Prima Facie Case
Prima facie is a Latin term meaning “at first look” or “on its face,” and it refers to evidence before trial that is sufficient to prove the case unless there is substantial contradictory evidence shown at trial. A prima facie case must be presented to the 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, and (4) the employer continued to seek applicants with plaintiff’s qualifications.
References and Readings
- Melton, G. B., Petrila, J., Poythress, N. G., & Slobogin, C. (2007). Psychological evaluations for the courts (3rd ed.). New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
- Wrightsman, L. S., Greene, E., Nietzel, M. T., & Fortune, W. H. (2002). Psychology and the legal system (5th ed.). Belmont: Wadsworth, Thompson Learning.Google Scholar