Warrant, in law, a written order issued by a judge or magistrate that directs a police officer (or in some instances a citizen) to perform a certain act that would otherwise be illegal. Warrants are issued in both criminal and civil cases as a result of an indictment or upon a complaint or affidavit sworn by an injured party. The most common warrant is one directing the arrest of a person accused of a crime. Other warrants include those directing search of a building, seizure of property, or extradition. A warrant is not necessary for arrest when a police officer has probable cause to believe a crime has been committed.
If you need an analogy for PRISM, one apt comparison would be to HBO's show "The Wire." Just swap "U.S. government" for Baltimore police, "Internet data" for phone wiretaps, and name the target as "really anyone" instead of drug traffickers. Got it?
You probably hear about lawsuits a lot -- neighbors suing neighbors over an overgrown tree, customers suing grocery stores over spilt milk, employees suing employers over unlawful termination. Whatï¿½s involved in taking someone to court? Find out all about lawsuits and see how a civil case unfolds.