Nolo's Plain-English Law Dictionary
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- (sersh-oh-rar-ee) Latin for "to be fully informed." In cases in which there is no appeal as a matter of right, certiorari is a writ (order) by the appeals court to a lower court to send all the documents in a case so that the appeals court can review the decision. Certiorari is most commonly used by the United States Supreme Court, which grants certiorari when at least four Justices believe that the case involves a sufficiently significant federal issue.