Motion for Extension of Time:

A motion is a request to the court to obtain an order on a specific issue. One of the most common and most often used motion is a motion for extension of time.

What is a motion for extension of time?

A motion for extension of time requests the Court for more time to submit a response by a specific date. Generally speaking, if this is your first request, Courts will most likely grant the Motion and give you extra days.

When to ask for an extension:

If you request an extension before the deadline, the court has the discretion to extend the time period. If you make the request on time, the court decides whether to grant it.

Filing a motion may also toll the time for the deadline. For instance, if you file a motion to extend your time to respond before the 20-day limit, no clerk default will go against you.

The best practice is to ask the opposing party/counsel for an extension. If they agree, you may submit a proposed order to the Judge, and bypass the necessity of having to attend a hearing.

If the opposing party disagrees with giving you an extension, file a motion.

What should a motion for extension of time include?

The motion should give a concise, valid reason for requesting an extension. Examples of good cause to seek an extension include: illness/health issues; new counsel needs time to familiarize themselves with the case; pending settlement negotiations; and conflicting trial schedule.

At the trial level, the party asking for an extension doesn’t nAt the appellate level, however, the person seeking an extension must confer with the other party/counsel on whether they agree to an extension before they can request an extension from the court.

Can you request an extension after the deadline?

The court may grant an extension only if you show that your failure to act resulted from excusable neglect. Make sure to include that language in the motion!

Determination of excusable neglect is almost always case and facts-specific. Your motion should contain verification or an affidavit that explains why you didn’t file a response or extension request on time.

If you seek a time extension after the deadline has passed, you must notify all other parties of your request.


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.

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