stay


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Stay

The act of temporarily stopping a judicial proceeding through the order of a court.

A stay is a suspension of a case or a suspension of a particular proceeding within a case. A judge may grant a stay on the motion of a party to the case or issue a stay sua sponte, without the request of a party. Courts will grant a stay in a case when it is necessary to secure the rights of a party.

There are two main types of stays: a stay of execution and a stay of proceedings. A stay of execution postpones the enforcement of a judgment against a litigant who has lost a case, called the Judgment Debtor. In other words, if a civil litigant wins money damages or some other form of relief, he may not collect the damages or receive the relief if the court issues a stay. Under rule 62 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, every civil judgment is stayed for ten days after it is rendered. An additional stay of execution lasts only for a limited period. It usually is granted when the judgment debtor appeals the case, but a court may grant a stay of execution in any case in which the court feels the stay is necessary to secure or protect the rights of the judgment debtor.

The term stay of execution may also refer to a halt in the execution of a death penalty. This kind of stay of execution normally is granted when a court decides to allow an additional appeal by a condemned prisoner. Such stays of execution may be granted by executives, such as governors or the president of the United States, or by appeals courts.

A stay of proceedings is the stoppage of an entire case or a specific proceeding within a case. This type of stay is issued to postpone a case until a party complies with a court order or procedure. For example, if a party is required to deposit collateral with the court before a case begins, the court may order the proceedings stayed for a certain period of time or until the money or property is delivered to the court. If the party fails to deposit the collateral, the court may cite the party for Contempt of court and impose a fine or order incarceration.

A court may stay a proceeding for a number of reasons. One common reason is that another action is under way that may affect the case or the rights of the parties in the case. For instance, assume that a defendant faces lawsuits from the same plaintiffs in two separate cases involving closely related facts. One case is filed in federal court, and the other case is filed in state court. In this situation one of the courts may issue a stay in deference to the other court. The stay enables the defendant to concentrate on one case at a time.

The term stay may also be used to describe any number of legal measures taken by a legislature to provide temporary relief to debtors. For example, under section 362(a) of the Bankruptcy Code, a debtor who files for bankruptcy receives an automatic stay immediately upon filing a voluntary bankruptcy petition. Used in this sense, the term stay refers to the right of the debtor to keep creditors at bay during the resolution of the bankruptcy case.

Further readings

Hazard, Geoffrey C., Jr., Colin C. Tait, and William A. Fletcher. 1994. Cases and Materials on Pleading and Procedure: State and Federal. 7th ed. Westbury, N.Y.: Foundation Press.

Cross-references

Capital Punishment.

stay

n. a court-ordered short-term delay in judicial proceedings to give a losing defendant time to arrange for payment of the judgment or move out of the premises in an unlawful detainer case. (See: stay of execution)

stay

noun abeyance, abeyancy, bar, cessation, check, curb, delay, desistance, discontinuance, halt, hindrance, mansio, obstacle, obstruction, prevention, respite, restraint, stop, stoppage, suspension, wait
Associated concepts: judicial stay, stay of enforcement, stay of execution, stay of proceedings, stay pending appeal

stay

(Halt), verb arrest, bar, block, check, cohibere, constrain, curb, delay, demorari, desist, detain, deter, detinere, discontinue, forbid, foreclose, forestall, frustrate, hamper, hinder, hold, impede, intercept, interrupt, obviate, preclude, prevent, prohibit, put an end to, quell, reprieve, respite, restrain, stem, stop, stymie, suppress, thwart
Associated concepts: permanent injunction, stay enforceeent, stay of execution, stay order, stay proceedings, temmorary injunction, temporary restraining order

stay

(Continue), verb endure, extend, keep on, last, persevere, persist, prolong, remain, subsist
Associated concepts: stay in occupancy

stay

(Rest), verb await, be anchored, be dormant, be fixed, be immobile, be inert, be inmovable, be motionless, be riveted, be sedentary, be stationary, be transfixed, halt, lodge, park, pause, remain, repose, stand, stop, wait
See also: abeyance, adhere, adjourn, adjournment, arrest, balk, ban, bar, barrier, block, cease, cessation, check, clog, cloture, cohere, constrict, continuance, continue, curb, defer, delay, desist, detain, dwell, encumbrance, endure, estop, exist, extension, forestall, halt, hinder, impede, inhabit, inhabitation, inhibit, keep, last, lodge, lull, mainstay, obstruct, occupy, pause, persevere, persist, postpone, preclude, prevent, prohibit, prohibition, remain, remission, repress, reprieve, reside, resist, respite, rest, restrain, restraint, stem, stop, subsist, suspend, toll, uphold, withstand
References in classic literature ?
But he wept such big tears, and begged so hard to be allowed to stay, that the Doctor hadn't the heart to turn him out.
The first thing he said then was that he was a fool to go on getting himself killed for anyone he ever saw, and was determined to be off and stay there no longer, When the Princess learned his intention she entreated him to stay, reminding him that another night would free her from the spell.
I'll stay till to-night if you're willing," said Dinah.
Therefore, my son, I will not stay here without you--no, not though heaven itself vouchsafe to strip my years from off me, and make me young as I was when I first left Hellas the land of fair women.
All that I heard was that his friend had pressed him to stay longer, and that he had agreed to do so.
The longer he stays, the worse it will be for him at last.
It is very cold here," he said; "but I will stay with you for one night, and be your messenger.
Some of us must stay here, and take care of the sick.
He's the right kind an' we stay by him, don't we, girls?
Well, her mother told her she could ask me to go home with her from school and stay all night with her.
The Captain of the ship was not afraid, because he had seen storms before, and had sailed his ship through them in safety; but he knew that his passengers would be in danger if they tried to stay on deck, so he put them all into the cabin and told them to stay there until after the storm was over, and to keep brave hearts and not be scared, and all would be well with them.
Perhaps he will stay among his friends till Christmas; and then, next spring, he will be off again.