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How to Fix a Clerical Error In a Court Order

Court How-Tos (Civil Procedure)

This article will tell you what a clerical error is and the steps you should take to fix one.

A clerical error is a mistake found in a court order. You can correct a clerical error by filing a document with the court called a motion for judgment nunc pro tunc. 

What is a clerical error?

A mistake in a court order is called a clerical error. 

What is considered a clerical error?

Some examples are a typographical error, an incorrect date, mathematical error, and differences between the judgment signed and the judgment the court intended to sign. 

When is it necessary to fix a clerical error?

For a court order to be enforced and followed, it must be very specific. Any clerical error should be corrected if there is any possible uncertainty. 

How do I fix the mistake?

You can fix the clerical error by filing a document with the court called a motion for judgment nunc pro tunc. 

What is a motion for judgment nunc pro tunc?

A motion for judgment nunc pro tunc asks the judge to issue a new judgment or order that contains the correct information. 

Can I use a motion for judgment nunc pro tunc in any type of case?

Any civil case, including but not limited to a personal injury suit, a divorce, or child custody and support matter. Motions for judgment nunc pro tunc can also be used in criminal cases. 

How do I file a motion for judgment nunc pro tunc?

Use this guide to ask the court for a corrected document. 

Is there anything I need to do before filing a motion for judgment nunc pro tunc?

Yes. Before filing a judgment nunc pro tunc you must determine whether the court’s plenary power has expired. A court’s plenary power typically expires 30 days after the judge signs the judgment. If the court’s plenary power has not expired you do not need to file a motion for judgment nunc pro tunc.  

What if I don’t agree with the decision the court made and I want to change it?

If you do not agree with the court’s decision, this is called a judicial error. A motion for judgment nunc pro tunc is not intended to correct a judicial error. You must pursue a different remedy to correct a judicial error. 

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