Stay of proceedings
A permanent or temporary discontinuation of a legal action, by an order of the court. The court can later ‘lift’ a stay of proceedings and resume hearing of the legal action.
Stay of proceedings is regularly applied for by parties to a trial as a delaying tactic to frustrate proceedings and sometimes postpone them indefinitely, or to otherwise gain time in order to further prepare their case and evidence.
In NSW, the court’s power to issue a stay of proceedings is found in section 67 of the Civil Procedure Act 2005.
Reasons why a stay of proceedings may be issued include:
- Agreement from the parties to arbitrate or mediate
- Failure to answer interrogatories
- Failure to comply with directions
- Abuse of process
- Forum non conveniens