Continuance (noun) – A continuance is an order putting off a hearing, argument, trial, or other proceeding in a legal action. A continuance may be granted by the court sua sponte or on motion by one of the parties. Although the court is required to ensure a speedy criminal trial and the management of a civil action without undue delay, the court in its discretion may order a continuance to ensure fairness to a criminal defendant, ensure sufficient notice or time for a party to prepare or attend, to allow the attendance of parties or witnesses, or other reasonable grounds. Generally, as a matter of professional courtesy, counsel will not object to the first motion of an opponent for a continuance in a given action.