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 ?
amp;nbsp; Sentencing Error Coram Nobis Where a defendant challenged his sentence by filing a petition for a writ of error coram nobis since he was no longer in custody, the court finds that such a petition is subject to the restrictions on second or successive habeas corpus petitions, and dismissal of the petition is affirmed because the District Court properly found that there was no fundamental error, and the defendant failed to meet his burden to show that he was entitled to the extraordinary relief.
There are four main writ types: mandamus, prohibition, habeas corpus, and coram nobis.
In 2010 the Appellate Division, First Department granted D'Alessandro's application for a writ of error coram nobis.
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.
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.
With the new evidence and the work of the congressional commission as a backdrop, a federal court reviewed the case under a writ of coram nobis in 19 84.
1) In certain narrow circumstances, the rare writ of error coram nobis is a remedial petition primarily available to criminal defendants who want to challenge their convictions.
45) Irons has recounted that when he presented some of his evidence at a CWRIC hearing, one of the commissioners, Judge William Marutani, asked whether the wartime cases could be opened by use of a writ of coram nobis.
71) Coram nobis allows a person who has been tried, convicted, and who has served their sentence to petition the courts when evidence can be presented that the conviction was based on fundamental factual error.
This was revealed in three coram nobis, or writ of error, cases in the 1980s (for which I served as a documentary researcher): Korematsu, Yasui, and Hirabayashi.
quod coram nobis constituta Caterina, filia Walteri dicti Dier, uxor Rolini Zobbe; .
I skip over Hiss's unsuccessful attempt to get his case reopened by filing a voluminous coram nobis petition, other than to observe that Weinstein attempts to refute rather than report and weigh its challenging propositions.