issued to apprehend the authors, printers and publishers of a certain seditious libel, its validity was disputed; and the warrant was adjudged by the whole court of king’s bench to be void, in the case of Money v. Leach. Trin. 5 Geo. III. B.R. After which the issuing of such general warrants was declared illegal by a vote of the house of commons.” 4 William Blackstone, Commentaries on the Laws of England 288 n.i (1769).

2. A warrant that gives a law-enforcement officer broad authority to search and seize unspecified places or persons; a search or arrest warrant that lacks a sufficiently particularized description of the person or thing to be seized or the place to be searched. • General warrants are unconstitutional because they fail to meet the Fourth Amend-ment’s specificity requirements.

“But though there are precedents of general warrants to search all suspected places for stolen goods, these are not at common law legal, because it would be extremely dangerous to leave it to the discretion of a common officer to arrest what person, or search what houses he thinks fit. And in the great case of Money v. Leach, it was declared by Lord Mansfield, that a warrant to search for, and secure the person and papers of the author, printer and publisher of a libel, is not only illegal in itself, but is so improper on the face of it, that it will afford no justification to an officer acting under its sanction. And by two resolutions of the House of Commons such general warrants were declared to be invalid.” 1 Joseph Chitty, A Practical Treatise on the Criminal Law 66 (2d ed. 1826).

John Doe warrant.A warrant for the arrest of a person whose name is unknown. • A John Doe warrant may be issued, for example, for a person known by sight but not by name. This type of warrant is permitted in a few states, but not in federal practice.

justice’s warrant.See peace warrant.

landlord’s warrant.A type of distress warrant from a landlord to seize the tenant’s goods, to sell them at public sale, and to compel the tenant to pay rent or observe some other lease stipulation.See DISTRAIN; DISTRESS.

no-knock search warrant.See SEARCH WARRANT. outstanding warrant.An unexecuted arrest warrant.

peace warrant.A warrant issued by a justice of the peace for the arrest of a specified person. — Also termed justice’s warrant.

possessory warrant.A process, similar to a search warrant, used under certain circumstances by a plaintiff to search for and recover property wrongfully taken or held by another.

preliminary warrant.A warrant to bring a person to court for a preliminary hearing on probable cause.

probation-violation warrant.See violation warrant.

rendition warrant.A warrant requesting the extradition of a fugitive from one jurisdiction to

another. Cf. extra-dition warrant. [Cases: Extradition and Detainers  16, 36.] search warrant.See SEARCH WARRANT.

surreptitious-entry warrant.A warrant that authorizes a law officer to enter and observe an

ongoing criminal operation (such as an illegal drug lab).

tax warrant.An official process that is issued for collecting unpaid taxes and under which

property may be seized and sold.

valid warrant.A warrant that is regular in form and is issued by a court, body, or official having both the authority to issue the warrant for the purpose stated and jurisdiction over the person named, all the requisite proceedings for its proper issuance having taken place.

violation warrant.A warrant issued for the arrest of a convict who has violated the terms of probation, parole, or supervised release. — Also termed (narrowly) probation-violation warrant. warrant of arrest.See arrest warrant.

warrant of commitment.A warrant committing a person to custody. — Also termed commitment warrant.

warrant upon indictment or information.An arrest warrant issued at the request of the prosecutor for a defendant named in an indictment or information. Fed. R. Crim. P. 9.

  1. A document conferring authority, esp. to pay or receive money. deposit warrant.A warehouse receipt used as security for a loan. dock warrant.See DOCK RECEIPT.

interest warrant.An order drawn by a corporation on its bank directing the bank to pay interest to a bondholder.

municipal warrant.An order to draw money from a municipality’s treasury for the payment of the municipality’s expenses or debts. [Cases: Municipal Corporations  895. C.J.S. Municipal Corporations § 1636.]

tax-anticipation warrant.A warrant that is issued to raise public money and that is payable out of tax receipts when collected. treasury warrant.An order in the form of a check on which government disbursements are paid. [Cases: United States  87.]

  1. An order by which a drawer authorizes someone to pay a particular sum of money to another. [Cases: Bills and Notes  1. C.J.S. Bills and Notes; Letters of Credit§§ 2–3, 5–6, 8–9, 17–18, 22.]

county warrant.A warrant drawn by a county official, directing the county treasurer to pay a sum of money out of county funds to bearer, to a named individual, or to the named individual’s order. [Cases: Counties  163. C.J.S. Counties § 208.]

4.Securities. An instrument granting the holder a long-term (usu. a five- to ten-year) option to buy shares at a fixed price. • It is commonly attached to preferred stocks or bonds. — Also termed stock warrant; subscription warrant. [Cases: Corporations  72. C.J.S. Corporations §§ 146–147.]

warrant,vb.1. To guarantee the security of (realty or personalty, or a person) <the store warranted the safety of the customer’s jewelry>.2. To give warranty of (title); to give warranty of title to (a person) <the seller warrants the property’s title to the buyer>. [Cases: Covenants  45, 67. C.J.S. Covenants §§ 22, 29.] 3. To promise or guarantee <warrant payment>.

“Even today lawyers use the verb ‘to warrant’ meaning to promise without necessarily indicating that the promise is a warranty.” P.S. Atiyah, An Introduction to the Law of Contract 145 n.1 (3d ed. 1981).

4. To justify <the conduct warrants a presumption of negligence>.5. To authorize <the manager warranted the search of the premises>.
[Blacks Law 8th]