certiorari

play
noun cer·tio·ra·ri \ˌsər-sh(ē-)ə-ˈrer-ē, -ˈrär-ē, -ˈra-rē\

Definition of certiorari

  1. :  a writ of superior court to call up the records of an inferior court or a body acting in a quasi-judicial capacity … filed a petition for writ of certiorari with the U.S. Supreme Court, which, in effect, asked that Court to review Sam's case. — John Grisham

Recent Examples of certiorari from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'certiorari'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of certiorari

Middle English, from Latin, literally, to be informed; from the use of the word in the writ


First Known Use: 15th century


Law Dictionary

certiorari

play
noun cer·tio·ra·ri \ˌsər-shē-ə-ˈrar-ē, ˌsər-shə-, -ˈrär-\

Legal Definition of certiorari

  1. :  an extraordinary writ issued by a superior court (as the Supreme Court) to call up the records of a particular case from an inferior judicial body (as a Court of Appeals) — compare appeal

Additional Notes on certiorari

Certiorari is one of the two ways to have a case from a U.S. Court of Appeals reviewed by the U.S. Supreme Court. Certification is the other. The Supreme Court may also use certiorari to review a decision by a state's highest court when there is a question as to the validity of a federal treaty or statute, or of a state statute on constitutional grounds. Certiorari is also used within state court systems.

Origin and Etymology of certiorari

Medieval Latin certiorari (volumus) (we wish) to be informed (words used in the Latin texts of such writs)


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