Prima Facie Law and Legal Definition

Prima facie is a Latin term meaning "at first look," or "on its face," and refers to evidence before trial which is sufficient to prove the case unless there is substantial contradictory evidence shown at trial. A prima facie case must be presented to Grand Jury by the prosecution in order to get an indictment.

If an applicant submits the evidence necessary to prove a prima facie case, absent a response (or evidence to the contrary), the applicant should prevail. For example, to establish a prima facie case of job discrimination, courts generally require that: 1) Plaintiff was a member of a protected group. (2) Plaintiff was qualified for the job sought. (3) Plaintiff was rejected despite the qualifications. (4) The employer continued to seek applicants with plaintiff's qualifications.