Coram Nobis

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Coram Nobis

[Latin, In our presence; before us.] The designation of a remedy for setting aside an erroneous judgment in a civil or criminal action that resulted from an error of fact in the proceeding.

In civil actions, a petition for a writ of coram nobis was addressed to the court in which the judgment was made, unlike an appeal, which is made to a superior court. The petition asserted that the court had made an erroneous judgment due to the defendant's excusable failure to make a valid defense as a result of Fraud, duress, or excusable neglect, such as illness. Coram nobis could not be used where a party caused an error because of Negligence.

The writ of coram nobis has been abolished in civil actions by the rules of federal Civil Procedure and similar provisions of state codes of civil procedure that, instead, establish different methods for setting aside judgments.

In Criminal Procedure, coram nobis serves the same purpose as it did in civil actions and is a recognized procedure in federal criminal prosecutions. Traditionally, it was available to direct the court's attention to information that did appear in the trial record and was not admitted into evidence because of fraud, duress, or excusable mistake. A defendant could not use coram nobis to relitigate the same charges if, through his or her own fault, such facts were not introduced as evidence.

Modern statutes have expanded the grounds for relief based upon the principles derived from the ancient writ of coram nobis. It is no longer a common-law remedy, but statutes provide for the vacation of a conviction and usually order a new trial if there is insufficient evidence to sustain the conviction, newly discovered evidence, erroneous instruction to the jury, or prejudicial comments or conduct by the prosecutor during the trial.

References in periodicals archive ?
There are four main writ types: mandamus, prohibition, habeas corpus, and coram nobis.
The writ of error coram nobis is a tool used when new facts or developments have arisen and the petitioner seeks in essence a "belated extension" of an earlier trial.
Error coram nobis (Appellate courts only, are there exceptional new facts or law)
10(1)(b) of the New York Criminal Procedure Law is a partial codification of the writ of error coram nobis, (10) an ancient English common law doctrine that the New York Court of Appeals rejuvenated in 1943 in Matter of Lyons v.
In reversing, the court held that denial of post-conviction relief for judgments of conviction obtained by fraud or misrepresentation "would be repugnant to the due process clauses of the Constitutions of the United States and of the State of New York" and that "[t]he inherent power of a court to set aside its judgment which was procured by fraud and misrepresentation cannot be doubted" as it arises from the common law writ of error coram nobis, (17) In addition, the court rejected the argument that executive clemency is a sufficient remedy for criminal defendants seeking post-conviction relief, noting that "[a] pardon proceeds not upon the theory of innocence, but implies guilt.
Writs of coram nobis (Latin for "before us" (42)), sometimes called writs of error coram nobis, are an "ancient common-law remedy designed 'to correct errors of fact.
Usually, a writ of coram nobis is used to attack a judgment that was infirm at the time it issued, for reasons that later came to light.
Uncontested Claims, Complaints, Habeas Corpus and Error Coram Nobis, for the FULL face value amount of the claims, etc.
Writ of Habeas Corpus and Error Coram Nobis GRANTED;
quod coram nobis constituta Caterina, filia Walteri dicti Dier, uxor Rolini Zobbe; .
Military courts will also hear writs of error coram nobis, but because of the post-trial nature of coram nobis (explained below), trial practitioners will almost never need to use it.
Error coram nobis means "let the record remain before us.