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To overthrow; to annul; to make void or declare invalid; e.g., "quash a subpoena."

Unreasonable, obviously irregular, or oppressive subpoenas, injunctions, indictments, and orders can be quashed by a court. For example, if jurors have been selected improperly, the court can quash the proceedings.

In criminal cases, if an indictment is defective to such a degree that no judgment could be made if the defendant were to be convicted, the court typically will quash the indictment. In criminal cases, a motion made by the prosecution to quash an indictment is much more likely to succeed than one made by the defense, whose motion would appear self-serving.


v. to annul or set aside. In law, a motion to quash asks the judge for an order setting aside or nullifying an action, such as "quashing" service of a summons when the wrong person was served.


verb abate, abolish, annul, cancel, declare null and void, destroy, disannul, discard, disestablish, dismiss, dispel, dissolve, end, eradicate, extirpate, infirmare, inritum facere, invalidate, make void, nullify, obliterate, overrule, overthrow, overturn, overwelm, put an end to, put down, quell, quench, repeal, repress, rescind, rescindere, reverse, squelch, stop, suppress, terminate, vacate, withdraw
Associated concepts: motion to quash, quash a subpoena
See also: abate, abolish, abrogate, annul, ban, cancel, censor, condemn, contain, defeat, discharge, disinherit, dissolve, eliminate, enjoin, eradicate, expunge, extinguish, extirpate, invalidate, kill, negate, nullify, obliterate, overcome, overthrow, overwhelm, prohibit, refute, repeal, rescind, restrain, revoke, subjugate, suppress, surmount, terminate, upset, vacate, vitiate, void, withdraw


to annul.

TO QUASH, practice. To overthrow or annul.
     2. When proceedings are clearly irregular and void the courts will quash them, both in civil and criminal cases: for example, when the array is clearly irregular, as if the jurors have been selected by persons not authorized by law, it will be quashed. 3 Bouv. Inst. n. 3342.
     3. In criminal cases, when an indictment is so defective that no judgment can be given upon it, should the defendant be convicted, the court, upon application, will in general quash it; as if it have no jurisdiction of the offence charged, or when the matter charged is not indictable. 1 Burr. 516, 548; Andr. 226. When the application to quash is made on the part of the defendant, the court generally refuses to quash the indictment when it appears some enormous crime has been committed. Com. Dig. Indictment, H; Wils. 325; 1 Salk. 372; 3 T. R. 621; 6 Mod. 42; 3 Burr. 1841; 5 Mod. 13; Bac. Abr. Indictment, K. When the application is made on the part of the prosecution, the indictment will be quashed whenever it is defective so that the defendant cannot be convicted, and the prosecution appears to be bona fide. If the prosecution be instituted by the attorney general, he may, in some states, enter a nolle prosequi, which has the same effect. 1 Dougl. 239, 240. The application should be made before plea pleaded; Leach, 11; 4 St. Tr. 232; 1 Hale, 35; Fost. 231; and before the defendant's recognizance has been forfeited. 1 Salk. 380. Vide Cassetur Breve.

References in periodicals archive ?
Moreover, says Dow, unlike traditional porous or open cell materials, Quash foams have a rigid structure ("are virtually indestructible") that does not absorb or retain water.
The judge's decision on the motion to quash cannot be appealed, Hilder said.
He seeks the Court to quash the purported sentence of imprisonment of 30 months imposed on him by the 2nd to 4th Respondents.
The court noted that a writ of mandamus can be an appropriate remedy from an order denying a motion to quash a subpoena duces tecum.
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The trial court did not err in denying the subject motion to quash information and warrant of arrest,' read a portion of the appeals court's 15-page decision.
Recent developments in DNA profiling technology have helped quash many convictions.
The court could quash the conviction and substitute one of manslaughter.
The physicians filed a motion to quash the subpoena which called for them to turn over their patients' records on the grounds that they had guaranteed their patients confidentiality and anonymity.
Marc Douglas Cagas IV after it dismissed his plea to quash the pork barrel scam charges against him.