(plural abuses of discretion)
- (law) The rendering of a decision by a court that is so unreasonable in light of the facts of the case or is such an unreasonable deviation from legal precedent that it must be reversed.
- (law) Any action by a government official by which that official renders decisions for a clearly improper purpose.
Abuse of discretion is the most rigorous of the three standards by which common law court decisions are reviewed on appeal; the other two are de novo and clear error.
abuse of discretion - Legal Definition
A trial court or administrative agency’s ruling on a matter within its discretion that, in light of the relevant facts and law, is arbitrary, capricious, unconscionable, unfair, unreasonable, or illegal. An appellate court will not reverse a ruling that was within the discretion of the trial court or administrative agency merely because the appellate court would have reached a different decision. Instead, the trial court or administrative agency’s decision must be wholly inconsistent with the facts and the law and with any reasonable deductions that can be made therefrom.