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In Law, What Is a Motion?

When an individual enters into a legal proceeding, he or she may make requests that are subject to the court’s approval. These requests are formalized into legal documents that inform the court of the request and under what grounds such a request is to be made. This formal, legal document of request is referred to as a motion.

The format for motions varies among jurisdictions but a general format includes the request made, the parties involved, and the laws that are to be invoked by the party requesting. The movant is the party who files the motion with a court of law within a certain jurisdiction.

A motion can be categorized as hearing or non-hearing, dependent on whether the motion is pursuant to a court trial or not. Whether a motion is hearing or non-hearing, it is submitted along with other legal documents in support of it. Such legal documents may include affidavits and exhibits in order to prove any claims made in the motion. If a motion if categorized as hearing, an attorney must appear before a court in order to present oral arguments before a judge.

Once the court has been presented with a motion, it is the obligation of the court to present a ruling in response to the motion. This ruling is a written, court order that resolves whatever matter was subject in the motion. Aside from hearing and non-hearing motions, other categories of motions exist. Motions such as motion for summary judgment or motion to dismiss are commonly used in legal proceedings.

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