Clerical Error/ Scrivener's Error/ Vitium Clerici Law and Legal Definition

Clerical error or Scrivener's error is an error due to a minor mistake or inadvertence and not one that occurs from judicial reasoning or determination. It can be a mistake made in a letter, paper, or document that changes the meaning of the same. Typographical errors or the unintentional addition or omission of a word, phrase, or figure in writing or copying something on the record are all examples of clerical or scrivener’s error. Such an error is made by mistake and not purposely and so should be readily remedied without objection. For example, if the amount of money owed to a plaintiff by the defendant is mistakenly recorded by a court reporter as $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. In case parties to a contract make an oral agreement which when reduced to writing, is mis-transcribed, the aggrieved party is entitled to reformation so that the writing corresponds to the oral agreement.

Scrivener's error has also been cited in many appeals cases when the appellate court reverses the trial court's decision. [Ortiz v. State, 600 So. 2d 530, 532 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 3d Dist. 1992)]

Clerical error or Scrivener's error is also termed as Vitium Clerici.