nisi prius
nisi pri·us /-'prī-əs, -'prē-u̇s/ n [Medieval Latin, unless before, the words introducing a clause in an English writ commanding a sheriff to provide a jury at the Court of Westminster on a certain day unless the judges of assize previously come to the county from which the jury is to be returned]: a court of record that tries an issue of fact before a jury and a single judge: trial court; also: the proceedings in such a court: the conducting of jury trials
long-distance travel eliminated the nisi prius practice of the justices — W. J. Brennan, Jr.

Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of Law. . 1996.

nisi prius
The original lower level or trial court where a case was first heard by the judge and the jury, irrespective of where it is heard now. "Court of original jurisdiction" is often substituted for the term nisi prius which is Latin for "unless before."
Category: Small Claims Court & Lawsuits

Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary. . 2009.


nisi prius
n. Latin Refers to a court in which a jury is the ultimate finder of fact.

Webster's New World Law Dictionary. . 2000.


nisi prius
(Latin: Unless before.)

Dictionary from West's Encyclopedia of American Law. 2005.


nisi prius
[Latin, Unless before.]

Short Dictionary of (mostly American) Legal Terms and Abbreviations.

nisi prius
[nee-see pree-us]
adj.
   Latin for "unless first," in some jurisdictions it means the original trial court which heard a case as distinguished from a court of appeals, as in court nisi prius. "Court of original jurisdiction" is often substituted for the term nisi prius.

Law dictionary. . 2013.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Nisi prius — is a historical term in English law. In the nineteenth century, it came to be used to denote generally all legal actions tried before judges of the King s Bench Division[1] and in the early twentieth century for actions tried at assize by a judge …   Wikipedia

  • nisi prius — nisi prius, adj. /nuy suy pruy euhs, nee see pree euhs/, Law. 1. Also called nisi prius court. a trial court for the hearing of civil cases before a judge and jury. 2. Brit. Law. a. a writ commanding a sheriff of a county to summon a jury and… …   Universalium

  • Nisi prius — Nisi Ni si, conj. [L.] Unless; if not; used mostly in law. [1913 Webster] Note: In legal proceedings, this word is used to indicate that any order, etc., shall take effect at a given time, unless before that time the order, etc., in modified, or… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • nisi prius — [prī′əs] n. [L, unless before: used orig. in a writ directing a sheriff to summon a jury to Westminster on a certain date “unless before” that date the trial had been held in his own county] any of various courts in which a cause of action may be …   English World dictionary

  • nisi prius — /naysay prayas/ The nisi prius courts are such as are held for the trial of issues of fact before a jury and one presiding judge. In America the phrase was formerly used to denote the forum (whatever may be its statutory name) in which the cause… …   Black's law dictionary

  • nisi prius — /naysay prayas/ The nisi prius courts are such as are held for the trial of issues of fact before a jury and one presiding judge. In America the phrase was formerly used to denote the forum (whatever may be its statutory name) in which the cause… …   Black's law dictionary

  • nisi prius — ˈprīəs noun Etymology: Middle English, from Medieval Latin, literally, unless before (words introducing a clause in the writ) 1. a. : a cause involving issues of fact that being begun in the courts of Westminster was appointed to be tried there… …   Useful english dictionary

  • Nisi prius — Lit. unless previously . A writ to the *sheriff instructing him to provide a jury at the court of Westminster on a set day, unless the assize judges came to the *county …   Dictionary of Medieval Terms and Phrases

  • nisi prius — /naɪsaɪ ˈpriəs/ (say nuysuy preeuhs) noun British Law a legal system providing for the trial of civil, and later also criminal cases locally before a single judge and jury, rather than before the central Westminster courts. {Latin: unless before; …   Australian English dictionary

  • nisi prius — Unless before. A trial before a single judge. An English court presided over by commissioners detailed on circuit from London to hold jury trials. In modern terminology, the trial, as distinguished from the appellate court, where both have… …   Ballentine's law dictionary

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