Writ Of Coram Nobis Definition and Legal Meaning
On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Writ Of Coram Nobis, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.
What is Writ Of Coram Nobis?
(n) When an upper court consider certain facts which are not considered by the lower court in an appeal filed against its order, where in the appeal court reaches a different opinion than that of the subordinate court such recording of the opinion and the writ order is known as writ of coram nobis, meaning noted by the judges present
History and Meaning of Writ Of Coram Nobis
The writ of coram nobis is a legal term that comes from Latin and means "something previously unknown." It is a legal procedure used to correct a fundamental error in a prior court proceeding, usually a criminal one. It allows a party to ask the court to reconsider a judgment based on newly discovered evidence or to correct a factual error, which was not brought to the court's attention in the initial trial or appeal.
The writ of coram nobis originated in England during medieval times and was later adapted by American courts in the early 20th century. It was seen as a way to prevent a miscarriage of justice or injustice to the defendant, who might have been wrongly convicted or sentenced because of a fundamental error that was not visible or known earlier.
Examples of Writ Of Coram Nobis
A defendant was convicted of a crime in a previous trial, but new evidence comes to light that was not available at the time of the trial. The defendant may file a writ of coram nobis to ask the court to reopen the case and consider the new evidence that could prove his innocence.
In a civil lawsuit, a party may file a writ of coram nobis to overturn a judgment based on factual errors or mistakes made by the court, which were not noticed or corrected at the time of the trial.
A convicted criminal appeals to a higher court, which finds a procedural error or a miscarriage of justice that was not brought up during the trial. The higher court may issue a writ of coram nobis to correct the error and give the defendant another chance to plead his case.
Legal Terms Similar to Writ Of Coram Nobis
Habeas Corpus: a legal procedure used to challenge the legality of detention or imprisonment and obtain release. Similar to writ of coram nobis, it seeks to correct a fundamental error in a previous court proceeding.
Writ of Certiorari: an order issued by a higher court to review and hear an appeal from a lower court. It is similar to writ of coram nobis, but it is used in different circumstances and for different reasons.
Collateral Estoppel: a legal principle that prevents a party from bringing up a legal issue or fact that was previously decided in a previous court proceeding. It differs from writ of coram nobis because it does not seek to correct a fundamental error, but to prevent re-litigation of an issue that was already resolved.