Bronson v. Shulten - 104 U.S. 410 (1881)
U.S. Supreme Court
Bronson v. Shulten, 104 U.S. 410 (1881)
Bronson v. Shulten
104 U.S. 410
1. During the term when it is rendered or entered of record, a judgment or an order, however conclusive in its character, is under the control of the court pronouncing it, and may then be set aside, vacated, or modified.
2. After that term, unless steps be taken during its continuance by motion or otherwise, errors in a final judgment can only be corrected by an appellate court.
3. To this rule there is an exception. The writ of error coram nobis brought before the court of original jurisdiction certain mistakes of fact not put in issue or passed upon, such as that a party died before judgment, or was a married woman, or was an infant and no guardian appeared or was appointed, or that there was error in the process through the default of the clerk. It did not lie, however, to correct errors in the judgment itself. The relief thereby sought is, in modern practice, attained by motion, supported when necessary by affidavits.
4. Neither the practice of the state courts in exercising a control over their own judgments and administering equitable relief in a summary way nor the statutes of the states, can determine the action of the courts of the United States on this subject.
5. In this case, the carelessness and laches of the plaintiffs preclude, under any rule, the setting aside of the judgment after the term at which it was rendered.