Motion to Alter or Amend the Judgment – within 10 days after a judgment, request the court change its judgment due to obvious error of law or fact

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motion to alter or amend the judgment:

1. A party’s request that the court
correct a substantive error in the judgment, such as a manifest error of law or fact.  Under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, a motion to alter or amend the judgment
must be filed, within ten days after the judgment is entered.  It should not ordinarily be used to correct clerical errors in a judgment.  Those types of errors that is, errors that result in the judgment not reflecting the court’s intention – may be brought in a motion for relief from the judgment, which does not have the ten-day deadline.  A motion to alter or amend the judgment is usually directed to substantive issues regarding the judgment, such as an intervening change in the law or newly discovered evidence that was not available at trial. Fed. R. Civ. P. 59(e). [1]

amendment of judgment See modification of judgment. [2] [3]

modification of judgment:

1. A change in the terms, rather than the reversal fo a judgment. 5 Am Jur 2d A & E § 937.

Correcting a judgment to make it speak the truth of what was decided.  Changing the terms of a judgment upon sufficient grounds presented therefor. 30A Am J Rev ed Judgm § 656. [2]

1. Under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, and most state’s rules of civil procedure, a judgment may be modified in circumstances in which it is equitable to do so, in order that it will accurately reflect what was decided.  Grounds for modification generally include clerical error, inadvertence, excusable neglect, fraud, misrepresentation,and newly discovered evidence.


1. To improve; to make better by change or modification; to correct; to adjust.  Thus, a motion to amend is a motion by which a party seeks the court’s permission to correct an error or omission in a pleading or to modify allegations and supply new ones. [3]


Disclaimer: All material throughout this website is compiled in accordance with Fair Use.

[1]: Black’s Law Dictionary Deluxe Tenth Edition by Henry Campbell Black & Editor in Chief Bryan A. Garner. ISBN: 978-0-314-62130-6

[2]: Ballantine’s Law Dictionary with Pronunciations
Third Edition by James A. Ballantine (James Arthur 1871-1949).  Edited by William S. Anderson.  © 1969 by THE LAWYER’S CO-OPERATIVE PUBLISHING COMPANY.  Library of Congress Catalog Card No. 68-30931

[3]:  Ballantine’s Law Dictionary Legal Assistant Edition
by Jack Ballantine 
(James Arthur 1871-1949).  Doctored by Jack G. Handler, J.D. © 1994 Delmar by Thomson Learning.  ISBN 0-8273-4874-6.


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