Out Of Court Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Out Of Court, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Out Of Court?

It refers to a decision, negotiation or agreement between the parties without any judicial interference.

History and Meaning of Out Of Court

The term "Out Of Court" refers to a resolution of disputes or cases between parties without resorting to litigation. It is also called "Settlement," which is a formal agreement between the parties involved in a dispute that sets forth the terms of their agreement. Parties settle disputes out of court to avoid the time, expense, and emotional distress of court proceedings.

Out Of Court settlements have a long history, but early settlements were not legally enforceable. The English legal system initially placed great emphasis on the role of the jury in resolving disputes. However, with the passage of time, settlements have gained legal recognition and are now a common and widespread method of resolving disputes in almost every legal system.

Examples of Out Of Court

  1. In a divorce case, a couple privately agree on how assets will be divided and how child custody will be handled, effectively settling "out of court" instead of having a judge decide.
  2. Two companies may resolve a contractual dispute through a mediation process instead of taking it to court.
  3. An individual may settle a personal injury claim out of court with the insurance company of the person who caused the injury.

Legal Terms Similar to Out Of Court

  1. Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR): A method of resolving disputes outside of the courtroom, including arbitration, mediation, and negotiation.
  2. Mediation: A process where a neutral third party helps the parties involved in a dispute come to an agreement without going to court.
  3. Settlement Agreement: A written document that outlines the agreed-upon terms of a settlement between two or more parties.