Overrule Definition and Legal Meaning

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

What is Overrule?

It refers to the decision of the judge to allow or disallow certain action in court. For instance if an attorney A has put forward certain question to the witness during the trial, to which the other attorney B objects, the judge passes the decision against the objection of Attorney B and is said to have overruled the objection and thus attorney A goes ahead with the questioning with the witness.Alternatively if Judge agrees to the objection of Attorney B, it is said to be Objection ” Sustained” thereby not allowing the Attorney A to continue its questioning. 2. It also refers to the nullifying or declaring void, the lower courts decision by the higher courts.

History and Meaning of Overrule

Overrule is a term used in the legal system that refers to the decision of a judge to disallow or nullify an action in court. The idea behind overruling is to ensure that a fair and just legal process is being followed during trials. The process of overruling comes into play when there is a debate between the opposing parties in court, and a decision needs to be made to resolve the matter.

Examples of Overrule

  1. In a criminal trial, the defense lawyer could raise an objection if the prosecution lawyer asked a leading question, and the judge may choose to overrule the objection, allowing the questioning to continue.
  2. In an administrative hearing, an official could overrule a decision that was made at a lower level of administration.
  3. In a civil trial, a judge could overrule an objection made by an attorney if they feel that the objection is not valid, and allow the question to be answered.

Legal Terms Similar to Overrule

  1. Sustain - if a judge agrees with a party's objection, they would sustain the objection, disallowing the action in question.
  2. Inadmissible - evidence or testimony that cannot be used in court.
  3. Objection - when one attorney disagrees with a question or testimony put forward by the opposing side in a trial.