What Does Commenced and Concluded Mean in Court

What Does Commenced and Concluded Mean in Court?

In the legal arena, certain terms are commonly used to describe the different stages of a court case. Two such terms are “commenced” and “concluded.” These terms hold significant importance as they signify the beginning and end of a legal proceeding. Understanding what these terms mean is crucial for anyone involved in or seeking information about court cases. This article will delve into the meanings of “commenced” and “concluded” in court, along with an FAQ section to address common queries related to these terms.


The term “commenced” refers to the initiation or start of a court case. It marks the point at which legal proceedings officially begin. Typically, a court case commences when the plaintiff files a complaint or initiates legal action against the defendant. The commencement of a case sets the wheels of justice in motion and triggers a series of events that will lead to a resolution.

Once a case is commenced, the court will assign it a docket number, which serves as a unique identifier for that particular case. This number helps to track and manage the case throughout its journey in the legal system. The commencement of a case also establishes the jurisdiction in which it will be heard, ensuring that it falls under the appropriate legal authority.


On the other hand, the term “concluded” refers to the end or closure of a court case. It encompasses all the final steps taken to bring the legal proceedings to a final resolution. A case can be concluded through various means, such as a judgment, a settlement, or a dismissal.

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If a case goes to trial, its conclusion is typically marked by a judgment. A judgment is the court’s final decision on the matter, determining the rights and obligations of the parties involved. This decision is legally binding and carries significant weight. Alternatively, a case can be concluded through a settlement, where the parties reach an agreement outside of court. In this scenario, the court will review and approve the settlement, effectively ending the case. Lastly, a case may be concluded through dismissal, which occurs when a judge dismisses the case due to lack of evidence, jurisdictional issues, or other legal grounds.


Q: What happens after a case is commenced?
A: After a case is commenced, the court will notify the defendant about the legal action taken against them. The defendant will then have an opportunity to respond to the allegations made by the plaintiff. This response typically takes the form of an answer or a motion to dismiss.

Q: How long does a court case take to conclude?
A: The duration of a court case varies greatly depending on several factors, including the complexity of the case, the jurisdiction, and the court’s caseload. Some cases can be resolved quickly, within a matter of months, while others may take several years to conclude.

Q: Can a case be concluded without going to trial?
A: Yes, many cases are resolved without going to trial. Parties involved in a legal dispute often prefer to reach a settlement outside of court to avoid the time, cost, and uncertainty associated with a trial.

Q: What does it mean if a case is dismissed?
A: If a case is dismissed, it means that the court has decided not to proceed with the legal action. This could be due to various reasons, such as lack of evidence, jurisdictional issues, or procedural errors.

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Q: Can a concluded case be reopened?
A: In certain circumstances, a concluded case can be reopened. This usually happens if new evidence emerges or if there was a significant error in the previous proceedings. Reopening a case requires a formal application to the court, which will assess the merits of the request.

In conclusion, the terms “commenced” and “concluded” play vital roles in the legal system, marking the beginning and end of court cases, respectively. Understanding these terms is crucial for anyone involved in or seeking information about court proceedings. Whether you are a plaintiff, defendant, or simply an interested party, being familiar with these terms will provide you with a better grasp of the legal process.