Stay of Prison Order – What is It?


Stay of Prison Order – What is It?

A legal restraint prevents a party from acting in an important way. A legal restraint is essentially a prohibition on the conduct of some specified activity. Generally speaking, a court has the authority to restrain a person or organization from engaging in some conduct. Ordinarily, a court will temporarily suspend or prevent a pending proceeding or trial indefinitely or temporarily. A court can later lift the restraint and resume the proceedings.

Some stays are absolute, meaning that they are effective immediately and cannot be lifted. Other stays are typically effective only for a limited period of time-one month or less. The duration of a stay may be cited in the case law, but the actual stay may only be for a specific action, such as initiating a new investigation or collecting past debts. In other cases, a stay may be lifted only if the court finds that the situation justifies such a lifting; in this instance, the lifting of the stay would likely be a result of new evidence or other substantial developments in the case.

Many jurisdictions retain the common practice of staying criminal cases to allow criminal defendants time to get their representation finished. This practice has sometimes been called “anarchic sitting.” However, there is no indication that it is an archaic practice; if anything, staying criminal proceedings creates a more manageable and orderly setting for all parties. Also, in many instances, this lifting of a stay gives new meaning to the term “due process.”