A remittitur is a ruling by a judge (usually upon motion to reduce or throw out a jury verdict) lowering the amount of damages granted by a jury in a civil case. Usually, this is because the amount awarded exceeded the amount demanded. The term is sometimes used for a reduction in awarded damages even when the amount awarded did not exceed the amount demanded but is otherwise considered excessive. An example of the latter is the high-profile file-sharing court case Capitol v. Thomas.
If the motion is granted, the plaintiff may either accept the reduced verdict or submit to a new trial restricted to the matter of damages.
The term is also sometimes used in place of "remand" or a mandate—that is, moving a case from a higher court to a lower court. Notably, under California law, the Court of Appeal issues a remittitur after an appeal is heard and decided. In contrast, the U.S. federal Courts of Appeals issue a mandate.
- "remittitur" – via The Free Dictionary.