1. Fill out Motion to Dismiss forms
Fill out and sign the below forms with this program that will automatically create the forms for you. Make 3 copies of the forms when you are done.
- Appearance: Tells the court and the other party that you are participating in the court case on your own without a lawyer. It also tells the court and the other party if you want your case to be decided by a judge or a judge and a jury.
- Motion and Notice of Motion: Tells the judge that you want the case to be dismissed, the Notice tells the plaintiff that you filed the Motion.
Learn more about what you should include in a Motion to Dismiss.
2. File your forms with the court
There is a fee to file most forms. The cost depends on the type of case you have and the county where you are filing. Contact your local circuit clerk's office for information on the fees.
If you do not have money to pay court fees, use the Application for Waiver of Court Fees program.
When you file your forms with the clerk they become part of the case. The clerk will stamp your forms. This stamp is important because it's proof that you filed the form with the court.
- E-filing: The documents you want to file with the court have to be uploaded into the system. You will need to create an account. See E-filing Basics for details.
- Paper filing: If you are paper filing bring the forms to the clerk at the courthouse in the county where you are filing. Bring all your copies and the originals with you when you file. Ask the clerk to stamp all your forms. They will keep the original. Keep at least one copy for your records. See courthouse locations.
3. Send a copy of your Appearance and Motion forms to the plaintiff
After you file your forms, you need to take the following actions:
- Send a copy of your stamped Appearance and Motion forms to the plaintiff. If the plaintiff has a lawyer, send a copy to the lawyer. You can find contact information for the other parties in the case on the other documents that have been filed in the court case.
- Send the copies in the way you said you would on the Notice of Motion form, whether that was by hand delivery, by mail, or by email. You may only send the forms by email if the other party has agreed or you are sending it to the other party's lawyer.
- Send the copies of your forms by 5:00 PM on the same day you file them with the circuit clerk.
- Keep one copy of each court stamped form for your records.
4. Contact the plaintiff
Call the plaintiff or the plaintiff's attorney to discuss the Motion to Dismiss several days before the motion is presented to the court. If you cannot convince the plaintiff that you are the wrong defendant, you will not need to convince the judge.
If the plaintiff agrees that you are not the right defendant, ask them to dismiss you from the case when you go to court on the day you scheduled the motion.
5. Attend the court hearing
Whether the plaintiff agrees to dismiss you from the case or not, you should attend your court hearing. If the plaintiff refused to dismiss the case against you after you explained the situation, you should show up in court on the day the Motion to Dismiss is presented, and be ready to explain to the judge that you are the wrong defendant and that you did not buy or borrow anything from the company or person that is suing you.
Bring any documents to court with you that can help you prove that you are the wrong defendant.
Make sure to get a copy of the order dismissing the case against you, and keep it in a safe place.
Learn more about Preparing, filing, and presenting motions in court.
Updated: January 2018