material witness


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material witness

n. a person who apparently has information about the subject matter of a lawsuit or criminal prosecution which is significant enough to affect the outcome of the case or trial. Thus, the court must make every reasonable effort to allow such a witness to testify, including a continuance (delay in a trial) to accommodate him/her if late or temporarily unavailable. (See: material, witness, trial)

References in periodicals archive ?
The [US] government systematically abused the material witness process after September 11," deputy director of the ACLU Immigrants' Rights Project Lee Gelernt said in a statement.
Under these circumstances, the examination of a material witness is 'necessary to the attainment of justice.
Regardless of the specific underlying constitutional standards, material witness detention authority does not apply to the use of 48hour holds, nor does it provide authority for such holds under anything less than probable cause.
His complaint alleged that federal officials, acting pursuant to a policy devised by Ashcroft, were misusing material witness warrants in cases where they had no genuine interest in securing testimony, but really wanted opportunities to investigate suspected terrorists whom they did not have probable cause to arrest.
He had to cut out his own running at Chepstow last time, but it probably helped that he was able to get a lead from Material Witness today.
Initial content also includes articles on: material witness detention in the 19th Century; arguments against moralistic legislation; litigating under the rational bias test; and, a defense of the Electoral College.
Judge Ringer ruled that Mr Nixon was 'a material witness for the defence.
Under the material witness laws, individuals who have not committed any crime themselves may nonetheless be detained for extended periods of time (Levenson, 2002).
3199) as reported by the House Judiciary Committee called for a periodic review and reports on the use of the material witness statute.
Newman, filed a motion in the Manhattan federal district court requesting that the material witness warrant be vacated.
Attorney Brandon Mayfield of Portland, Oregon, was held for days last May as a material witness in the Madrid bombings "after the FBI mistakenly said his fingerprint matched one found on a plastic bag connected to the deadly terror bombings.
But he was smiling again after Golden Sahara got the better of a tough battle with Material Witness in the De Boer European Breeders Fund Classified Stakes.