Clerical Error

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CLERICAL ERROR

A mistake made in a letter, paper, or document that changes its meaning, such as a typographical error or the unintentional addition or omission of a word, phrase, or figure.

A mistake of this kind is a result of an oversight. Such an error was mistakenly, not purposely, written and should be readily remedied without objection. If the amount of money owed a plaintiff by the defendant is mistakenly recorded by a court reporter as being $50 rather than $500, then the plaintiff is not bound by this since it is only a clerical error. An error of this nature can be rectified by the court acting sua sponte, on its own, or on the motion of either party once the court learns of the error.

A clerical misprision is fraud that is perpetrated by the clerk of the court and may be readily discerned by examining the record. Such an error can only be corrected from information that appears elsewhere in the record and not from memory by the judge or clerk or by outside testimony.