How to Respond to an Opposition of a Defendant's Motion to Dismiss

By Audrey Farley

When you file a Motion to Dismiss, the plaintiff or petitioner who filed the original complaint is entitled to oppose the motion. The plaintiff may file a Motion to Dismiss the Defendant's Motion to Dismiss or a brief or memorandum in opposition to the defendant's Motion to Dismiss. When a party opposes a Motion to Dismiss, the moving party must reaffirm the grounds for dismissal.

Review the local rules of the court to determine the deadline for responding to motions. Call the clerk's office to inquire about the number of days allowed for filing a response to the opposition's motion, or consult the court's rules of civil procedure.

Carefully read the plaintiff's pleading in opposition. Identify the facts and points of authority that the plaintiff cites in response to the claims made in your original motion.

Draft a Brief in Support of Motion to Dismiss, if none was filed with your original motion. Draft a Supplemental Brief in Support of Motion to Dismiss if a brief was filed. In the brief, reaffirm the claims made in the Motion to Dismiss but also respond to the claims made in the plaintiff's response. Counter the plaintiff's claims with both facts of evidence and points of law.

File the brief with the court before the specified deadline. The court will probably schedule a hearing on the matter.

Attend the hearing to present your case to the judge and to challenge the plaintiff's reasons to sustain the complaint.

About the Author

Audrey Farley began writing professionally in 2007. She has been featured in various issues of "The Mountain Echo" and "The Messenger." Farley has a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Richmond and a Master of Arts in English literature from Virginia Commonwealth University. She teaches English composition at a community college.