Cornell Law School& defines a motion as a “request to a court for a desired ruling or order.” Utah State Courts further explains it as “asking the court to order something in an existing case.”
The injured person had his attorney file a motion to move the court location closer to his home.
Motions can be made in writing before the trial begins. During the trial, they may be made orally. The other party can challenge the motion. If needed, the judge can hold a hearing where both groups can argue their side. However, the judge will always make the final decision on whether to allow a motion. This is called an order. In Utah, the party filing the motion must submit three documents. First, they must submit the actual motion, which is what the party wants the judge to do. Next, they must include a Statement Supporting the Motion. This states any facts to help the judge make a decision. Finally, they need to file a Memorandum Supporting the Motion. This gives the legal reasons for why the judge should allow it. This includes Utah laws and previous court rulings. The opposing party can agree with the motion. They would then not have to do anything more. If they disagree, they must reply within 10 days. They must submit a Statement Opposing the Motion and a Memorandum Opposing the Motion. The original filing party can then reply to the other side’s arguments only if they raise a new issue. They would use a Reply to Statement Opposing the Motion. They must file this within five days of receiving the opposing documents. Either side must also submit a Request to Submit for Decision before the judge can make the decision. Utah State Courts also has other forms for motions.
In the case Turner v. Staker, the Utah Supreme Court dealt with a motion to dismiss the case. Turner got in an accident because of poor safety precautions by Staker. However, Turner did not file a case until four years later. Staker argued that Turner’s time limit for filing a case had ended, so he moved to dismiss the claim. Turner opposed the motion. Eventually, the Utah Supreme Court agreed with Turner. this allowed him to continue with his original case.
Types of Motions
Utah’s judicial system allows for many types of motions. Below are several types in different categories for civil cases taken from Utah State Courts website. Their page also defines each and explains when a party can make it.
Motions by the Defendant:
- To dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction
- To dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction
- To transfer to a county in which venue is proper
- To dismiss for insufficient process
- To dismiss for insufficient service of process
- To dismiss for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted
- To dismiss for failure to join an indispensible party
- To make a more definite statement
Motions by either party:
- To strike a statement
- For judgment on the pleadings
- For summary judgment
- For order to show cause why the other party should not be held in contempt
- To amend or set aside a judgment
- For alternative service
- For default judgment
- To declare a Judgment Satisfied
- To renew judgment
- To Shorten Period of Driver’s License Suspension or Denial
- To waive filing fees
A party can make different motions in a criminal case. The list below includes some from Utah’s Court website that a defendant can use.
- Dismiss the case because of double jeopardy
- Challenge the jurisdiction
- Reduce the criminal charge
- Suppress certain pieces of evidence
A defendant uses a motion to suppress evidence if the state illegally obtained that evidence. The state may have not read the accused his rights or the police may not have obtained a warrant before finding the evidence. The defendant’s attorney must give both a legal and factual reason to support the motion. The judge may hold a hearing with both attorneys to discuss this motion. In this case, the jury would not hear the discussion. If the judge decides to suppress the evidence, then they jury cannot use that piece in deciding the case. With all of the different types of motions, most people do not know what to do. An attorney will better know how to handle all of the details involved in making a motion. Call Christensen & Hymas at (801) 506-0800 for a legal consultation at no cost or request a free accident booklet by calling 1-800-LAW-BOOK or by visiting UtahAccidentBooks.com.