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Tending to cause a delay in judicial proceedings.

Dilatory tactics are methods by which the rules of procedure are used by a party to a lawsuit in an abusive manner to delay the progress of the proceedings. For example, when numerous motions brought before a court for postponement are baseless, time is wasted because the court must stop the course of ongoing proceedings to examine whether there is any merit to the motions. The party in whose interests the motion is brought uses this tactic to gain time to enhance his or her position, or to postpone an action by a court as long as possible to minimize the impact of a decree rendered against him or her. A party found to engage in dilatory tactics may be held in Contempt of court.


adjective after time, behind time, belated, delayed, delaying, deliberately slow, eleventh hour, inclined to delay, indolent, intended to bring about delay, intended to defer decision, intended to gain time, lackadaisical, last minute, late, overdue, procrastinative, procrastinatory, remiss, tardy
Associated concepts: dilatory defense, dilatory exceptions, dilatory motion, dilatory plea, dilatory practice
See also: indolent, otiose, remiss, truant

DILATORY. That which is intended for delay. It is a maxim, that delays in law are odious, dilationes in lege sunt odiosae. Plowd. 75.