Definition - What does Consent Decree mean?
A consent decree is a written court order issued by a judge which serves as a settlement to a lawsuit. The consent decree is brought about voluntarily between opposing parties in a legal action, usually in criminal law. It is a legally binding agreement whereby guilt is not assigned, or admitted to, and remedial action is mutually agreed upon. A consent decree is sometimes referred to as a consent judgement, agreed judgement, consent order, or stipulated judgement.
WorkplaceTesting explains Consent Decree
The purpose of a consent decree is to instruct a party to take a particular action or refrain from doing something while avoiding a legal declaration of guilt. A consent decree typically stipulates deadlines, reimbursements, fines, and penalties. The agreement is enforced by the courts as they retain jurisdiction until the stipulations are met. Failure to adhere to the court order can result in the non-performing party to be found in contempt of court. A consent decree is beneficial where either of the parties wishes to keep the details of the lawsuit private while ensuring that non-performance can be handled without refiling the legal action and starting the process from the beginning.