Definitions from Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition and Ballentine's Law Dictionary as are available for each term in each dictionary.
  • Ballentine's Law Dictionary

    One appointed by a court to take charge of a person, his property or both. See 67 Iowa, 460, 23 N. W. 746, 25 N. W. 735.

  • Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition

    A guardian is a person lawfully invested with the power, and charged with the duty, of taking care of the person and managing the property and rights of another person, who, for some peculiarity of status or defect of age, understanding or self-control, is considered incapable of administering his own affairs. Bass v. Cook, 4 Port (Ala.) 392; Sparhawk v. Allen, 21 N. H. 27; Burger v. Frakes, 67 Iowa, 460, 23 N. W. 746. A guardian is a person appointed to take care of the person or property of another. Civ. Code Cal. § 236. One who legally has the care and management of the person, or the estate) or both, of a child during its minority. Reeve, Dom. Rei. 311. This term might be appropriately used to designate the person charged with the care and control of idiots, lunatics, habitual drimkards, spendthrifts, and the like; but such person is, under many of the statutory systems authorizing the appointment, styled "committee," and in common usage the name "guardian" is applied only to one having the care and management of a minor. The name "curator" is given in some of the states to a person having the control of a minor's estate, without that of his person; and this is also the usage of the civil law. Classification, A testamentary guardian is one appointed by the deed or last will of the child's father; while a guardian by election is one chosen by the infant himself in a case where he would otherwise be without -one. A general guardian is one who has the general care and control of the person and estate of his ward ; while a special guardian is one who has special or limited powers and duties with respect to his ward, e. g., a guardian who has the custody of the estate but not of the person, or vice versa, or a guardian ad litem. A domestic guardian is one appointed at the place where the ward is legally domiciled; while a foreign guardian derives his authority from appointment by the courts of another state, and generally has charge only of such property as may be located within the jurisdiction of the power appointing him. A guardian ad litem is a guardian appointed by a court of justice to prosecute or defend for an infant in any suit to which he may be a party. 2 Steph. Comm. 342 Most commonly appointed for infant defendants; infant pinintiffs generally suing by next friend. This kind of guardian has no right to interfere with the infant's person or property. 2 Steph. Comm 343; Richter v. Leiby, 107 Wis. 404, 83 N. W. 694. A guardian by appointment of court is the most important species of guardian in modem law, having custody of the infant until the attainment of full age. It has in England in a man ner superseded the guardian in socage, and in the United States the guardian by nature also. The appointment is made by a court of chancery, or probate or orphans' court. 2 Steph. Comm. 341; 2 Kent, Comm. 226 A guardian by nature is the father, and, on his death, the mother, of a child. 1 Bl. Comm. 461; 2 Kent, Comm. 219. This guardianship extends only to the custody of the person of the child to the age of twenty-one years. Sometimes called "nafural guardian," but this is rather a popular than a technical mode of expression. 2 Steph. Comm. 337; Kline v. Beebe, 6 Conn. 500; Mauro v. Ritchie, 16 Fed. Cas. 1171. A guardian by statute is a guardian appointed for a child by the deed or last will of the father, and who has the custody bath of his person and estate until the attainment of full age. This kind of guardianship is founded on the statute of 12 Car. II. c. 24, and has been pretty extensively adopted in this country. 1 Bl. Comm. 462 ; 2 Steph. Comm. 339, 340 ; 2 Kent, Comm. 224-226; Huson v. Green, 88 Ga. 722, 16 S. E. 255. A guardian for nurture is the father, or, at his decease, the mother, of a child. This kind of guardianship extends only to the person, and determines when the infant arrives at the age of fourteen. 2 Kent, Comm. 22l; 1 Bl. Comm. 461; 2 Steph. Comm 338; Mauro v. Ritchie, 16 Fed. Cas. Il7l; Arthurs' Appeal, i Grant Can. (Pa.) 56. Guardian in chivahy. In the tenure by knight's service, in the feudal law, if the heir of the feud was under the age of twenty-one, being a male, or fourteen, being a female, the lord was entitled to the wardship (and marriage) of the heir, and was called the "guardian in chivalry." This wardship consisted in having the custody of the body and lands of such heir, without any account of the profits. 2 Bl. Comm. 67. Guardian in aocaae. At the common law, this was a snecies of guardian who had the custody of lands coming, to the infant 'Ey descent, as nishiof the infant's -person."until the latter macHea-the age of fourteen. Such guardian was alleys "the next nr kin-to whom the inheritance cnnnut baihiV descend." 1 BlAComm. 46l ; 2 StepE. Comm. 338 ; Byrne v. Van Hoesen, 5 Johns. (N. Y.) 67; Van Doren v. Everitt, 5 N. J. Law, 462, 8 Am. Dec. 615; Combs v. Jackson, 2 Wend. (N. Y.) 157, 19 Am. Dec. 568. Natural guardian. The father of a child, or the mother if the father be dead.
    —Guardian de l'eglise. A church-warden.
    — Guardian de l'estemary. The warden of the stannaries or mines in Cornwall, etc.
    —Guardian of the peace. A warden or conservator of the peace.
    —Guardian of the poor. In English law. A person elected by the ratepayers of a parish to have the charge and management of the parish work-house or union. See 3 Steph. Comm. 203, 215.
    —Guardian of the spiritualities. The person to whom the spiritual jurisdiction of.any diocese is committed during the vacancy of the see.
    —Guardian of the temporalities. The person to whose custody a vacant see or abbey was committed by the crown.
    —Guardian or warden, of the Cinque Ports. A magistrate who has the jurisdiction of the ports or havens which are calied the "Cinque Porte," (q. v.) This office was first created in England, in imitation of the Roman policy, to strengthen the sea-coasts against enemies, etc.