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Ottawa County Legal Self-Help Center

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W

WAIVE
To give up a right, claim, or privilege.
WAIVER
The act of waiving or giving up a right, claim, or privilege.
WAGE WITHHOLDING
A legal process that takes part of a person's wages or income on a regular schedule. The deductions (money taken) are used to pay a debt like child support. Also called "income withholding."
WALKER HEARING
A court hearing to decide whether a defendant's statements made to police can be used at his or her trial. The judge must decide whether the police officer gave the defendant his or her Miranda warnings or the defendant about his or her rights and whether the defendant talked with police and answered their questions voluntarily (of his or her own free choice) and or was forced to answer their questions. If the statement was not "voluntary," it cannot be used at his or her trial.
WARD
A minor or "legally incapacitated person" who has a court-ordered guardian taking care of him or her. See MCL 700.12(2).
WARRANT
A document or paper issued by a judge or magistrate that allows the police to arrest a person or search a place.
WARRANT RECALL
When a judge cancels a warrant, it must be taken out of Michigan's law enforcement database. This process deletes the information from the database so that people aren't arrested by mistake or when there's no reason for them to be arrested.
WIDOW
A woman whose husband is dead and who has not remarried. A man whose wife is dead is called a "widower."
WIDOW'S ELECTION
A widow's choice whether to take what her husband gave her in his will or what she is entitled to by law. Under Michigan law, a spouse is entitled to a certain amount of his or her spouse's property when the spouse dies. If a woman is unhappy with what her husband left her in his will, she can enforce her right to the share of his property set by law.
WILL
A written document or paper in which a person divides his or her property and money that takes effect when he or she dies. There are specific rules to follow to make a valid (or enforceable) will. A will includes any CODICIL.
WITH PREJUDICE
A declaration (or judgment) that dismisses all rights. In terms of a dismissal, "with prejudice" means that the plaintiff cannot file the case ever again (or a case with the exact same issues and people involved). In a criminal case, it means that the prosecution cannot bring the same case against the defendant again.
WITHOUT PREJUDICE
A declaration (or judgment) that no rights or privileges of the party concerned are waived or lost. In terms of a dismissal, "without prejudice" means that the plaintiff can file a lawsuit based on the same claims in the future, although the current case is over. It applies to criminal cases too - the prosecution may bring the charge against the defendant again.
WITNESS
A person who sees or hears an event or act and then tells what he or she has seen or heard while under oath during a court hearing or trial.
WRIT
A kind of court order that gives power to someone to do a specific act or requires the person to do a specific act.