TOOL OF THE DAY: Motion to Amend the Judgment

CATEGORY: Family Law Definition

If there is a substantive error in your order, you can petition the court to amend the judgment. Under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure you have ten days to request a correction of law or fact.

Examples of substantive issues would be “ intervening change in the law or newly discovered evidence that was not available at trial.” (p.1109 Black's Law Dictionary – Ninth Edition)

These are not used to correct clerical errors. The motion used for that is called nunc pro tunc.

And this is not the same as a Motion for New Trial. A motion for new trial is when you are asking the court to vacate the judgment for factually insufficient evidence, newly discovered evidence, or jury misconduct. (p.1108 Black's Law Dictionary – Ninth Edition)

DEFINITION: “Nunc Pro Tunc means “Now for then… When courts take some actionnunc pro tunc,that action has retroactive legal effect, as though it had been performed at a particular, earlier date.

The most common use of nunc pro tunc is to correct past clerical errors, or omissions made by the court, that may hinder the efficient operation of the legal system. For example, if the written record of a trial court's judgment failed to correctly recite the judgment as the court rendered it, the court has the inherent power to change the recordat a later date to reflect what happened at trial. The decision, as corrected, would be given legal force from the time of the initial decision so that neither party is prejudiced,or harmed, by the error. The purpose of nunc pro tunc is to correct errors or omissions to achieve the results intended by the court at the earlier time.” ~West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.