When a criminal or civil case has been decided and a judgment rendered, it is possible for any party of the case to file a motion for reconsideration if the party believes the decision to be an error. A motion for reconsideration typically asks the deciding court to reconsider its decision due to the court's failure to review specific legal arguments. Alternatively, perhaps the court misconstrued the argument presented. Filing a motion for reconsideration allows the moving party to clarify the legal arguments and possibly change the outcome of the case.
Create the caption of your motion. The caption should contain the names of the parties, the name of the judge, the case number and the court that handled the case. You can reference the judgment entry or other motions filed in your case to see how the caption is formatted.
Write your memorandum of law. The memorandum is the body of your motion for reconsideration. This is where you will thoroughly explain to the judge the points of law he overlooked. If the judge misinterpreted the argument or points of law previously presented to him, you must clarify your argument to eliminate confusion.
Reference statutes and case law following each of your arguments. Choose case law that presents similar facts and arguments as your case. In order to successfully convince the judge that a mistake was made, you must present cases that support your assertions.
Review your motion for reconsideration and check for errors. Sign your motion in blue ink. Make the number of copies required by the rules of the court and file your motion with the clerk of court.
- The law is very complex. It may be in your best interest to consult an attorney who can help you with your particular case.
- Check the rules of the court that decided the case. Every court has very strict rules that must be followed. You will only have a specific number of days from the date of the decision to file a motion for reconsideration. After the number of days has lapsed, the court may refuse to accept your motion.
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