Duhaime's Law Dictionary


Videlicet Definition:

Latin: to wit or that is to say.

Related Terms: Viz

Viz., which is the abbreviation of videlicet, is much more commonly used.

It is often found in legal documents to advise that what follows provides more detail about a preceding general statement.

For example:

"The defendant committed adultery; viz., on April 15th, at approximately 10:30 pm, he had sexual intercourse with Ms Jane Doe."

In The People v Wilson, Justice House of the Supreme Court of Illinois wrote:

"Where an alleged fact is preceded by "to-wit," it is said to be laid under a videlicet.

"The precise and legal use of a videlicet in every species of pleading is to enable the pleader to isolate, to distinguish and to fix with certainty that, which before, was general, and which, without such explanation, might with equal propriety have been applied to different objects."

In State v Sudrala, Justice Rentto of the Supreme Court of South Dakota used the term as follows:

"The information on which he was prosecuted, so far as here material, alleged that he unlawfully sold intoxicating liquor, to wit: one quart of Stilbrook whiskey. The principal complaint of defendant on this appeal arises by reason of the allegation made under the videlicet—that is, the portion of the quoted language set out after the term to wit."

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