The inspector in this YouTube video says (03:59) "...the city will offer a six month filing...". What does 'six month filing' mean? What significance does it have to the defendant, if any?

  • 2
    It's legal jargon, so not really the province of this site. Likely means "six months of probation", but hard to say for sure. – Hot Licks Nov 21 '18 at 3:12
  • I thought I posted this at ell.stackexchange.com. I'm really sorry. I've flagged the question for transfer to ELL. – Larssend Nov 21 '18 at 9:55

It seems to be a colloquial term for deferred adjudication.

A deferred adjudication, also known in some jurisdictions as an adjournment in contemplation of dismissal (ACOD), probation before judgment (PBJ), or deferred entry of judgment (DEJ), is a form of plea deal available in various jurisdictions, where a defendant pleads "guilty" or "no contest" to criminal charges in exchange for meeting certain requirements laid out by the court within an allotted period of time also ordered by the court. Upon completion of the requirements, which may include probation, treatment, community service, some form of community supervision, or some other diversion program, the defendant may avoid a formal conviction on their record or have their case dismissed.

Apparently, the term filing comes from filing agreement which is a type of deferred adjudication available in some jurisdictions:

In Maine there are two types of deferred adjudications, which are a “Filing Agreement” and a “Deferred Disposition” that are available to a defendant [...] Although there is no statutory authority in the Maine Revised Statues for a filing agreement, the basis and requirements for this type of disposition is found in Maine Rule of Criminal Procedure 11B, which reads as follows:

Rule 11B. Filing Agreements

(a) In General. The attorney for the state and the defendant may enter into a written filing agreement respecting a pending indictment, information or complaint. The filing agreement must establish a definite filing period of up to one year subject to the conditions, if any, set forth in the filing agreement.

A very informal explanation from a firm of lawyers:

A filing is when the criminal cause of action is put aside, figuratively, on the shelf for a year time period. If a criminal defendant is not arrested for a new offense and abides by the conditions of his or her filing (such as payment of restitution and court costs) for a year then the RI criminal case is dismissed.
If a defendant gets pinched for a new criminal offense in Rhode Island or another state during the period of the filing then prosecutors may attempt to violate the person for breaking the conditions of the filing. If an accused violates a condition of his or her filing then the accused could be re-sentenced for the offense they received a filing for. This is all in addition to prosecutors proceeding with a criminal prosecution for the new offense.)

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