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To annul, set aside, or render void; to surrender possession or occupancy.

The term vacate has two common usages in the law. With respect to real property, to vacate the premises means to give up possession of the property and leave the area totally devoid of contents. To vacate a court order or judgment means to cancel it or render it null and void.

A person may vacate property voluntarily or involuntarily through the issuance of an eviction order by a court. Rental and lease agreements usually contain a provision concerning when and how the tenant is to vacate the premises at the end of the lease period. Many landlords require renters to make damage deposits, which are refunded after the tenant vacates the property if the landlord determines that no serious damage has been done and that the renter has not left behind Personal Property that must be disposed of by the landlord. Otherwise, the landlord may keep all or a portion of the deposit.

The other common legal usage of vacate refers to the canceling or rescinding of court judgments and orders. State and federal rules of Civil Procedure give courts the authority to modify prior judgments. A judgment is the definitive act in a lawsuit that puts an end to the litigation by specifically granting or denying the relief requested by the parties. Once a judgment granting relief has been entered, the plaintiff may legally collect the damages awarded by the court.

A motion to vacate a judgment must be based on a substantial issue. Rule 60(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure permits a federal court to relieve a party from an adverse judgment on various grounds including Fraud, mistake, newly discovered evidence, and satisfaction of the judgment.

Another common ground for seeking a motion to vacate is the failure to provide the person against whom the judgment is entered with sufficient notice of the action. If, for example, the plaintiff claims that after making a Good Faith effort, he cannot locate the defendant to serve notice of the pending action, the court may permit service by publication in a newspaper. On the day of the hearing, if the defendant does not appear, the court may enter a default judgment in favor of the plaintiff. However, if the defendant discovers the judgment has been filed, she can make a motion to vacate. The defendant might argue that the plaintiff could have easily served the papers personally and given the defendant the opportunity to appear in court and argue the merits of the case.

Courts are generally reluctant to grant a motion to vacate a judgment, especially on the ground of newly discovered evidence. A court will not grant a motion to vacate where the complaining litigant failed to exercise due diligence in securing the evidence in sufficient time to offer it in the original lawsuit. Some jurisdictions do not allow any judgments to be vacated due to newly discovered evidence.


Landlord and Tenant.


v. 1) for a judge to set aside or annul an order or judgment which he/she finds was improper. 2) to move out of real estate and cease occupancy.


(Leave), verb abandon, cease, depart, depart from, desert, empty, evacuate, exit, forgo, go away, move, move out, quit, relinquish, remove, retreat, surrender, withdraw
Associated concepts: vacate premises


(Void), verb abandon, abdicate, abolish, annul, cancel, countermand, deprive of force, disannul, do away with, eliminate, evacuate, invalidate, make void, negate, nullify, overrule, quash, recant, relinquish, renner inoperative, repeal, rescind, retract, reverse, revoke, set aside
Associated concepts: vacate a default, vacate a judgment, vacate an award, vacate an order, vacate occupancy, vacate office
See also: abandon, abolish, abrogate, adeem, avoid, cancel, cease, depart, disappear, discharge, discontinue, dismiss, disown, evacuate, leave, move, negate, nullify, quash, quit, recant, relinquish, renege, repeal, rescind, resign, retire, retreat, revoke, secede, withdraw


to cancel or rescind, make void or of no effect.

TO VACATE. To annul, to render an act void; as to vacate an entry which has been made on a record when the court has been imposed upon by fraud, or taken by surprise.

References in periodicals archive ?
The building construction department then asked his father to vacate the bungalow since he wasn't occupying any office.
So, even if I vacate the CM House, he will not be moving therein so easily given his past habits.
2003) ("[J]urisdiction to vacate a final decision of the court of appeals arises under Minnesota Rule of Civil Appellate Procedure 102.
The Notice, issued by the RTC Makati 141 ('RTC 141'), was made pursuant to a Resolution promulgated by the Court of Appeals on August 14 directing, among others, RTC 141 to enforce the 2015 Decision of the Metropolitan Trial Court of Makati Branch 61 ('MeTC Decision') ordering Sunvar to vacate Mile Long and pay back rentals.
tenure was known for his controversial remarks, said since Nitish had " spent crores" of rupees on the renovation of his bungalow after resigning as the chief minister, he would not vacate it so easily.
In fact, the Mumbai Municipal Commissioner had on December 3 served a notice on the city Mayor Sunil Prabhu and party's spokesperson and Member of Parliament Sanjay Raut, directing them to dismantle the temporary structure at the Thackeray cremation site and vacate the place forthwith.
Earlier, the RDA had conducted survey of 31 most dilapidated buildings on Said Pur Road, Ganj Mandi, Mohan Pura and Asghar Mall Scheme and issued notices to the owners to either vacate them or completely repair them.
Rai Late vice- president is yet to vacate Tells SC it has got 363 bungalows vacated had relied on a report in M AIL T ODAY dated May 8 which read ' 22 Ex- Ministers Refused to Vacate Lutyen's Home'.
Byline: Instead of increasing the rent directly, the landlord told us to vacate the place as he needs to make a supermarket.
The properties will be master leased through December 31, 2005, at which time they [TIAA-CREF] will vacate [much of] their space.
Commissioner OPC Punjab Afzaal Bhatti informed the media here on Monday that one Zahida Shehnaz Majeed, settled in the USA currently, had filed a complaint that her tenant had refused to vacate her house in Karim Block, Allama Iqbal Town, Lahore, and also refused to pay the rent for previous months.