Monday, November 23, 2009

Writ Coram Nobis - Requirements

The writ of error coram nobis is a common law writ that means, "an error remains in our presence." Only the court that issued the judgment has jurisdiction to grant the writ. To warrant coram nobis relief, the petitioner must satisfy four requirements, including a showing that fundamental error occurred in the proceedings and that there are valid reasons why the petitioner did not act to attack the conviction earlier. See Hirabayashi I,. United States, 828 F.2d 591. 604 (9th Cir.1987). The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, the jurisdiction in which this case arises, has made it clear that the writ of error coram nobis is a "highly unusual remedy, available only to correct grave injustices in a narrow range of cases where no more conventional remedy is applicable." United States v. Riedl, 496 F.3d 1003, 1005 (9th Cir.2007). "[A] petitioner must show the following to qualify for coram nobis relief: (1) a more usual remedy is not available; (2) valid reasons exist for not attacking the conviction earlier; (3) adverse consequences exist from the conviction sufficient to satisfy the case or controversy requirement of
Article 111; and (4) the error is of the most fundamental character." Id. at 1006 (citation omitted).

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