(redirected from overruled)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus.


The refusal by a judge to sustain an objection set forth by an attorney during a trial, such as an objection to a particular question posed to a witness. To make void, annul, supersede, or reject through a subsequent decision or action.

A judicial decision is overruled when a later decision, made by the same tribunal or a higher court in the same system, hands down a decision concerning the identical Question of Law, which is in direct opposition to the earlier decision. The earlier decision is thereby overruled and deprived of its authority as precedent.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


v. 1) to reject an attorney's objection to a question of a witness or admission of evidence. By overruling the objection, the trial judge allows the question or evidence in court. If the judge agrees with the objection he/she "sustains" the objection and does not allow the question or evidence. 2) to decide (by a court of appeals) that a prior appeals decision on a legal issue was not correct, and is therefore no longer a valid precedent on that legal question. (See: objection, sustain)

Copyright © 1981-2005 by Gerald N. Hill and Kathleen T. Hill. All Right reserved.


to set aside the rule of a lower court. When achieved by a superior court in the Anglo-American system, the effect is retrospective. The term can be used of a statute that changes the legal effect of a decision. This is done from the date the statute comes into force.

Parliament can, of course, make the statute come into effect retrospectively, but this is something that is generally thought to be a dangerous form of legislation that may go against the rule of law.

Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006

TO OVERRULE. To annul, to make void. This word is frequently used to signify that a case has been decided directly opposite to a former case; when this takes place, the first decided case is said to be overruled as a precedent, and cannot any longer be considered as of binding authority.
     2. Mr. Greenleaf has made a very valuable collection of overruled cases, of great service to the practitioner.
     3. The term overrule also signifies that a majority of the judges have decided against the opinion of the minority, in which case the latter are said to be overruled.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
Turkey's high court overruled life sentences against three journalists, who were sentenced over alleged links to the network of U.S.-based cleric Fetullah Gulen, state-owned Anadolu news agency reported on Friday.
ISLAMABAD -- The Supreme Court overruled on Wednesday the objections of the registrar's office over a constitutional petition seeking live coverage of the apex court proceedings on matters of public concern.
A final objection to the nominating petitions of an Elk Grove Township Elementary District 59 school board candidate was overruled Wednesday.
LAHORE -- The Lahore High Court has overruled an objection raised by the registrar office on locus standi (right to agitate a matter before court) of a lawyer to question placing names of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam and son-in-law Muhammad Safdar on exit control list (ECL).
LAHORE -- Justice Shahid Waheed of the Lahore High Court (LHC) on Monday overruled a registrar office's objection on a petition, filed by cricketer Sharjeel Khan for removing his name from the Exit Control List (ECL).
If Staunton Fuel is modified or overruled, should the Board adhere to, modify, or overrule Casale Industries, and, if either of the latter, how?
Twitter (TWTR) CEO Jack Dorsey has personally weighed in on content decisions at Twitter and overruled staff to keep Alex Jones and reinstate Richard Spencer's account, The Wall Street Journal reports, citing people familiar with the matter.
WASHINGTON * By a 5-4 majority, the Supreme Court declared June 27 that one of its rulings from 1977 was "wrongly decided" and overruled it, in a case on whether public-sector unions could continue to make nonmembers pay fair-share fees not related to the unions' lobbying and political efforts.
Summary: Rio de Janeiro [Brazil], Jul 9 (ANI): A Brazilian judge overruled an order passed for the immediate release of former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.
Like the Spanish democracy, overruled in Catalonian, and Eire overruled in its tax law, they are all now sadly so wrong.
After oral argument in Kirklin's first appeal, the Supreme Court overruled its controlling precedent and held that the brandishing determination must be made by a jury.
Senior Editor DAMON ROOT is the author of Overruled: The Long War for Control of the U.