FRAUD UPON THE COURT

A judge is not the court. People v. Zajic, 88 Ill.App.3d 477, 410 N.E.2d 626 (1980). A judge is a state judicial officer, paid by the State to act impartially and lawfully. A judge is also an officer of the court, as well as are all attorneys.

Whenever any officer of the court commits fraud during a proceeding in the court, he/she is engaged in "fraud upon the court". In Bulloch v. United States, 763 F.2d 1115, 1121 (10th Cir. 1985), the court stated "Fraud upon the court is fraud which is directed to the judicial machinery itself and is not fraud between the parties or fraudulent documents, false statements or perjury. ... It is where the court or a member is corrupted or influenced or influence is attempted or where the judge has not performed his judicial function --- thus where the impartial functions of the court have been directly corrupted."

"Fraud upon the court" has been defined by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals to "embrace that species of fraud which does, or attempts to, defile the court itself, or is a fraud perpetrated by officers of the court so that the judicial machinery can not perform in the usual manner its impartial task of adjudging cases that are presented for adjudication." Kenner v. C.I.R., 387 F.3d 689 (1968); 7 Moore's Federal Practice, 2d ed., p. 512, ¶60.23. The 7th Circuit further stated "a decision produced by fraud upon the court is not in essence a decision at all, and never becomes final."

What effect does an act of "fraud upon the court" have upon the court proceeding?

See "Fraud upon the court" makes void
the orders and judgments of that court

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Created May 26, 1999

Last updated May 28, 2001