Understanding Court Motions: Your Comprehensive Guide

Motion Practice

Navigating legal proceedings can be challenging, but we’re here to simplify one key aspect: understanding court motions. This blog post will explore the intricacies of different motions, from Motions to Dismiss to Motions for Summary Judgment, providing a comprehensive guide to help you comprehend and navigate your way through the legal landscape.

A motion is a request to the court to obtain an order on a specific issue. Motions can be made orally at a hearing or in writing.

How does the Motion get decided?

Judges typically enter an order with the rulings on the motion. A Judge enters an Order after reviewing the Motion and/or after hearing the arguments made by the parties with respect to their position. Sometimes, the Court asks a party to write a proposed order for review. If the Judge approves it, they sign the order. Then, the Clerk files it as part of the case docket.

Do I have to attend a hearing?

Most motions require a hearing before the Judge makes a decision.

Some motions do not require a hearing. In that case, the Court will make a decision based on the written Motion and any supporting documents submitted.

If a motion calls for a hearing, the attorneys (or pro se litigants) must appear to argue their position.

Contested motions often set for hearing. Parties contest a motion when they disagree with the Motion’s request.

When parties agree with the Motion’s request, a hearing might not be necessary. In this case, the Judge often lets the parties submit a proposed agreed order. They can sign it without holding a hearing.

What are the most common types of Motions?

  • Motion to Dismiss. This motion requests asks the Court to end the case due to procedural issues. A party might file this motion if the Complaint doesn’t state a valid cause for action.
  • Motion to Compel: This motion requests the Court to compel a party to act pursuant to a specific rule or previous Court Order. For example, a motion to compel discovery can be used when the responsive party fails to provide discovery within the timeframe.
  • Motion for Summary Judgment (MSJ): This motion seeks a final judgment before trial. A successful MSJ shows no dispute over facts and a remaining question of law.
  • Motion for Extension of Time: This motion requests the Court for more time to submit a response or pleading by a specific date. Generally speaking, if this is your first request, Courts are most likely going to grant the Motion and give you extra days.


The legal process can get difficult, which is why we always recommend that you seek the assistance of counsel; or at least have a consultation. Schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys today to review the issues of your case, the legal options you may have, and certain rights that pertain to your unique situation.

Have more questions? Let us know by sending an email to: questions@legallotus.legal and we will do our best to develop content to provide you with direction and insight!

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