full faith and credit

noun

Legal Definition of full faith and credit

: the recognition and enforcement of the public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of one state by another — compare choice of law, comity, federalism

Note: Unlike comity, full faith and credit is a requirement created by the U.S. Constitution and the U.S. Code. A public law or a judicial decision may not, however, be entitled to full faith and credit for specific reasons (as for having been decided by a court not having jurisdiction). Full faith and credit is given only in civil cases; states recognize each other's criminal laws through the mechanism of extradition.

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Cite this Entry

“Full faith and credit.” Merriam-Webster.com Legal Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/legal/full%20faith%20and%20credit. Accessed 1 Mar. 2021.

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