If you have watched any movies with a court scene or maybe been in a courtroom yourself, then you have probably heard the judge use the term, “Overruled.”
Whether you are studying law, or you are just curious about legal terminology, you are probably wondering what overruled actually means in court.
Let’s talk about legal terms used in the courtroom and what overruled means in court.
What Does Overruled Mean In Court?
In the courtroom, the term overruled means that the judge has rejected an attorney’s objection to something that is happening in the courtroom.
Typically, this will be a question that has been asked of a witness, or the attorney is objecting to the admission of a certain piece of evidence.
By choosing to overrule the attorney’s objection, the judge is allowing the question to be asked to the witness or is allowing the evidence to be used in the courtroom as part of the trial.
There may potentially be several overrulings per trial in the courtroom.
Why Would Something Be Overruled In Court?
There are a wide variety of reasons that a judge may overrule something in the courtroom.
The question that is being asked could be assuming facts that are not actually in the evidence that is provided.
The attorney may also be putting words into the witness’s mouth, and it has turned into a leading question over something that the witness did not actually say out loud.
The witness could have also been asked a question that does not directly pertain to the case at hand and could potentially sway the jury.
The witness may also be bringing up a conversation with another person who is not in the courtroom to testify and confirm that what is being said is true.
Will A Judge Ask For Reasoning For An Objection?
Most of the time a judge will make a decision very quickly about whether or not they are going to overrule or sustain an objection, but occasionally, they may want some additional information before making a decision.
In these instances, if the judge cannot come to a quick decision based on what they have seen and heard, the attorney will have a minute or two to give an explanation of the reason behind their objection.
The judge may also give the opposing attorney a chance to elaborate on their opinion as well.
This will allow the judge to better make a decision on whether to overrule or sustain an objection in the event that they do not feel equipped to make the decision right then.
Is Overruled the Same Thing As Overturned?
“Overruled” is not the same thing as “overturned” in court.
While overruled means that the judge has decided to allow either a question or evidence to be used within a specific court case, overturned means something completely different.
When something is overturned in court it means that a disagreement has occurred with a decision made earlier.
This is typically something that was done by a lower court.
In the instance of an overturned decision, the decision that was previously made earlier has been completely changed.
There have been many instances when a prior court decision has been overturned because it was brought back to the attention of the court, and a higher court such as the Supreme Court has the power to overturn it.
What Does “Sustained” Mean In Court?
When a judge sustains something in court, it is the exact opposite of it being overruled.
If an attorney objects to a question that has been asked of a witness or admission of evidence and the trial judge states that it is sustained, then that witness is not allowed to answer that specific question or that evidence is unable to be presented in that court case.
An attorney who is objecting to something would much prefer to hear that their objection was sustained versus being overruled.
What Is A Legal Ruling?
A ruling in the courtroom is a court’s decision on a matter.
This is the matter that is presented in whatever lawsuit is being decided on.
A ruling could be on a certain point of law such as whether evidence is admissible or not, but it can also be a decision on the case as a whole.
If a ruling refers to a judgment, it can either be final or non-final.
What Is The Difference Between A Ruling And A Judgment?
Although a ruling and a judgment may sound similar, these terms are quite different when used in the courtroom.
A ruling is just the court’s decision on a matter that has arisen during a lawsuit.
This is not the final decision on how the court case will be finalized.
However, a judgment is the final decision of the court.
There is only one judgment per court case, and it is the ultimate decision about what happens in the court case and who wins and who loses.
What Is Hearsay In Court?
Hearsay is something that was said outside of the courtroom that proves something true that is being decided in court.
Although hearsay may prove the issue at hand, it is typically not admissible in court.
This is because hearsay is considered unreliable and is second-hand information since it is coming from someone else.
There are exceptions and occasionally hearsay is allowed in the courtroom depending on the circumstances and what the judge deems reliable.
What Does A Stay Mean In Court Proceedings?
If a stay is put in place during a court case, then the court has taken action to stop a legal proceeding or the actions of a certain party.
Most of the time, a stay is called a “stay of proceedings.”
This will halt litigation and it is usually only temporary.
A stay of proceedings is usually issued if there is another proceeding that is occurring simultaneously which may affect the current one.
A stay can also be issued if one party in the court case needs to complete something before the proceedings can continue.
A stay of execution can also be issued.
his will halt the enforcement of a judgment or sentence that someone has been issued.
A stay of execution can also be called a pardon, which is what governors or the president can make if they believe a person should be excused from execution.
An automatic stay means that a party cannot pursue a certain right.
Automatic stays are often used in bankruptcy cases.
A stay is placed on creditors so they cannot pursue what they are owed by the debtor until the case has been settled.
How Long Will A Stay Order Remain In Place?
Stay orders can be put in place for a short period of time or for an extended period of time.
Some stay orders are put in place and are only needed for seven to 10 days.
However, there occasionally may be a stay order put in place for anywhere from 30 days to potentially six months.
This will vary depending on the case that needs the stay order and how long the judge determines the stay might be needed in order to get the proper actions completed.
Stay orders cannot be in place for longer than six months, and they will expire after the six-month mark.
This is to prevent stay orders from being dragged out for too long and will help to motivate the parties to get everything taken care of in a timely manner.
If a stay order needs to be extended longer than six months, then it will need to be under special circumstances.
This requires documentation to prove that the stay order needs to be extended for a longer period of time.
Can A Stay Order Be Removed?
A stay order can potentially be removed or canceled, but the person who wishes to have the stay order removed must file an appeal.
Most of the time, it will require specific documentation as to why they want the stay order removed and what they can provide to prove that the stay order should be removed.
What Is A Motion In Court?
A motion is when an application is made to the court by an attorney requesting that the court make a decision on a certain issue at hand.
A motion can be made at any point before the case is submitted to the jury.
Pre-trial motions are where the attorney would like a decision made prior to the beginning of the trial.
The motion can affect the trial as a whole, the courtroom, the defendants, evidence, or testimonies.
Depending on the state that you live in, there are timelines to when a motion must be filed in order for it to be considered.
There can be a motion to dismiss, which means that the attorneys are attempting to get the case dismissed in its entirety or potentially a certain charge.
Sometimes a motion to dismiss is filed if there does not seem to be enough evidence for the case to go to trial or for a certain charge to stick.
If the attorney can prove that there is not enough evidence to proceed with the case, then they can potentially get it dismissed or get the charges reduced for the person being convicted.
A motion to suppress is a motion with an attempt to keep certain things from being introduced as evidence into the trial.
This could happen in the instance of a police search without probable cause.
Anything that was found during the search could be suppressed.
A motion for a change of venue means that the attorney is requesting that the trial be moved to a different location.
This is common in high-profile cases in which the media might have talked about the case a lot and the attorney is looking to get more privacy and find potential jurors who may not have heard anything about the case.
When a judge overrules an objection, they are stating that a potential piece of evidence is admissible in court or the question being asked of the witness is allowed.
Having an objection overruled can be frustrating for an attorney who is fighting for their client, but the judge must make a quick decision based on what they know.
Watching movies or reading books might have led you to hear the term “overruled,” but it is always a good idea to be familiar with basic legal terms if you happen to find yourself in a courtroom at some point in your life.NEXT: Is Under Armour A Good Brand? (10 Reasons It Is)