We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Is a Motion to Stay?

Jessica Ellis
Updated Jun 04, 2024
Our promise to you
MyLawQuestions is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At MyLawQuestions, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

In law, a motion to stay is a request to temporarily stop a case or halt proceedings. These motion can be used in many different legal situations, from criminal trials to house foreclosures. Stays are typically granted or refused by the judge in charge of a legal case, or the governing legislative body. Although most motions to stay are requested by an attorney, a judge can choose to stay a case without a request in some circumstances.

There are many different ways a motion of stay can be used in court proceedings. Sometimes, if an action outside the case may affect the participants, a judge may order a stay until the outside situation resolves. For instance, a judge could grant a motion to stay a case until the results of DNA testing are completed or reviewed by an expert. Stays can also be granted if a case is being tried on two levels, such as in both state and federal court. In this instance, a judge may stay a trial to wait for the other trial's conclusion.

A motion to stay may be imposed if a participant in a case has not complied with a court order. If, for instance, a plaintiff has not paid court fees or put up required collateral, the case may be stayed until this issue is resolved as ordered. Custody cases can be stayed in some regions if appropriate documents have not been filed or verified.

If judgment has already been handed down, an attorney or participant can request a motion to stay execution. While this term is often used in reference to literal capital execution of a convicted criminal, it can also be used to stop another sentence, such as jail time, from being carried. Motions to stay capital execution are typically used in controversial death penalty cases in order to allow an condemned prisoner extra time to appeal the judgment.

A stay of execution prevents the judgment of a trial from being carried out. This means that in civil trials, if a judge orders one party to pay another a certain amount of money, this money does not have to be paid if a stay is in place. A stay may be used in civil cases to allow the paying party time to raise or file an appeal. In most cases, monetary judgments are automatically stayed for a set period of days or weeks to allow for financial organization.

MyLawQuestions is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Jessica Ellis
By Jessica Ellis
With a B.A. in theater from UCLA and a graduate degree in screenwriting from the American Film Institute, Jessica Ellis brings a unique perspective to her work as a writer for MyLawQuestions. While passionate about drama and film, Jessica enjoys learning and writing about a wide range of topics, creating content that is both informative and engaging for readers.
Discussion Comments
By widget2010 — On May 13, 2011

I feel like I have seen this a lot in television and movies, and read it in books- in those stories, the defendant and/or prosecutor always uses them in order to have that extra few minutes to get the last saving witness or last damning evidence in order to win the protagonist's case. I imagine it is not usually so dramatic in real life, though.

By ZsaZsa56 — On May 09, 2011

This particular legal maneuver has been in the news a lot lately because so many people have filed a motion to stay foreclosure. It is a powerful tool because it acts like a last line of defense before any legal penalty goes into action. A motion to stay gives people one last opportunity to get their affairs in order or try to overturn a judgment. It is an important check on the powers of the courts.

Jessica Ellis
Jessica Ellis
With a B.A. in theater from UCLA and a graduate degree in screenwriting from the American Film Institute, Jessica Ellis...
Learn more
MyLawQuestions, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

MyLawQuestions, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.