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An individual who was present during an event and is called by a party in a lawsuit to testify as to what he or she observed.

The state and Federal Rules of Evidence, which govern the admissibility of evidence in civil actions and criminal proceedings, impose requirements that must be met before the testimony of an eyewitness can be presented during trial. For example, an eyewitness must be competent (legally fit) and qualified to testify in court. A witness who was intoxicated or insane at the time the controverted event occurred will be prevented from testifying, regardless of whether he or she was the only eyewitness to the occurrence.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


n. a person who has actually seen an event and can so testify in court.

Copyright © 1981-2005 by Gerald N. Hill and Kathleen T. Hill. All Right reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Rahila Wakil also claimed that the Pakistan based eyewitnesses were not issued summons and they were willing to appear before the court.
This came up in the hearing as the state lawyer told the statements of seven eyewitnesses have been recorded.
It was learnt that [previous] eyewitnesses were also called for the third time at Yousafwala police station to record their statements but none of them came [as they had already recorded their statements].
On the refusal of the eyewitnesses to visit Police Lines, the JIT members left the site of the incident.
From blaming political parties to administration for allowing the celebrations near the railway track in Amritsar's Choura Bazar, the eyewitnesses were in a state of shock.
Out of 290 exoneree cases reviewed, almost all of the eyewitnesses
(65) This apathy and lack of urgency within the federal system to account for science is especially dangerous in the context of eyewitness identification procedures because assumptions about eyewitnesses in traditional jurisprudence are not only lagging or incomplete, they are often entirely opposite from the truth.
Seize cook!" From our three eyewitnesses we now know that a murder was committed and we need to arrest the cook!
Eyewitnesses said that gunfire continues between security forces and attackers and the area has been cordoned off by police, Tolonews reported.
The guidelines, the first the DOJ has issued for eyewitness identification, recommended law enforcement personnel investigating cases should not be the ones to administer photo lineups to eyewitnesses. The DOJ wants eye witnesses to look through lineups with officers who have no knowledge of the case in question.
The court does "not address whether this new rule should apply to in-court identifications of the defendant by eyewitnesses who were not present during the commission of the crime but who may have observed the defendant before or after the commission of the crime, such as where an eyewitness identifies the defendant as the person he or she saw inside a store near the crime scene a short time before or after the commission of the crime." Id.