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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.

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


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.

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


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

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.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
On August 20, Kejriwal had moved the court for quashing of the complaint filed against him by Vijender Gupta.
Analysts urged the government to move the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and take other steps as India had violated its own constitution, the UNSC resolutions and the international law by quashing the special status of held Kashmir.
However, with the quashing of the Odunga's ruling, the repeat polls were conducted.
He said the case cited by Mr Ngakaage in favour of the quashing of the charge sheet, the Molefi case of 2004 had been struck off the roll by the Court of Appeal after a prior conviction, rather than being quashed before the accused pleaded and proceeded to face trial.
This timely quashing of the rumours about presidential system at the highest level should set at rest the fears and apprehensions of the opposition parties particularly former ruling parties PPP and PML(N) and they should utilize their time and energy in something more constructive instead of indulging in such fishing of rumours.
"After all, preventive detention cannot be used as an instrument to keep a person in perpetual custody without trial," Justice Rabstan observed, while quashing PSA detention of Mushtaq-ul-Islam.
The ruling Congress in Karnataka has decided to appeal to the Supreme Court against the quashing of 15 FIRs registered against him in connection with various alleged land scams when he was the CM ( between 2008 and 2011).
And despite a judge quashing the charges in July, Nick is yet to be released from India.
THE technical group is to hold a meeting this week to discuss the controversy over Luke "Ming" Flanagan's penalty point quashing. The pot-loving deputy, inset, has rejected calls to quit despite his damning admission that he had points quashed twice for talking on his phone while driving.
Jay McKenna: Fantastic news on the quashing of the inquests.
Mayawati had filed a petition in May 2008, seeking quashing of the criminal proceedings against her in the DA case, lodged by the CBI over eight years ago.
IANS NEW DELHI ADVOCATE Srijin Basha moved the Supreme Court on Wednesday challenging the Karnataka High Court order quashing the FIR against former Karnataka chief minister BS Yeddyurappa in an illegal mining case.