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.
Another means of having a vacated judgment would be if the defendant dies prior to all appeals being exhausted. Notable defendants having their convictions vacated under this include Kenneth Lay (the former Chairman/CEO of Enron who died before sentencing) and Aaron Hernandez (the former football player who committed suicide in jail before his appeals were exhausted).
United States of America
"Relief from judgment" of a United States District Court is governed by Rule 60 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. The United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit noted that a vacated judgment "place[s] the parties in the position of no trial having taken place at all; thus a vacated judgment is of no further force or effect."