De Novo

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From Latin, meaning “from the new.” When a court hears a case de novo, it is deciding the issues without reference to any legal conclusion or assumption made by the previous court to hear the case. An appellate court hearing a case de novo may refer to the lower court’s record to determine the facts, but will rule on the evidence and matters of law without deferring to that court’s findings. A trial court may also hear a case de novo following the appeal of an arbitration decision.

De novo review occurs when a court decides an issue without deference to a previous court's decision. Trial de novo occurs when a court decides all issues in a case, as if the case was being heard for the first time.

 

For a recent consideration of the use of de novo review, see McLane Co. v. EEOC.

 

Last updated in July of 2017 by Stephanie Jurkowski.