Motion Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Motion, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Motion?

(n) A motion is a formal request made to a judge in a law suit to issue an order or judgment concerning any matter in the suit. Motions are made for postponing trial, modification of an order or any matter concerned with the suit

History and Meaning of Motion

A motion is a formal request made to a judge by either party in a legal action or proceeding. A motion asks the judge to issue an order or ruling on a specific issue related to the case. Motions can be filed at any stage of a lawsuit and often play an important role in shaping the outcome of a case.

Motions are an important tool for litigants to advocate for their position and to move the case forward. They allow parties to ask for relief from the court, such as a ruling on the admissibility of evidence or a request to extend a deadline. Without motions, parties would have to wait for the judge to address all issues on their own motion, which would be inefficient and could result in unnecessary delays.

Examples of Motion

  1. A defendant may file a motion to dismiss a case if they believe that the plaintiff has failed to state a legal claim against them.
  2. A plaintiff may file a motion for summary judgment if they believe that there is no dispute as to the material facts of the case and that they are entitled to judgment without a trial.
  3. A party may file a motion for a temporary restraining order to prevent immediate harm or irreparable injury.
  4. A party may file a motion for discovery to request information or documents from the other side.
  5. A party may file a motion for sanctions if they believe that the other side has violated the rules of the court or engaged in bad faith conduct.

Legal Terms Similar to Motion

  1. Petition - a written request to a court asking for a specific action, such as starting a case or changing a court order.
  2. Order - a written direction from the court that requires a party to do or refrain from doing a particular act.
  3. Subpoena - a written command requiring a person to appear in court or to produce documents or other evidence.