What does it mean, and what are the implications of having a trial (or other hearing) vacated?

Does it more strongly suggest that it will have been dispensed with finally, or that it will be rescheduled/relisted for another date?

Importantly, I would like to know whether this means that the current case is ditched and the prosecution has to lay down charges to the court again from scratch?

  • 4
    Ask your lawyer
    – Dale M
    Commented Jan 22, 2016 at 0:09
  • You could go to a library, that has Lexis or Westlaw, and do a search for cases in the court you are interested in, and analyze those cases to understand how they were vacated, and what it appears to mean.
    – mongo
    Commented Nov 5, 2019 at 14:05

1 Answer 1


What does it mean to have a case vacated?

Two US Lawyers Say:

  • The term "vacated" means that the Court on appeal reviewed the lower court's decision, found error, and overturned it.

  • It means a reviewing court, usually a court of appeal, has determined that a trial court judgement should be vacated, or in other words, eliminated.

Legal Dictionary Says:

  • The term vacate has two common usages in the law. With respect to real property, to vacate the premises means to give up possession of the property and leave the area totally devoid of contents. To vacate a court order or judgment means to cancel it or render it null and

Wikipedia Says:

  • A vacated judgment makes a previous legal judgment legally void. A vacated judgment is usually the result of the judgment of an appellate court, which overturns, reverses, or sets aside the judgment of a lower court. An appellate court may also vacate its own decisions.

    A trial court may have the power under certain circumstances, usually involving fraud or lack of jurisdiction over the parties to a case, to vacate its own judgments.

    A vacated judgment may free the parties to civil litigation to re-litigate the issues subject to the vacated judgment.

Here's What Dale M. Says:

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Therefore, pick your poison, do more research to determine the common definition in the context which it's applicable in your particular case, or ask your lawyer.

  • 4
    None of these deal with the specific use of 'vacate a trial' in England, which was the actual question. Asking your lawyer rather than doing basic research yourself is likely to prove an expensive luxury. Commented Dec 16, 2016 at 22:31

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