In law terminology, a stay, which is often called a stay of proceedings, is a ruling by a court to stop or suspend a proceeding or trial. A stay of proceedings can be either temporary or indefinite, depending on the specific situation and case.
If the stay of proceedings ruling is not an indefinite ruling, the proceedings or trial can be resumed once the conditions imposed by the court are met. A temporary stay of proceedings does not require an end date, although one can be determined with judicial discretion. Although a stay of proceedings is not the same thing as the dismissal of a case, if the conditions imposed by the court are never met, the two rulings have virtually the same outcome for a defendant.