I had never heard this term before, but it translates as “hear the complaint” and is (or was) used to “challenge a judgment that was correct when entered by later rendered infirm.” It was specifically abolished by Federal Rule of Procedure 60(e) along with bills of review, bills in the nature of bills in review, writs of coram nobis, and writs of coram vobis. (A quick trip to Blacks informs me that a writ of coram nobis, “before us,” is a writ of error from the Kings Bench and that a writ of coram vobis, “before you,” is a writ of error from any other court). However, the Tenth Circuit assumes without deciding that a writ of audita querela remains available under the All Writs Act.
In United States v. Montano (No. 11-2119) the Tenth Circuit held, expanding on a footnote in a prior case, that this writ is not available when a remedy is present under 22 U.S.C. 2255, even if statutory relief is time barred.