An invited error means that a party cannot ask for a specific thing in court and then later argue that it hurt them. In other words, sometimes the court makes an error because of a motion by one party. That party cannot then use this for its advantage in an appeal. (Black’s Law Dictionary).
Since it was an invited error, the judge ignored the plaintiff’s request to overturn the decision because of the error.
The Utah Supreme Court case State v. Geukgeuzian gives a great example of an invited error. In the trial court, the defendant gave the judge his version for the instructions to the jury. However, he left out an important part of the test that determined whether he was guilty. The court accepted these instructions. After losing the case, the defendant appealed by arguing that the instructions were missing an important part. The court decided that since he had submitted the instructions, he was responsible for them. It would be an invited error to overturn the result based on his mistake.
Other Important Information
There are several reasons for not allowing an invited error:
- It prevents the person who asked for the error to have an easy out if they lose. Permitting an invited error would provide incentive to deceive the court as a back up plan.
- It speeds up the trial process, preventing prolonged court cases and unnecessary appeals.
- It assures that most of the court work is done the first time around instead of having to redo things repeatedly.
- It gives an incentive for both parties to pay attention to the court’s proceedings.
Even honest mistakes cannot be changed if the party had a chance to fix or object to them. The court does not have to consider an appeal if that party invited the error, even if said party has a valid argument.
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