Judgment Notwithstanding The Verdict Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Judgment Notwithstanding The Verdict, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Judgment Notwithstanding The Verdict?

It refers to the jury’s ruling reversed in favour of the loosing party of the lawsuit,by the judge, because he feels that the points considered by the jury were not based on the facts and evidences and was doing injustice to the party. The judge has the power to reverse the verdict of he jury and does it for the “matter of law”

History and Meaning of Judgment Notwithstanding The Verdict

Judgment Notwithstanding The Verdict (JNOV) is a legal term used in a civil case to refer to a decision made by the judge to overrule the jury's verdict, even if the jury has made a decision in the defendant's favor. The judge may take this action if he/she believes that the jury's verdict was based on insufficient, incorrect or illegal evidence, or if the verdict was against the weight of the evidence presented in the trial. JNOV is also referred to as a "judgment as a matter of law."

The United States Federal Rules of Civil Procedure allow both the plaintiff and the defendant to file a motion for JNOV. If a defendant wins the case and the judge overrules the jury's verdict, it does not necessarily mean the defendant is free of any liability. It only means that the verdict cannot be used as evidence against them, and the case may be retried or an appeal may be filed.

Examples of Judgment Notwithstanding The Verdict

Here are a few examples of how JNOV can be used in different legal situations.

  1. In a personal injury case, the jury may have found that the defendant was not liable for the plaintiff's injuries, but the judge disagrees, believing there was clear evidence proving negligence. In this case, the judge may grant JNOV and hold the defendant responsible for the plaintiff's injuries.

  2. In a breach of contract case, the jury may find that the plaintiff did not follow the terms of the contract, but the judge may determine that the terms were ambiguous or incomplete. In this case, the judge can grant JNOV and decide that the defendant breached the contract.

  3. A jury may find that a criminal defendant is not guilty of a charge, but the judge may grant JNOV if there was a procedural or evidentiary error that the judge believes the jury did not take into account.

Legal Terms Similar to Judgment Notwithstanding The Verdict

There are a few legal terms that are similar to JNOV that are worth keeping in mind, such as:

  1. Directed verdict: This is a similar type of judgment often requested by a defendant, in which the judge takes the question of the plaintiff's case away from the jury and evaluates the evidence, ruling that the defendant did not breach any laws.

  2. Motion for a new trial: This motion is filed by either party after a verdict is handed down. This motion does not overrule the verdict, but may suggest that the verdict was flawed, and therefore a new trial is necessary.

  3. Summary judgment: This type of pre-trial judgment is made in cases where the evidence is overwhelming for one party or the other.