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A stay of proceedings is a ruling by the court in civil and criminal procedure, halting further legal process in a trial. The court can subsequently lift the stay and resume proceedings. However, a stay is sometimes used as a device to postpone proceedings indefinitely.
A court in the United Kingdom may issue a stay in a winding-up upon the creation of an application for rescission, an order is made against a false or mistaken institution, the petition debt is paid in full, the pertaining institution ceases to exist, or if a winding-up order already exists.
According to United States legal code, a stay of proceedings can be issued in a case "brought in any of the courts of the United States upon any issue referable to arbitration under an agreement in writing for such arbitration" when the ruling on the case is pending, can be stayed "until such arbitration has been had in accordance with the terms of the agreement, providing the applicant for the stay is not in default in proceeding with such arbitration."
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