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A person, especially an infant or incompetent, placed by the court in the care of a guardian.


Guardian and Ward.

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


n. 1) a person (usually a minor) who has a guardian appointed by the court to care for and take responsibility for that person. A governmental agency may take temporary custody of a minor for his/her protection and care if the child is suffering from parental neglect or abuse, or has been in trouble with the law. Such a child is a "ward of the court" (if the custody is court-ordered) or a "ward of the state." 2) a political division of a city, much like a council district. (See: guardian)

Copyright © 1981-2005 by Gerald N. Hill and Kathleen T. Hill. All Right reserved.


of court see WARDSHIP.
Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006

WARD, domestic relations. An infant placed by authority of law under the care of a guardian.
     2. While under the care of a guardian a ward can make no contract whatever binding upon him, except for necessaries. When the relation of guardian and ward ceases, the latter is entitled to have an account of the administration of his estate from the former. During the existence of this relation, the ward is under the subjection of his guardian, who stands in loco parentis.

WARD, a district. Most cities are divided for various purposes into districts, each of which is called a ward.

WARD, police. To watch in the day time, for the purpose of preventing violations of the law.
     2. It is the duty of all police officers and constables to keep ward in their respective districts.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
By the late fourteenth century, the development of the enfeoffment-to-use, made use of by the lower orders of landowners since mid-century, had clearly begun to be used by members of the nobility as well, thereby lessening even further the value of wardships returning to the king -- and therefore also often the profitability of connected marriages.(174) But, at least for the majority of Edward III's reign, the king's rights over wardships and marriages of his tenants-in-chief of the realm remained a crucial part of his plans for his new men.
(15) Often, in the case of wardships, whether the dower portion later also came to an individual was dependent upon how generous the king was feeling.
(42) Indeed, wardships seem to have been the perfect time to assert dormant rights.
This did not, however, hold true for royal use of wardships. See n.
(142) According to Walker, "because of the clarity of the royal claim and the efficiency of the administration, the king was rarely put to suit about wardships." S.S.
(169) This goes against, at least in the case of wardships, Ormrod's assertion that Edward III "took full advantage of the deaths of his tenants-in-chief in order to increase the short-term profits of feudalism." W.M.
Wardships p= part of the estate r= rent or "lease at farm" w= whole estate c= commitment(payments) d= dower g= grant(free of payments) i= wardship due to idiocy s= sale or payment of large fine j= joint control a= appointment/stewardship Cs.= Countess E.= earl Date Name Type Estate 13/01/31 T.
Straight gifts were often the most lucrative form of wardship patronage, being, as they were, free from all charges save those connected with the upkeep of the land and provision for the heir.(17) As a result, the holder of such a wardship could count on making a profit off all normal and feudal revenues connected with the estate.
The ability to break up estates in this manner, then, along with the fact that the rule of prerogative wardship brought most sizable estates into the king's custody at some point or other during the reign, not only helped the king to favour more men, but also to "tailor" his wardship patronage to fit them.
Moreover, even those with larger estates had a vested interest in ensuring that the properties in wardship in their spheres of influence were firmly under their control, both for their own peace of mind and that of the members of their affinities.