Is it the courts duty to correct defects?

Legal Q&AIs it the courts duty to correct defects?
Reader asked 4 years ago

Is it the courts duty to notice and correct jurisdictional defects or fundamental errors even when they have not been identified by the parties involved?

1 Answers
Dave Alden answered 4 years ago

Hello David,
You might be referring to sua sponte, which is Latin for “of one’s own accord; voluntarily,” or the more common meaning in contemporary litigation, that the court can act on its own motion.
Yes, even though none of the participants to a litigation have objected to a defect or error, the judge can (and often will) react to a procedural or substantive defect by, for example, denying the relief requested in a filing deemed to be deficient.┬áBut no, the judge probably won’t correct the error. Instead, he or she will identify the problem, then leave it up to the litigant to fix it.
For more on this topic, use’s custom search engine to research sua sponte.