Adjournment Law & Legal Definition


Adjournment is the dismissal by some court, legislative assembly, or properly authorized officer, of the business before them. Adjournment may be made in a final or temporary manner. A final adjournment is called an adjournment sine die, meaning "without day". A temporary adjournment is one where the body is intended to meet again at another time appointed.

The U.S. Constitution states that "neither house, during the session of congress, shall, without the consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days, nor to any other place, that that in which the two houses shall be sitting."

Adjournment in contemplation of dismissal (ACD) is available in certain jurisdictions. The granting of an ACD is not a conviction and is not an admission of guilt. The court may, as a condition of the ACD, require the defendant to perform community service or participate in a program. Under ACD, a defendant essentially is put on probation for a set period of time, during which the case does not go to trial. This time period, during which the defendant must stay out of trouble, typically ranges from six months to a year. If the defendant meets the conditions set by the court, then the charge will be dismissed.