Motions in a Civil Case

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What Are Motions In A Civil Case?

When you bring a claim for personal injury, the court will appoint a judge to preside over your case. This judge will be in charge of supervising the entire legal process, beginning with the filing of the claim through when the case goes to trial. 

During this time, both sides may wish to make requests to the judge. For instance, one side may ask that certain evidence be excluded from the case, while the other may request that certain rules be adhered to. The submission of a motion is the appropriate method for making a request of this nature.

A motion is a formal document that asks the court for something. Typically, it’s a request that the judge does one of three things:

  • Issues an order about the case
  • Gives direction on a specific issue in the case
  • Makes a ruling on the case itself

The majority of motions, which are referred to as pretrial motions, are filed well before there is a trial in a courtroom. 

The following are the pretrial motions that are most significant and frequently used:

Motion to Dismiss: At this point, the defendant submits a motion to the judge requesting that the entire case be thrown out. In the motion, it will be argued that the victim does not merit any form of recovery or relief for the injury sustained. Your case will be dismissed if the judge agrees with the motion.

Motion for Summary Judgement: This motion can be submitted by either party. In essence, it is a request to the judge to skip conducting the entire trial and go straight to rendering a verdict as soon as possible. In order to accomplish this, the case evidence must be crystal clear. 

Another option is to ask the court for a summary judgment if the opposing party has not been responding to legal documents or has not been present in court.

What Impact Do Motions Have on My Case?

Technically speaking, motions are not required in order to move a claim forward in the legal process. However, they are your only option if the procedure seems to be going in the opposite direction of what you want or if the other side isn’t playing fair. One can request that the judge take into consideration special issues and unfair behavior or impose special rules in order to keep the case running smoothly.

An evidentiary motion is a good example of this type of motion. Requests that are related to evidence are known as evidentiary motions.

Imagine that you were completely alert and in control of your faculties at the time of an automobile collision. However, the insurance company continues to bring up an old criminal conviction that you have — five years ago, you were arrested for possession of marijuana — as a reason for denying you coverage. 

The insurance company is aware that the charge makes you appear to be guilty, but they also know that it has nothing to do with the current car accident case. 

You have the option of submitting a motion related to evidence, in which you ask the judge to prevent the marijuana charge from being used as evidence. If the judge gives their blessing, it can no longer be brought up in court, and it’s possible that the jury will never hear about it.

Why You Should Hire an Attorney

Motions are challenging to file because the court will never tell you that you need to do so. Because of this, having a good lawyer can make a world of difference. The exact motions that will be used will vary from claim to claim. 

But regardless of the nature of the case, motions are the means by which you can defend yourself and limit the actions that the other side can take. An experienced lawyer is aware of the appropriate times to file motions and how to increase the likelihood of those motions being granted.

If you’ve been injured in an accident that wasn’t your fault, make sure you contact The Brown Firm to schedule a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer as quickly as possible.

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