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What Is a Court Disposition?

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A court disposition is essentially the court's final decision. The Supreme Court has three options to choose from when reviewing lower court decisions, including to reverse, vacate or void, to affirm, or to remand.

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What Is a Court Disposition?
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The Disposition
During this process, the upper court can choose to make a decision on either one part of a lower court's decision, or the entire decision. The upper court might choose to return the case to the lower court so that it can be retried or to alter the sentence for the defendant, for example. If there's a specific statute or rule involved in the case with questionable constitutionality, the upper court would work to either invalidate or affirm all or part of it.

If the upper court affirms a decision, it means that they are allowing it to stand. If they remand it, they are making the lower court retry the case. If they void, vacate or reverse the decision, they are overturning the ruling the lower court made.

Certificate of Disposition
This is a type of official court document used in the state of New York. It will state the facts concerning what occurred concerning a criminal case. It'll bear the official court seal. It includes information about what a person was charged with, what he was convicted of, the date of conviction and the sentence that he received.

This document might be needed when a person is applying for a job, for example. In this case, the potential employer might request that a person provide one for all of their individual convictions.

Disposition Date
This is the date where the final ruling is issued in a case. For example, it might be the date that a procedural issue resulted in a case being dismissed. Two more examples include the date that two parties come to a final settlement or when a verdict is handed down in a criminal trial.

There are cases where there's more than one disposition date that's considered to be important. For example, when a pretrial motion is filed, this is the disposition date for that specific motion. Then, once a civil or criminal case is tried and concluded, it's given a second disposition date to reflect this event in the matter.

The date of sentencing is generally the disposition date concerning juvenile proceedings. This is when the juvenile is being tried for a criminal offense.

This date is important because it plays a role in collecting a judgment or filing an appeal. This is true for both civil and criminal cases.

Juvenile Dispositions
For juvenile defendants, disposition is usually either non-incarceration or incarceration. Both of these offer a variety of different sentencing options.

When incarcerating a juvenile, a judge might opt for adult jail or a secured juvenile facility. There are other options, however, that fall under this scope, including a juvenile detention facility, being placed in a group home or with a relative or home confinement.

If a judge chooses the non-incarceration court disposition, this comes in many forms. Common examples include verbal warning, counseling, probation, paying a fine, electronic monitoring or community service.

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