A motion is a written request to the court to ask for a decision. There are many reasons to file a motion.
Motions ask the court to enter an order to ask for the court's permission to do something or to require the other side to do something. Either side in a case can file a motion. Motions are filed with the clerk of the court where your case is being heard and are decided by a judge at a motion hearing. a notice of motion lets the other side know that you filed a motion with the court.
An example might be a Motion for a Continuance, which asks the court to postpone a court date because you will be unable to attend or because you will not have the information you need. If granted, the court will give you a new court date. You would file a Motion to Compel Discovery if you have asked the other side to turn over documents or answer questions during discovery and they refuse. This motion asks the court to force the other side to turn over those documents.
Multiple motions can be filed by each side, but you must have a good reason for filing a motion. You cannot file a motion if you are trying to delay proceedings, cause trouble for the other side, or for other improper reasons. If you do, the court may sanction you. A sanction is a penalty - usually a fee or a fine.
After you file a motion, a Notice of Motion lets the other side know the following:
- That you have filed a motion in the case
- The type of motion you have filed
- When you are going to court
- Where you are going to court, including the courtroom number
- Which judge will be hearing your motion