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.
- Additur is a raising of the jury verdict. It is not allowed in the United States federal system due to Dimick v. Schiedt, 293 U.S. 474 (1935), but certain states continue to allow it.
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