MOTIONS: All you need to know

In a court of law, a motion is made to request the court to do something or avoid something. In short, when you file a motion, you are asking the judge to order something to happen.  Either party in a case can file for a single or multiple motions.

Motions are filed with the court clerk where your case is being heard. Avoid filing for motions with the main aim being to harass the other party.

Someone who files a motion is referred to as a motion mover.

What are some of the reasons for filing a motion?

There are many reasons why you should file a motion. For example, if you want a case to be moved to a later date because you will not be able to attend or any other valid reason. This is called a motion for continuance.

You may motion the court to force the other side to do something. For example, Motion to compel discovery is issued to make the other side give you documents or answers that they have withheld.

Other reasons include; for rehearing, to get temporary child support, for modification of an order, etc.

Avoid filing a motion with unfit reasons such as to delay a case. This may cause the court to sanction or fine you.

How are motions issued?

Motions can be issued either orally or in written form. Oral motions are mostly allowed during the proceedings of a trial.

A written motion should include:

  1. Your name, that of the other case and the case number.
  2. A brief description of the case.
  3. Exactly what you are asking the judge to do.
  4. Reasons why the judge should grant your request.

Notice of motion

It basically informs the other side the following:

  1. That you have filed for a motion.
  2. The type of motion you have filed for.
  3. Location and Courtroom number.
  4. Date of the hearing.
  5. The judge involved.

On the hearing date.

The judge expects an oral presentation of you on why you filed for the motion. The other side is also given a chance to elaborate why they agree or disagree with your move.

It is important to bring an extra copy of the motion and motion notice just in case the judge asks for it.

The judge can either grant or deny the motion. In the case of denial, you can file a motion to reconsider, but reasons must be incredibly worth it.  Otherwise, if you have nothing new, respect the court decision.