The writ of error coram vobis has been recognized in Virginia since the Eighteenth Century. In addition, Va. Code Ann. §8.01-677 provides for coram vobis relief by motion. As a post-conviction remedy, however, coram vobis it has extremely limited use. Indeed, there are no reported cases in Virginia law in which post-conviction coram vobis relief has been granted. Under Virginia law, it may not be used for any purpose other than to correct a clerical error or error in fact.

It is in the nature of a civil action, analogous to a motion for a new trial. The function of the writ is to afford the trial court an opportunity to correct its own record regarding a fact that was not known when final judgment was rendered, and which could not have been presented by a motion for a new trial, an appeal, or another existing statutory proceeding. Coram vobis does not lie in Virginia for newly discovered evidence.


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