What is a Prima Facie Case?

Definition: A prima facie case is a legal scenario where the prosecution of a case presented enough evidence to convict the defendant. It is a situation where the facts and proofs shown to the court have enough merit for a trial to be commenced.

What Does Prima Facia Case Mean?

Prima Facie is a Latin expression that means “at first sight”. In legal cases, the party presenting the claim has the burden of proof. That means they have to present enough evidence for a trial to be considered. If the evidence presented is not sufficient, the case might be dismissed.

The concept of Prima Facie Case takes place in these prehearing procedures and it means that there was enough evidence to move forward to a formal trial, since the facts presented are indicating, from a legal standpoint, a possible wrongdoing. Judges are the ones in charge of issuing the conviction, meaning, granting the prima facie case to the prosecution. The burden of proof regularly required doesn’t have to be as heavy as in a formal trial, but it must be more compelling than the arguments and facts drafted by the defense.

Example

Mr. Oliver decided to start a legal procedure against a private clinic he attended recently for an emergency. After he nailed one of his fingers to a wall, he rushed to the clinic to be taken care of and after filling some papers a nurse told him to wait until a doctor was available. After an hour of waiting, a doctor observed the wound and due to the waiting period Mr. Oliver lost his finger. He filed a lawsuit in court because the waiting was unjustified and it caused him to lose one of his extremities.

He now has to present enough evidence to support his allegations to get a prima facie case. After reviewing the surveillance camera videos taken that day, there is enough evidence to say the waiting period was unnecessary and his finger could have been saved. This evidence was enough to convict the clinic and a prima facie case was granted to Mr. Oliver. Now he has to wait for the trial to happen to see if he can get a compensation from the situation.