Dead Docket Law and Legal Definition

Dead docket as a procedural device by which the prosecution is postponed indefinitely but may be reinstated any time at the pleasure of the court. Placing a case upon the dead docket constitutes neither a dismissal nor a termination of the prosecution in the accused's favor. A case is still pending which can be called for trial at the judge's pleasure, or upon which the accused can make a demand for trial.

Example of a State Statute Georgia on Dead Docket-

In Georgia the statutory authority for criminal dead dockets is contained in OCGA 15-6-61 _a_ _4_ _B_. It provides that it is the duty of the clerk of the court to keep "[a] criminal docket which shall contain a summary record of all criminal indictments in which true bills are rendered and all criminal accusations filed in the office of the clerk. . . . The criminal docket shall contain . . . entries of cases which are ordered dead docketed at the discretion of the presiding judge and which shall be called only at the judge's pleasure. When a case is thus dead docketed, all witnesses who may have been subpoenaed therein shall be released from further attendance until resubpoenaed."