Definitions from Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition and Ballentine's Law Dictionary as are available for each term in each dictionary.
  • Ballentine's Law Dictionary

    A writ issued by a higher court to bring up the record of a lower court or judicial officer or body for review.

  • Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition

    Lat. (To be informed of, to be made certain in regard to.) The name of a writ issued by a superior court directing an inferior court to send up to the former some pending proceeding, or all the record and proceedings in a cause before verdict, with its certificate to the correctness and completeness of the record, for review or trial; or it may serve to bring np the record of a case already terminated below, if the inferior court is one not of record, or in cases where the procedure is not according to the course of the common law. State v. Sullivan (C. C.) 50 Fed. 593; Dean v. State, 63 Ala. 154; Railroad Co. v. Trust Co. (C. Ct) 78 Fed. 661; Fowler v. Lindsey, 3 Dali. 413, 1 In Ed. 658; Basnet v. Jacksonvlile, 18 Fla. 526; Walpole v. Ink, 9 Ohio, 144; People v. Livingston Co.unty, 48 Barb. (N. Y.) 234. Originally, and in English practice, a certiorari is an original writ, issuing out of the court of chancery or the king's bench, and directed in the king's name to the judges or officers of inferior courts, commanding them to certify or to return the records or proceedings in a cause depending bsfore them, for the purpose of a judicial review of their action. Jacob. In Massachusetts it Is defined by statute as a writ issued by the supreme judicial court to any interior tribubal, commanding it to certify and return to the supreme judicial court its records in a particular case, in order that any errors or irregularities which appear in the proceedings may be corrected. Pub. St. Mass. 1882, p. 1288.