noun \ˌsər-sh(ē-)ə-ˈrer-ē, -ˈrär-ē, -ˈra-rē\

Definition of CERTIORARI

:  a writ of superior court to call up the records of an inferior court or a body acting in a quasi-judicial capacity


Middle English, from Latin, literally, to be informed; from the use of the word in the writ
First Known Use: 15th century

Other Legal Terms

actionable, alienable, carceral, chattel, complicity, decedent, larceny, malfeasance, modus operandi

Rhymes with CERTIORARI


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

In law, a writ issued by a superior court for the reexamination of an action of a lower court. The writ of certiorari was originally a writ from England's Court of Queen's (King's) Bench to the judges of an inferior court; it was later expanded to include writs from the equity (chancery) courts. In the U.S., certiorari is the most common means by which cases from the United States Courts of Appeals are reviewed by the Supreme Court of the United States. For the Supreme Court to issue a writ of certiorari, at least four justices must agree to hear the case.


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