Trial De Novo Definition and Legal Meaning

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

What is Trial De Novo?

It is a type of appeal in which the appeal court holds a trial as if a prior trial had never been held.It is often conducted in appeals from small claims court judgements.

History and Meaning of Trial De Novo

Trial de novo is a Latin phrase that means "new trial." In legal terms, it refers to an appellate court's ability to hold a new trial as if the original trial never happened. This type of appeal allows both parties to present their case again, including new evidence that may have come to light since the initial trial. Trial de novo is often used in appeals from small claims court judgments, but it can apply to any case in which a party wants a fresh start in a new trial.

Examples of Trial De Novo

Here are a few examples of how the term "trial de novo" might be used:

  • A plaintiff loses a case in small claims court and decides to appeal the decision. If granted a trial de novo, both the plaintiff and defendant would have the chance to present their case again to a higher court.
  • In a criminal case, a defendant who has been convicted of a crime might appeal for a trial de novo if they believe they did not receive a fair trial in the first instance.
  • A party may request trial de novo after an arbitration proceeding fails to produce a binding resolution.
  • Insurance companies may include a clause that allows for trial de novo in the event that an arbitrator's decision is unsatisfactory to one of the parties.

Legal Terms Similar to Trial De Novo

  • Appellate Jurisdiction: the power of a higher court to review and revise a lower court's decision, typically via appeal.
  • Appeal: a legal process in which a party seeks a higher court's review of a lower court's decision.
  • Retrial: a new trial that occurs as a result of an event that caused the first trial to be declared invalid or void.