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 but 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.
Last updated in July of 2017 by Stephanie Jurkowski.