writ of certiorari

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writ of certiorari

A request that a higher court hear arguments that a lower court ruled improperly on some or all issues in a lawsuit. The higher court does not have to honor the request and therefore frequently “denies cert.” This is different from an appeal, which must at least be heard by the higher court,even though the court may ultimately rule against the person who filed the appeal.

• In the federal court system, trial occurs at the level of the United States District Court. If one is unhappy with the outcome, one has the right to appeal to the United States Circuit Court with authority over the district court. If again unhappy with the outcome, one peti- tions the United States Supreme Court for a writ of certiorari.

• The writ orders the Circuit court to certify the record and send it up to the Supreme Court for review. The same system is used in most state courts, to some extent.

• The denial of a writ of certiorari, often called a “denial of cert,” does not mean the higher court agrees with the ruling of the lower court. Rather, it usually means the issues present- ed are not important enough, in the opinion of the higher court, to warrant its considera- tion. The vast majority of cases are rejected.

• Cert may be granted but limited to one or a few issues. An example appears here.

References in periodicals archive ?
Each Term, the Supreme Court issues an opinion in perhaps one percent of the cases in which certiorari petitions are filed.
He began his career as an assistant county attorney and a deputy county attorney in the Office of the County Attorney of Nassau County, Tax Certiorari and Condemnation Bureau.
While some members of the plaintiffs' bar have viewed the Supreme Court's denial of certiorari in Whirlpool and Butler as tacit approval of the 6th and 7th Circuit decisions, it is always difficult to divine the reasons that led the Court to decide not to review particular cases.
The Third District granted certiorari review because, in its opinion, the trial court's denial meant that the county would have to try the case, which intrinsically created an imminent threat or existence of irreparable harm.
Clerk of the Supreme Court informing me that certiorari had been granted
10) All of those cases involved federal criminal defendants whose petitions for certiorari were denied before the Court's major ruling in United States v.
Second, the aggregate voting data by Justice do not capture other factors that influence grants of certiorari by the Supreme Court, such as whether the United States Solicitor General is the party seeking plenary review or the number of amicus briefs filed at the certiorari stage.
Because AEDPA limits the Court's ability to "break [] new ground" in cases arising from federal habeas petitions, (7) cutting edge questions must be presented in petitions for a writ of certiorari from the judgments of state courts if federal constitutional law is to continue to develop in state criminal proceedings.
Obtaining certiorari always has been difficult, and now it is even harder.