Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Writ of Coram Nobis Cannot Be Used in Federal Court to Vacate State Court Judgment

Finkelstein v. Spitzer, Docket No. 05-4725-pr (2d Cir. July 11, 2006) (Kearse, Sack, Stanceu (by desig'n)) (per curiam): This short opinion confirms the rule, adopted by other Circuits that have addressed the question, that the writ of error coram nobis (filed via the All Writs Act, 28 U.S.C. ยง 1651) may not be used in federal court to attack a state court judgment. This is so because the writ was available at common law only to "a court in cases within its own jurisdiction, not to correct errors in other jurisdictions." Op. 5. Thus, the district court properly rejected Finkelstein's coram nobis writ seeking to set aside his state court fraud conviction.


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