Nunc Pro Tunc
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Nunc Pro Tunc
[Latin, Now for then.] When courts take some action nunc pro tunc, that action has retroactive legal effect, as though it had been performed at a particular, earlier date.
The most common use of nunc pro tunc is to correct past clerical errors, or omissions made by the court, that may hinder the efficient operation of the legal system. For example, if the written record of a trial court's judgment failed to correctly recite the judgment as the court rendered it, the court has the inherent power to change the record at a later date to reflect what happened at trial. The decision, as corrected, would be given legal force from the time of the initial decision so that neither party is prejudiced, or harmed, by the error. The purpose of nunc pro tunc is to correct errors or omissions to achieve the results intended by the court at the earlier time.
nunc pro tunc
(nuhnk proh tuhnk): adj. Latin for "now for then" this refers to changing back to an earlier date of an order, judgment, or filing of a document. Such a retroactive re-dating requires a court order which can be obtained by a showing that the earlier date would have been legal, and there was error, accidental omission, or neglect which has caused a problem or inconvenience which can be cured. Often the judge will grant the nunc pro tunc order ex parte (with only the applicant appearing and without notice). Examples: a court clerk fails to file an answer when he/she received it, and a nunc pro tunc date of filing is needed to meet the legal deadline (statute of limitations); a final divorce judgment is misdirected and, therefore, not signed and dated until the day after the re-marriage of one of the parties---the nunc pro tunc order will prevent the appearance or actuality of a bigamous marriage.
NUNC PRO TUNC, practice. This phrase, which signifies now for then, is used to express that a thing is done at one time which ought to have been performed at another. Leave of court must be obtained to do things nunc pro tunc, and this is granted to answer the purposes of justice, but never to do injustice A judgment nunc pro tunc can be entered only when the delay has arisen from the act of the court. 3 Man. Gr. & Sc. 970. Vide 1 V.. & B. 312; 1 Moll. R. 462; 13 Price, R. 604; 1 Hogan, R. 110.