How to Write a Motion to a Judge

A motion is an application for a court order. It is made to the judge assigned to your case.
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A motion in a civil suit is a formal request made to a judge, or an application for an order. If the parties need to make a request to the judge, they do it pursuant to the jurisdiction’s rules of civil procedure. This set of rules includes provisions for making motions to a judge. Each state has its own set of rules. In California, the courts use the California Code of Civil Procedure. The federal courts use the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

Step 1

Prepare an affidavit stating the facts that support your motion. Organize your facts and make a written statement that you will finalize in the form of a sworn affidavit. Address any facts in your opponent’s prior filings that may contradict your version of the facts. In conclusion, summarize your argument and state the relief that you want the court to grant.

Step 2

Prepare the motion form used in your jurisdiction. Each jurisdiction has a form that is used for motions. In some court systems, it is called a notice of motion. It is used as a cover page for your papers. Download the motion form used in your jurisdiction, if it is available online.

Step 3

Add supporting documents to your motion. If it helps, you may want to attach a letter, a contract, photographs or any other documentation in support of your request to the judge. They are called exhibits.

Step 4

Collate the documents into a set. The court’s motion form is on top. Your supporting affidavit is second, followed by the exhibits. Make one copy of the set for each party in the action.

Step 5

Serve a copy on all parties and prepare an affidavit of service. Save the original for the court. All the parties have a right to know that you made a request to the court. The court will also need proof that all parties were served. This is the function of an affidavit of service.

Step 6

File the original motion papers and the affidavits of service with the clerk of the court. Verify if there is a fee required in your jurisdiction. In the New York Court of Claims there is no filing fee for a motion.

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