RunSensible’s Legal Dictionary

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Legal Dictionary

In absentia

The phrase “in absentia” is a Latin term that is commonly used in legal contexts. It means “in the absence” or “in the person’s absence.” When something is done or a legal proceeding takes place “in absentia,” it means that the person who is the subject of the proceeding or event is not physically present. This can happen for various reasons, such as when a trial or hearing proceeds without the defendant or a key witness being present.

For example, a trial held “in absentia” might occur when a defendant has fled or cannot be located, but the legal process needs to continue. In such cases, the court may proceed with the trial and make decisions even though the defendant is not there in person.

“In absentia” proceedings are often subject to specific rules and requirements to ensure that the absent party’s rights are protected as much as possible. These rules may vary by jurisdiction and the nature of the legal proceeding.

Outside of legal contexts, “in absentia” can also be used more broadly to refer to something happening or being done in someone’s absence in other contexts, such as a meeting or a ceremony.

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