Asking the Court to do Something

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Sometimes it is necessary for the court to make decisions about your case before the trial hearing. If you want the court to consider an issue and make a decision, file a motion. Opens new window

A “motion” is a request you make to ask the court to consider an issue and make a decision about it. There are many types of motions.

To learn how to file most motions in small claims court, click here.

There are 3 types of motions which are so common that they have their own forms. To learn how to file these motions, click on the name of the motion below: 

  • A motion to postpone the hearing
    Some reasons to ask to postpone the case include: 

    • You were not able to serve the defendant on time. 
    • You have a claim (counterclaim) against the plaintiff and were not able to serve the plaintiff on time. 
    • A key witness cannot appear on the date set for the hearing
  • A motion to amend your claim
    Some reasons to change your claim include: 

    • You learned the correct name of the plaintiff or defendant after you filed your claim; 
    • You want to change what you asked for in your claim; 
    • You decided you don’t want to sue one of the parties anymore, or want to sue another party. 
    • The amount of the claim is more than you originally asked for. 
  •  A motion to dismiss the case
    Some reasons to dismiss (end) the case right away include: 

    • You named the wrong defendant; 
    • The case is in the wrong court (defendant usually files); 
    • The defendant has already paid you (can only be filed before the hearing by the plaintiff); 
    • The case was brought too late (defendant usually files).

NOTE:  A copy of all motions must be served Opens new window on the other side.

The court may or may not hold a hearing on your request.  In any case, it will inform you in writing what it has decided.

  • To learn how to file a motion for which there is no special form (a “general motion”) in small claims court, click here
  • To learn how to object to a motion in small claims court, click here.



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