Definition of Prima Facie Case

Definition of Prima Facie Case

Under Washington State laws, what is a prima facie case. Here's my point of view (NOTE: please read our DISLCAIMER before proceeding).


The term "prima facie" means "at first sight; on first appearance but subject to further evidence or information." Black's Law Dictionary 1228 (8th ed. 2004). 

A "prima facie case" means: "1. The establishment of a legally required rebuttable presumption … [; or] 2. A party's production of enough evidence to allow the fact-trier to infer the fact at issue and rule in the party's favor." Id.


The Washington State Supreme Court has declared, "* * * A 'prima facie case' is one where the evidence is sufficient to justify, but not to compel, an inference of liability, or, in other words, evidence to be weighed, but not necessarily to be accepted by a jury or other trier of fact." Nopson v. City of Seattle, 33 Wn.2d 772, 812, 207 P.2d 674 (1949) (citing McCoy v. Courtney, 25 Wash.2d 956, 962, 172 P.2d 596, 600, 170 A.L.R. 603).


If you would like to learn more, then consider contacting an experienced Washington State employment discrimination attorney as soon as possible to discuss your case. Please note: the information contained in this article is not offered as legal advice and will not form an attorney-client relationship with either this author or Williams Law Group; please see our DISCLAIMER.


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