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fraud that prevents a party from knowing about his or her rights or defenses or from having a fair opportunity to present or litigate them at a trial. It is a ground for equitable relief from a judgment.
EXAMPLE: Loni obtains a court order requiring a company to give her all relevant information concerning a certain product that she claims injured her. At trial, a judge finds her evidence insufficient and dismisses her claim. Afterwards, Loni finds other documents in the company's possession that she never received but that would have proved her case. The extrinsic fraud committed upon her gives rise to both a suit against the company for the fraud and a right for Loni to have a new trial with the new documents. Source: Barron's Dictionary of Legal Terms, Steven H. Gifis, 5th Edition; © 2016