ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Legal Motions

Updated on February 8, 2016

Motions in a Civil Case

My family is currently being sued in a civil court. I'm not a lawyer. I've taken a couple of paralegal courses, but not an expert on anything legal. What I am getting is an education on our judicial system. It is obvious to anyone I talk to that the case is unfounded and frivolous. Our lawyers have submitted several motions to get the case dismissed/thrown out or whatever term is used. So I decided to teach myself about legal motions. I've tried to create a list of terms in "English" and not "legal speak". If you are in the legal profession and I make a mistake, please correct me. This is what I have learned.

To bring particular issue before a court for a decision regarding a case, but not a decision regarding the entire case, you must make a request to the case judge or court. This is called a motion. The motion must be based on provable facts and is usually submitted to the court in writing. One side submits the motion in writing, the other side submits a response in writing, then the court hears both sides of the story (verbally) at a hearing and either approves or denies the motion.

There are several types of motions:

Motion to Dismiss

Motion to dismiss can be submitted by either side when they feel that the there is no reason for the lawsuit. This is also called a demurrer which means “to object”. Our lawyers submitted a demurrer for us because the charges against us that were submitted to the court were so nebulous, there didn’t seem to be a case. It would have been nice to have the case dismissed, but the opposing side submitted a new complaint that had more “facts” even though it didn’t even look like the original complaint.

Motion for Summary Judgment

Motion for summary judgment is submitted by the plaintiff to ask the judge to decide the case without going to trial. It is usually done when the case is clear and no evidence from the defending side will make a difference. Evidence has to be factual and third-party hearsay would not be admissible. So if the defense does not have any hard evidence, the case would probably not go to trial and the judge would make a summary judgment. This is not the case in my situation.

Motion in Limine

Motion in limine is made before a trial begins. It is a request to admit or exclude certain evidence. The motion needs to be factual and legal when explaining why the evidence should be admitted or not. This is often used when evidence can be prejudicial and sway a jury without factual information.

Motion for a Directed Verdict

Motion for a directed verdict happens when a judge determines that the case has not been proven and he or she will direct the jury to decide in favor of one side or the other. In other words, the jury doesn’t deliberate. They must give the verdict that the judge has decided is the outcome of the trial.

Motion for a New Trial

Motion for a new trial is made when the losing side feels that there were some legal errors made in the original trial and they want to request a new trial. This is done within a few days after the trial ends. The original judge hears the motion and decides to accept it or not. It is rare that a motion for a new trial is accepted unless there were significant legal errors in the original trial.

Motion to Compel

Motion to compel is when one side wants the other side or a third party to take some kind of action. This often happens during the discovery phase of a case. We have submitted a motion to compel because the other side has not given us certain documentation in a timely fashion or they can’t produce the documentation or evidence for some reason.

Nolo Press Books

Nolo Press produces the best legal books for the layperson. These are some very helpful books.

Mad at Your Lawyer? (Nolo Press Self-Help Law)
Mad at Your Lawyer? (Nolo Press Self-Help Law)

Have you ever had a problem with your lawyer? Seems odd? But it happens. We had a lawyer who billed us and didn't do what we wanted him to do. So we fired him. This book guides you in dealing with lawyers who try to take advantage of you.

 
Nolo's Everyday Law Book: Answers to Your Most Frequently Asked Legal Questions (Nolo's Encyclopedia of Everyday Law: Answers to Your Most Frequently Asked Legal Questions)
Nolo's Everyday Law Book: Answers to Your Most Frequently Asked Legal Questions (Nolo's Encyclopedia of Everyday Law: Answers to Your Most Frequently Asked Legal Questions)

This book is written in plain English that gives advice regarding legal questions such as buying/selling a house, employment issues, credit issues, adoption, estate planning, wills, probate, trusts, small claims court, family issues and more.

 

Have you ever had a lawsuit filed against you or have you ever filed a lawsuit against someone else? What was your experience?

Are You a Lawyer? - Or a Layperson?

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • dlobel profile imageAUTHOR

      Debra Lobel 

      5 years ago from Oakland, CA

      Some people like to use the legal system to harass others. That's what's happening to us now. Thanks for the support. Hope your mom never crosses that guy's path again.

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      5 years ago

      This is really a good lens. The facets of law are very concrete in procedure. I hope your family gets some relief soon. My mother was sued for rear-ending a car. It made a dent in the car which was very small. The man was a professional. We drove by his house the other day. The privacy screen is back up. I guess someone else is being victimized. Again, I hope all goes well for you.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)