All You Need to Know About a Stay Order

Wondering what is stay order is? The following scenario may help you dip your toe into this seemingly complex legal concept. 

What Is A Stay Order

Imagine three brothers are living in a house who have filed a case in the court requesting a judiciously recommended partition. After some time, a stranger enters the case and claims the title or ownership of the same house. Now given there are two simultaneous cases ongoing regarding the same matter and involving the same number of individuals, a greater confusion can ensue regarding the final judgement. The results of the isolated judgements can be contradictory and can harm the rights of any of these four individuals. This is where the legal concept of Stay Order on the property comes into the picture.  To avoid uncertainty about the verdict, a stay order, meaning a temporary halt or postponement is put on the three brothers’ partition case until the ownership claim of the fourth stranger is confirmed. 
Read: Everything You Need to Know About Ts-bPass

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This scenario was an example of ‘stay order on proceedings’, one of several other scenarios even you may face in the future, in relation to your property, your land or any other valuable assets. It is a vital legal concept that can come in handy in the future and guide you in the right direction in times of need. This is why we decided it would be a good thing to cover all the important things you need to know to be safe from any legal debacles. 

Defining a Stay Order    

Defining a Stay Order
A stay order is a temporary act of stopping or postponing the use of a property or land until a verdict is reached

A ‘stay’ or ‘stay order’ is defined as the act of temporarily stopping or postponing any judicial proceeding through the court or legal authorities in India, in order to secure the rights of a citizen. It could lead to the suspension of a case, or even the suspension of any specific proceeding within an ongoing case. In the case of any key development that may require it, a judge may decide to issue a stay order without even formally prompting the other party or even a request being made to them in this regard.

There are two types of stay orders – ‘stay of proceedings’ and ‘stay of execution’. A stay of proceedings, as mentioned in the scenario above, is issued by the court in case there are parallel proceedings that take place, and which may affect either one. A stay of execution refers to the complete halting of the enforcement of a verdict or judgement against someone, for example when it is believed that a person is innocent and is given a pardon. This means that stay orders can persist conditionally or even absolutely. 
Read: What is Land Encroachment and How to Deal with it Legally?

Let us now look at the different scenarios where a stay order may be applicable.

Types of Stay Order Formats

Types of Stay Order Formats
A court stay order can be issued in case any illegal construction is taking place

There are several scenarios in which a stay order suit can be issued:

  1. In the case of a property in dispute is vulnerable to becoming damaged, wasted, or alienated by any party, or sold wrongfully due to the execution of the verdict
  2. In the case of the defendant threatening or intending to remove or even dispose of the property in dispute to defraud creditors
  3. In the case of the defendant threatening to cause harm to the plaintiff in relation to the property in dispute

Typically, you may have (or may in the future) come across these stay order procedures:

  • Stay order on property: This is a temporary stay order on any property in the case the property in dispute has been / is being damaged, wasted, alienated, or wrongfully sold; or in other cases where the property in dispute has been threatened to be disposed of.
  • Stay order on land: Given India is a vast agricultural land, a court-mandated stay order on land refers to a temporary halt on any use of the land. This is in the case the land in dispute doesn’t have a determined owner, or any illegal practices have occurred in that land.  

For you to file such a request for a stay order, you need to keep in mind that there is a duration to consider for the stay order process to get over, along with the appropriate amount of legal counsel as well as a mandatory court stay order fees. 
Read: Important Things to Know about KDMC Property Tax – Calculation and Payment Process

For one, you must first establish prima facie i.e., the legal claim that shows enough evidence to move ahead with a legal trial or verdict on the case. You must meet the fundamental criteria for the case to happen in the first place. This is why you must prove the three things below:

  1. That if the stay order is not issued, the appellant may face irreversible damage or make the judicial process complicated
  2. The stay order application has been made without any unnecessary delay (so that the intent is incidental in relation to the dispute)
  3. That appellant has given security enough for the case to come to a verdict and will consider it binding

If the proofs mentioned above prove correct, the court may grant a stay order. If the existing court doesn’t grant the stay order, you can also take the appeal to an even higher court, for instance, getting a supreme court judgement on a stay order due to an illegal overtaking of a property. 
Read: What is Partition Deed and Why It is Important?

Registering a Court Stay Order 

If you are wondering how to get a stay order from the court in the case of a dispute over your property’s rightful ownership, worry not. You can simply approach the court with the FIR (First Information Report), a copy of the charge sheet, the proper documents of the property, your ID proof, along all the documents you consider are relevant to the case. As for the time required for the process to complete, a high court stay order validity after issuance can take anywhere from 7 to 21 days, all depending on how quickly the prima facie satisfies the court, and how strong your case is presented to the court. Nevertheless, a stay order may not be granted for a duration greater than 6 months. 

Do note that in some cases the high court may not interfere such as the ones falling under the SARFAESI Act (Securitization and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security) introduced in 2002 to help Indian banks and lenders recover their dues (say, in case a borrower is not able to pay hisor her home loan dues for a long period of time and allows the lender to recover the collateral asset). Read more about the SARFAESI Act here. In the Haryana and Punjab High Courts, for example, it was recently made clear the courts cannot hinder the recovery proceedings once they have been initiated. It means you may not be able to take a stay order against the SARFAESI act. Alternatively, you can seek remedy by approaching the Debt Recovery Tribunal.

What Happens After a Stay Order is Violated?

A stay order is a legal order meant to curb activities pertaining to disputed land, property, etc. However, if any party is observed to be in violation of the stay order, that is, continuing activities such as construction, sale, etc, legal action can be taken. 

You can launch a civil contempt lawsuit against the contravenor in the High Court if the court has previously issued a stay order and it is not being implemented. You should file a police complaint, advise them of the court orders, and ask them to make sure they are obeyed before you file a contempt suit with the High Court.

Getting The Right Legal Counsel Matters a Great Deal!

Getting The Right Legal Counsel Matters a Great Deal!
The right legal expertise with stay order can make a huge difference

The several facets of a case can be quite complex and navigating the Indian legal system can be complicated for a layman. This is why seeking the counsel of a good property or real-estate lawyer can help prevent unfair verdicts where you may actually have a strong case. Moreover, getting all the documentation correct with the help of a lawyer helps minimize the chances of refusal at the court where you are requesting a stay order. Finally, having an experienced lawyer by your side who has dealt with such cases in the past helps you avoid any common mistakes. Your dream home, after all, must not come with unnecessary legal and financial issues that you may end up living with for a long time. When it comes to legal issues and paperwork, you need to be extremely careful, even the slightest mistake could mean a huge loss. The best way to avoid such mistakes is to get a team of professionals to assist you. At NoBroker, our experts can guide you and ensure your paperwork is perfect. 


Q1. What is court stay order mean in a simple sentence?

Ans. A court stay order means stopping or postponing a judicial case to protect the rights of either of the appealing or defendant parties. 

Q2. How to take stay order from the court?

Ans. You need to present the FIR, a copy of the charge sheet, the proper documents of the property, ID proof, and all the documents relevant to the case. To be safe, you should take the expert service of a property lawyer to know more about how to get stay order on the property.

Q3. How to remove stay order on the property?

Ans. It is possible to remove stay order from a property in dispute by filing a petition to cancel the stay order and proving the necessary requirements. To be safe, you should take the expert service of a property lawyer to know more about how to remove stay order on a property.

Q4. How to get stay order on illegal construction?

Ans. You can file a complaint with the necessary proof to the municipal authorities and your local police station. The court may even grant a temporary injunction for the act to be restrained until a verdict is reached.

Q5. . Can a stay order in civil case be cancelled?

Ans. Yes, a stay order can be cancelled by filing a petition for cancellation along with the necessary proof explaining the grounds for cancellation.

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Simon Ghosh

The home is where Simon's heart is! As an introvert, he has always been curious about transforming the indoors into a space that can help mentally reset, recharge, and feel safe. A long-time analyst of architectural and real-estate trends, Simon is a true believer in the fact that thoughtful design can provoke powerful thoughts, even when done with the least effort. As a writer, Simon shares his tips to make your home a place of tranquillity, with smart and stylish ways.

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